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Taika Waititi Asked Natalie Portman ‘Have You Ever Wanted to Be in a ‘Star Wars’ Movie?’

Waititi joked he had no idea "Thor: Love and Thunder" star Portman led the prequel trilogy, starting with 1999's "The Phantom Menace."

Taika Waititi, Natalie Portman

Taika Waititi, Natalie Portman


There’s even too many “Star Wars” movies for Taika Waititi to keep straight.

The Oscar-winning writer-director is gearing up to helm his own franchise installment, but seemed, perhaps in jest, to have overlooked “Thor: Love and Thunder” star Natalie Portman’s pivotal role in the prequel films.

After wrapping the third “Thor” film with Portman reprising her character Jane Foster, Waititi asked if she’d be willing to star in his “Star Wars” movie… you know, after she famously portrayed Princess Leia’s mother Padmé Amidala in “The Phantom Menace,” “Attack of the Clones,” and “Revenge of the Sith.”

“Natalie said to me, ‘What do you do next?’ And I said, ‘I’m trying to work on a ‘Star Wars’ thing. Have you ever wanted to be in a ‘Star Wars’ movie?'” Waititi told Rolling Stone. “She said, ‘I’ve been in ‘Star Wars’ movies.'”

Waititi said with a laugh, “I forgot about those.”

To be fair, Portman previously admitted the critically panned “Star Wars” prequel trilogy was a “disaster” upon release, but then decades later became beloved.

Perhaps it’s for the best Waititi’s “Star Wars” movie will have nothing to do with its predecessors. Co-written with “1917” Oscar nominee Krysty Wilson-Cairns, the film will introduce new characters and sever ties with the core crew of Princess Leia, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

“Look, I think for the ‘Star Wars’ universe to expand, it has to expand,” Waititi told Total Film about his yet-to-be-titled movie. “I don’t think that I’m any use in the ‘Star Wars’ universe making a film where everyone’s like, ‘Oh great, well that’s the blueprints to the Millennium Falcon, ah that’s Chewbacca’s grandmother.'”

Waititi, who was tapped for the upcoming “Star Wars” film with a likely December 2025 release date, added, “That all stands alone, that’s great, though I would like to take something new and create some new characters and just expand the world, otherwise it feels like it’s a very small story.”

And the “Our Flag Means Death” creator is distinctly familiar with the modern era of “Star Wars.” Waititi previously voiced “The Mandalorian” character IG-11 and helmed a Season 1 episode of the critically acclaimed Disney+ series.

Plus, Portman has no hard feelings over Waititi’s “Star Wars” teasing. The actress exclusively gushed to IndieWire that Waititi is a “creative human I so admire,” especially for pitching the concept to bring the Mighty Thor storyline to the big screen featuring her character Jane wielding Mjolnir.

“It was this kind of a twofold opportunity, one to work with him and the other to get to have Jane evolve into this superhero, which was really exciting,” Portman said of signing on for “Thor: Love and Thunder,” in theaters July 8. “His requirement that every take be different and new and fresh is something I hope I get to bring into every project I work on.”

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