Taika Waititi speaking at the 2019 San Diego Comic Con International, for “Thor: Love and Thunder”, at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California. Photo credit: Gage Skidmore. License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en
Taika Waititi was already a hot and in-demand director, but on the heels of his Oscar win for Jojo Rabbit, his prospects will likely only increase. At this point, there seems to be a list of endless possibilities laid out before him. He’s not only doing his own indie projects, but is in bed with Disney with franchises like Star Wars and Thor, pretty much at least securing his foreseeable financial and creative future.
The Star War
For months and months, he’s been a fan-favorite director to take on a Star Wars film. Given his work on The Mandalorian and his buddy-buddy relationship with Disney, it was an easy choice to settle in on as a fan. But how possible are those bits of speculation?
“I wish there was a better story, I’ll put it that way,” Waititi told Variety. “Are there discussions about the Star Wars film? Like, yeah, I discussed with my friends in 1996 how cool Star Wars was. That’s what they’re going off … I think people see me hanging out with people, especially with Star Wars, and think I’m having some big discussions about it. I would f—ing love to … If it was right. I would want to do any kind of movie if it made sense, and if it felt not like career suicide.”
That last part is especially telling. Waititi may seem like a bit of a goofy guy, but his career choices do seem particularly meditated with how he transitioned from indie comedy into blockbuster filmmaking. I can only imagine he’s looking at Star Wars and going like, “Nah-uh, buddy. Not this guy.” Given that fans don’t even seem to agree on what they want, it’s a tough crowd to please (and I swear, don’t one of you readers jump down into the comments about how you just want “good” Star Wars movies, because that s**t ain’t true).
But, of course, Waititi is bigger than Disney. Before it was announced that he’d taken on Thor: Love and Thunder, he was setting things up over at Warner Bros. for a live-action Akira film. This was a big deal for many manga fans because it was supposedly going to be a racially-appropriate adaptation, where Asian actors would make up a large chunk of the roles.
And then, out of nowhere, boom, Thor: Love and Thunder came about. It almost felt like he had been telling Warner Bros. one thing while setting up another project at Disney. The filmmaker clarified.
“The whole thing went on hold,” he told Variety. “We had to keep pushing the dates, and it encroached on the Thor dates, which were immovable. So Akira ended up shifting two years down the track … Post-Thor. So I’m not sure if even in two years I’d be — I don’t know what I’m doing in f—ing two days … I think eventually it will happen. I’m just not sure if I’ll be doing it.”
There are two takeaways here. The first is that he already had plans in place for Thor and that the constant pushback on Akira was horning in on that time. The second takeaway is that, while it’s still possible he could be down for Akira in a couple of years, he’s by no means restricting himself. In a couple of years, he may very well feel the itch to do something else altogether, which is a shame.
What do you think of Taika Waititi’s comments? Which of these two projects would you prefer him to take? Let us know your thoughts down below!
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