On May 4, 2020, Disney announced that the Oscar-winning writer-director behind Jojo Rabbit and the past two Thor movies would helm and co-write one of the next major Lucasfilm adventures. But, as has been the case with similar projects from filmmakers Patty Jenkins (Rogue Squadron) and Rian Johnson as well as Marvel producer Kevin Feige, there has been uncertainty — and a whole mess of rumors — around when, and even if, Waititi’s movie will officially go into production.
“Yeah, of course I’m still working on it,” the 48-year-old New Zealander tells Yahoo Entertainment when asked if his Star Wars movie is still in motion.
It just may not hit theaters any time soon.
“I’ve got all these scripts and all these projects and I don’t really know which one is next, and they’re sort of all competing against each other,” says Waititi, who is promoting his latest release, the underdog soccer comedy Next Goal Wins. “So I’d say I’m going to probably push to another film or two away. I’m not sure yet. Or it could be one away. I just have to figure it out.
“My next film is going to be a smaller film, which I’ll do next year in New Zealand. But what I don’t want to do is rush a Star Wars script. The world doesn’t need a rushed Star Wars.”
It sounds like the next movie that Waititi will direct, the “smaller film” in New Zealand, will be Klara and the Sun, an adaptation of Nobel Prize-winning writer Kazuo Ishiguro’s dystopian sci-fi story about the relationship between a sickly child and her AF, or artificial friend.
He has also been attached to the Showtime limited series The Auteur starring Jude Law; an adaptation of the graphic novel series The Incal; an adaptation of the novel Interior Chinatown; and a long-simmering take on the manga favorite Akira. (The ever-prolific Waititi was a producer on FX’s acclaimed series Reservation Dogs, produces and stars in Max's Our Flag Means Death and executive produced the SXSW and Toronto festival-touring indie film Frybead Face and Me.)
Waititi entered the Star Wars universe in late-2019 when he voiced the ill-fated droid bounty hunter IG-11 in Season 1 of The Mandalorian, and directed the season finale.
Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy announced the following year that he would direct and co-write a Star Wars film with Oscar-nominated 1917 scribe Krysty Wilson-Cairns. But in April, Kennedy revealed that Waititi was “writing the film himself.”
“He doesn’t really want to bring others into that process and I don’t blame him. He has a very, very unique voice,” Kennedy told Variety. “So we want to protect that and that’s what he’s doing. But we’re going to make that one day.”
When exactly that day will come is unknown, however, at the moment.
Next Goal Wins opens in theaters Friday, Nov. 17.