Taika Waititi, the director behind Oscar nominated film Jojo Rabbit and Marvel hit Thor: Ragnarok, is in talks with Disney and Lucasfilm about overseeing a future Star Wars movie, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The talks are far from final it seems, and it’s not clear how any project Waititi may work on would fit into the larger scheme of Star Wars’ expanding TV and film universe. But Waititi, having helmed a hugely successful Marvel film and coming off fresh from directing the well-received finale of Disney+ hit The Mandalorian, is certainly a strong contender to carry the Star Wars flame forward.
Disney and Lucasfilm are also in need of some new, high-profile talent after Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss quit their Star Wars trilogy to work on exclusive projects for Netflix. The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson is also reportedly working on a sequel to his Oscar nominated mystery thriller Knives Out that may complicate Disney’s separate plans to give another trilogy to Johnson, although the director and writer said this week that he is still in talks to helm more Star Wars projects in the future.
Waititi has worked closely before with Marvel’s superstar producer and studio president Kevin Feige, who’s working on his Star Wars movie now following the end of the current Marvel Infinity Saga. The New Zealand filmmaker is also now in the orbit of Jon Favreau, the Iron Man director who created and executive produced The Mandalorian and is now partly in charge of overseeing the future of Star Wars across streaming TV and the big screen.
All this would appear to point to a fruitful relationship between Waititi and the current masterminds of the Star Wars universe, so long as Waititi is interested. He was responsible for revitalizing the Thor series after its first two middling installments, turning actor Chris Hemsworth’s character into one of the most dynamic and funny elements of the MCU and opening the door to giving Thor huge roles to play in Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame. Disney and Lucasfilm may be looking for a similar breath of fresh air for Star Wars.
Then again, Waititi has a very full plate at the moment. He’s currently in charge of the ongoing live-action adaptation of the legendary anime Akira scheduled for release on May 21st 2021, and he’s also been tapped to direct the next film in the Thor saga, titled Love and Thunder, which is due out November 5th, 2021.
It’s unclear how Waititi is supposed to work on yet another enormous media property until all these projects are out the door. Of course, this could all mean that the next Star Wars films don’t come out until quite a few years from now, which is line with Disney’s strategy as it turns its focus to Disney+ following the tumultuous final installment in the Skywalker saga that came to a close last month.