After winning the Oscar for Best Adapted screenplay for his Nazi satire “Jojo Rabbit,” Taika Waititi has reportedly signed on to co-write, executive produce, and direct some episodes of a limited series from Showtime, “The Auteur.”
The series, which is still in development, would see Waititi adapting the psychedelic graphic novel of the same name by James Callahan and Rick Spears about a filmmaker who enters a downward spiral after making one of Hollywood’s biggest-ever bombs; Jude Law is in talks to star as the main character. (Via Variety.)
Peter Warren (“Ghost Team”) will co-write the show with Waititi. Law and Eric Gitter of Closed on Mondays (“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”) are also executive producing.
The graphic novel was published in 2014 by Oni Press, publisher of “Scott Pilgrim,” and adaptations of “Clerks,” “Invader Zim,” and “Rick and Morty.” Here’s how Oni describes the first volume of the “slapstick gorefest:”
“Fresh off the biggest bomb in Hollywood history, producer Nathan T. Rex enters a downward spiral of drugs and depravity in a quest to resurrect his career and save his soul. Over budget and behind schedule on ‘Presidents Day,’ he is backed into a corner by bad publicity, a crap project, and studio politics. But enlisting serial-killer-turned-murder-consultant Darwin, his trusty assistant Igor, narcotics from Doctor Love, and the lovely actress Coconut, T. Rex will stop at nothing in his quest for cinematic fame and glory. God help us all.”
And from CBR.com: “If you’ve ever taken heavy doses of peyote, or have friend who’s a psychotic, then you’re pretty likely on the same wavelength as ‘The Auteur.'”
Unlike that titular character, Waititi has found success with his most recent film. “Jojo Rabbit” won the Audience Award after it premieired at Toronto last fall and went on to be nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture, and win Best Adapted Screenplay for Waititi. It grossed $75.4 million globally.
This is just one of several follow-ups to “Jojo” that Waititi has lined up.
He just finished production on Searchlight Pictures’ “Next Goal Wins,” the fact-based story about a soccer coach (Michael Fassbender) who is tasked with turning the American Samoa national team, considered one of the weakest in the world, into an elite squad. Elisabeth Moss, Beulah Koale (“Hawaii Five-0”), and Armie Hammer are also in the cast.
Last year he signed on to co-write and direct the Apple TV+ pilot of an adaptation of Terry Gilliam’s “Time Bandits.” Gilliam, who is executive producing the series, discussed the project with IndieWire last year.
“It was only after I saw Jojo Rabbit I thought, ‘Fantastic, couldn’t have chosen a better guy.’ I love ‘Jojo Rabbit,'” Gilliam said. “The balance between humor and sensitivity and intelligence was all there. I don’t know how this is all gonna work but we’ll see how it goes. I am in a slightly not quite removed position. My job is to make sure it’s good as I want it to be, so I can be a pain in the ass.”
Waititi is also currently writing “Thor: Love and Thunder,” which will have Chris Hemsworth reprising his MCU role as the God of Thunder. The MCU film is expected to go into production this year.
Ryan Lattanzio contributed reporting.