It’s Star Wars Day over at some parts of the world, and the celebration’s gotten just a little sweeter. Taika Waititi of the Thor: Ragnarok fame is now the director of a new Star Wars film for theatrical release, which will also include 1917 scriptwriter Krysty Wilson-Cairns.
Disney and Lucasfilm dropped the bombshell following earlier reports that the man had been approached to work on a new Star Wars post-Skywalker-saga project. As details of the unnamed film have yet to be announced, it’s unclear if Waititi’s stint is a standalone entry, or one of the three titles planned for release in December 2022, 2024, and 2026.
The news is a welcome surprise, though not entirely unexpected. Back in February when rumours started to surface, Waititi said in an interview with Variety, “Are there discussions about the ‘Star Wars’ film? Like, yeah, I discussed with my friends in 1996 how cool ‘Star Wars’ was. 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.”
The popular sci-fi franchise isn’t just making an appearance on the big screen, however. In a show of double delight, The House of Mouse also confirmed that another new untitled Star Wars TV series in the works will be heading to Disney+, with Russian Doll creator Lesyle Headland leading the project. Like its movie counterpart, no release date has been announced as of now.
Waititi’s involvement in the upcoming Star Wars movie marks a return to form for the New Zealand filmmaker, who also directed the season finale of the Disney+ hit The Mandalorian. Between the positive feedback for that and Thor: Ragnarok, as well as an Oscar nomination (and victory) for Jojo Rabbit, the man has proved that he’s capable of delivering not just quality screenplay, but consistently quality screenplay. It’s no wonder, then, that he’s very much in demand now, with a hectic slate of upcoming projects that include Thor: Love and Thunder, a live-action adaptation of anime classic Akira, and two Charlie and the Chocolate Factory animated series for Netflix. A truly busy man, he is.