Over the past few years, New Zealand’s Taika Waititi has become one of our favorite directors here at Ars. And with good reason—his back catalogue of feature films includes Eagle vs Shark, Boy, What We Do in the Shadows, Thor: Ragnarok, and last year’s controversial-but-excellent, Oscar-nominated Jojo Rabbit. And soon, we’ll be able to add a Star Wars movie to that list. Unnamed sources have told the Hollywood Reporter that Waititi has been approached by Lucasfilm to develop a film that takes place in that galaxy far, far away.
This news follows a surprise tweet earlier this week from Phil Tippett, the stop-motion innovator whose work could be found all over the original Star Wars trilogy. He used the social media platform to laud the first season of Disney+ exclusive The Mandalorian, then implored showrunner Jon Favreau to hire Tippett to work on future episodes. As massive fans of Tippett’s work and of The Mandalorian ’s focus on practical effects, we hope Favreau takes the tweet seriously (embedded below).
Congrats @Jon_Favreau on the amazing success of @themandalorian . It’s really something. Reminds me of our adventures making the original trilogy back in the day, shootin’ from the hip. I tell you, I’d love to come back on board and get my hands dirty with you guys!
— Phil Tippett (@PhilTippett) January 16, 2020
Meanwhile, Waititi is no stranger to the Star Wars universe. He not only appears in The Mandalorian—as assassin droid IG-11—he also directed the final episode of the first series. The Hollywood Reporter also speculates that The Mandalorian is being used by Lucasfilm and Disney as a training ground for new talent; Director Deborah Chow directed episodes 3 and 7 of the space western/space ronin show and is now going to direct an Obi-Wan Kenobi series starring Ewan McGregor, which will also air on Disney+.
Obviously, Waititi’s fans here in the Ars Orbiting HQ are excited for the prospect of a Star Wars film under his direction. But will Disney see it through? The studio famously fired similarly quirky directors Philip Lord and Christopher Miller from the movie Solo, replacing them with Ron Howard to the film’s detriment. We might also be in for a bit of a wait if it does happen. Waititi first has to direct Thor: Love and Thunder, which is set to be released in November 2021 and is also linked to an adaptation of the nerd-canon anime Akira for Warner Brothers.