Months after winning the 2020 Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award for Jojo Rabbit, Taika Watiti is taking on one of the biggest movie franchises of all time: Star Wars. The Hollywood Reporter confirmed
the New Zealand auteur will be directing and co-writing a new Star Wars movie. He’ll be writing the script along with Krysty Wilson-Cairns, who was nominated for an Oscar for 1917.
hasn’t announced a release date for the project, nor has it revealed any plot details or when the story will take place in the Star Wars timeline. The Mouse also hasn’t confirmed whether Watiti’s project is different from another Star Wars project in development with Kevin Feige, with whom Watiti worked on Thor: Ragnarok.
Watiti will have to fit Star Wars into an incredibly busy schedule. He’s currently in post-production on Next Goal Wins, a small-budget dramedy for Fox. Next, he’ll be directing Thor: Love and Thunder, which will premiere on February 22nd, 2022. He’s also still involved with the upcoming adaptation of the Akira anime for Warner Bros.
The announcement comes at a time of uncertainty
for Star Wars. After the The Rise of Skywalker underwhelmed critics and audiences, Disney is rethinking its strategy for the franchise. There are still several Star Wars movies rumored to be in development, including Feige’s. But after the success of The Mandalorian, the future of Star Wars might be the small screen. Besides the upcoming second season of The Mandalorian, there are also reportedly plans for an Obi-Wan series, a series about Rogue One protagonist Cassian Andor, and a new series from Russian Doll showrunner Leslye Headland.
Watiti is the latest big-name director Disney has brought in to work on its space opera series, with mixed results. Co-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired several months into production on Solo: A Star Wars Story. Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss abandoned plans for a new trilogy of new Star Wars films. Rian Johnson, who helmed the controversial The Last Jedi, was slated to film his own trilogy, but is now focusing on a sequel to Knives Out.
But since Watiti has already worked on a successful Star Wars project—directing an episode of The Mandalorian and voicing the character IG-11—hopefully his project has a better chance of happening.