Academy Award-winning director Taika Waititi is no stranger to Star Wars. When Disney+ went live in late 2019, Waititi not only directed an episode of the first-ever live-action Star Wars series — The Mandalorian — but also voiced the droid IG-11, who became a fan favorite after what happened in the finale.
With experience playing in that galaxy far, far away and armed with a newly won Oscar for writing the screenplay for Jojo Rabbit, many fans wondered if Waititi would be the next director to get the call from Disney to helm a Star Wars movie. Disney has been readjusting its approach to Star Wars movies as late, and we probably won’t see any new ones for a few years, but once they return, who better than the Oscar winner who made Thor: Ragnarok?
Speaking to Variety, Waititi didn’t sound eager to board that train. “I wish there was a better story, I’ll put it that way,” he said. “Are there discussions about the Star Wars film? Like, yeah, I discussed with my friends in 1996 how cool Star Wars was. That’s what they’re going off.
I think people see me hanging out with people, especially with Star Wars, and think I’m having some big discussions about it. I would f—ing love to … If it was right. I would want to do any kind of movie if it made sense, and if it felt not like career suicide.
Just for the record, I don’t think Waititi is likening directing a Star Wars film to career suicide here, just saying he would be happy to direct a movie he was interested in if it wasn’t career suicide. We’re just getting ahead of the bad faith takes here.
Personally, I think we’re all better off taking some time before we get another Star Wars movie. If you’re looking for an epic space opera to get invested in, could I suggest Dune instead?
At the moment, Waititi is working on Thor: Love and Thunder for Marvel. And we’re excited to see that, but we wonder how he’ll fit another project he’s involved with — the long-gestating live-action version of the anime classic Akira — into his schedule.
“The whole thing went on hold,” he said. “We had to keep pushing the dates, and it encroached on the Thor dates, which were immovable. So Akira ended up shifting two years down the track … Post-Thor. So I’m not sure if even in two years I’d be — I don’t know what I’m doing in f—ing two days … I think eventually it will happen. I’m just not sure if I’ll be doing it.”
Hollywood has been trying to adapt Akira for literally decades, so I’m not surprised to hear that Waititi may just become the latest in a long string of directors who were attached but for whom the project didn’t work out.
In the meantime, Thor: Love and Thunder hits theaters on November 5, 2021. That movie will feature Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) stepping in as the God of Thunder, inspired by a similar storyline in the Marvel comics. Does that mean that, as in the comics, Jane will have cancer? “We don’t know,” Waititi said. “That comics run was a big inspiration, and was an influence on the first few drafts. But at Marvel, we always change everything. I could say one thing right now, and in two years, it will be the complete opposite — or that thing won’t exist. We continue writing even in post-production.”
Based on what the audience wants. We test the film. We shot for two weeks on “Thor” with our pickups. There were huge, huge character changes, huge story changes. We reshot entire scenes. I think that’s why they do good work. They’re relentless in their pursuit of just a good movie…I’ve done reshoots on every single movie I’ve done. I actually build it into my budgets. I like reshoots. No shame about going and fixing it.
I feel like I just got some good insight into how Marvel makes movies.