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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Report: Star Wars still thirsty for Taika Waititi

Illustration for article titled Report: Star Wars still thirsty for Taika Waititi
Photo: Michael Kovac (Getty Images)

For fully three years now, that powers that be behind the Star Wars franchise have been engaging in a series of frankly flirty hypotheticals, asking questions like, “Hey, wouldn’t it be wild if Thor: Ragnarok and Jojo Rabbit director Taika Waititi directed a Star Wars movie for us?” In the intervening years of intra-industry mash notes, the massive multimedia franchise has made small inroads with the New Zealand director—most recently seducing him into directing an episode of Disney+’s hit TV series The Mandalorian, as well as voicing a cheerfully brusque murder droid on the same show.


But now it’s apparently time for all involved to stop screwing around and potentially go steady, with THR reporting that Disney and Waititi have entered into talks to see whether he’ll finally take on a Star Wars film project of his own. The news comes, not surprisingly, as the Star Wars film universe finds itself at an impasse—despite the fact it’s got plenty of hypothetical projects in the works, including a supposed trilogy of films from The Last Jedi’s Rian Johnson, the release of Episode IX has left one of the planet’s biggest movie franchises at something of a loose end. Waititi, meanwhile, remains as alluring a prospect as ever, with his Jojo Rabbit currently touting six nominations at this year’s Academy Awards.

The lurking question under all this, of course, is whether Disney would actually even want Waititi once it had him; although he’s not an excessive stylist by any means, his films do tend to take on an inevitable Waititi tone, and Disney and LucasFilm have proven pretty conservative on that score in recent years. There’s also the question of what the move might do to Waititi’s own film commitments: After all, how could a director possibly abandon a live-action Akira remake? (But we kid the live-action Akira movie, perhaps the most cursed of all clearly terrible Hollywood ideas.)