Now that the Skywalker Saga has ended, Disney has big decisions to make about the “Star Wars” franchise, which means finding new talent to helm whatever sprawling new stories may come. According to The Hollywood Reporter, three-time Academy Award-nominated “Jojo Rabbit” director Taika Waititi has been approached to develop a “Star Wars” film.
Lucasfilm has yet to respond to IndieWire’s request for comment. Whatever the status, being “courted” (as THR phrased it) is far from being a done deal. However, at this point even the possibility is of keen interest: Not only is Waititi one of Hollywood’s most valuable directors, but “Star Wars” is also at a creative crossroads that needs direction.
Back in 2017, Waititi threw shade at the “Star Wars” franchise, and his interest in ever directing one of the films, after director Colin Trevorrow got axed from helming “The Rise of Skywalker,” directed by J.J. Abrams and still in theaters. “I’d be fired within a week,” Waititi said.
Waititi most recently directed the eighth episode and first-season finale of Disney+’s wildly popular, bounty hunter “Star Wars” spinoff series “The Mandalorian.” That series was created, written, and executive-produced by Jon Favreau, who, like Waititi, also contributed to the Marvel Cinematic Universe with “Iron Man” and “Iron Man 2.”
It’s unclear if a Waititi film would have anything to do with the “Star Wars” film that Marvel chief Kevin Feige, Waititi’s close collaborator on “Thor: Ragnarok,” is currently cooking up.
As Chris Lindahl and Kate Erbland wrote last weekend, Star Wars has reached a point of “tension”:
Lucasfilm executives say they’re moving away from trilogies — but that’s the only successful formula the franchise has ever known. The Marvel Cinematic Universe found its dominance with a strategy that extends far beyond potentially tired trilogies, with one-off superhero stories becoming an interconnected universe that includes, film, television, and a multitude of characters. It disregarded the old expectations of what a franchise can do, and what it looks like. Can “Star Wars” do that, too?
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” has just hit the $1 billion worldwide box-office mark, and at a time when the theatrical “Star Wars” experience is about to be put on pause as Disney and Lucasfilm focus on episodic storytelling on Disney+. “The Last Jedi” director Rian Johnson is still reportedly working on his own trilogy of films.
Waititi is currently in post-production on “Next Goal Wins,” an adaptation of the 2014 British soccer documentary that follows Dutch coach Thomas Rongen as he attempts the daunting task of turning the American Samoa soccer team from perennial losers into all-star winners. He’s also on the awards circuit doing Oscar chores for his Fox Searchlight hit “Jojo Rabbit,” which is up for six Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. Waititi is also set to direct “Thor: Love and Thunder,” which hasn’t entered production but is expected to be released November 5, 2021.
I’d be fired within a week.
— Taika Waititi (@TaikaWaititi) September 6, 2017