Actor-writer-director-comedian Taika Waititi has been rising quickly in certain circles. He followed his critically-acclaimed directorial debut “Eagle Vs. Shark” with the coming-of-age dramedy “Boy,” the highest grossing film in New Zealand history, slated to make its stateside debut this March. With all involved interested in forgetting his comic relief turn in front of the camera for “Green Lantern,” Waititi is eager to return to the director’s chair, and has two projects currently brewing. And for writing help, he’s enlisted his somewhat more higher profile “Eagle Vs. Shark” leading man Jemaine Clement.
Waititi was cagey about the details at a Manhattan screening of “Boy,” only sharing that his next directorial effort will be set in World War II. He would confirm, however, that it was a comedy. “It’s definitely about a kid,” he says, comparing the film to “Boy.” “I swore I would take a break doing films about kids, but this is an amazing story. It’s a lot funnier [than ‘Boy’] but [its] definitely more heartfelt.” While he’s still seeking finances, hooking up with his famous co-writer is a bit of a struggle. As he wryly observed regarding “Men In Black 3D” star Clement, “Jemaine and I have very different schedules.”
Following the WWII film, he’s working with Clement on a project on which they’ve toiled for six years. Of course, it’s a vampire film. “We really thought, oh, you know, no one’s doing vampire movies!” Waititi half-joked. “It’s taken so long that vampires are now very uncool,” he says about the film, which he would only share would be a comedy. “But we’re hoping to get a chance to make it.” In the meantime, Waititi is currently working on an American version of the popular British comedy “The Inbetweeners” for MTV.
“Boy” opens March 2nd.