On Sunday, Taika Waititi won a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for his WWII film Jojo Rabbit.
During a new interview with Variety, Taika poured some cold water on reports that he was developing a Star Wars film or speaking with Lucasfilm/Disney about making one.
Waititi alluding that the report was inaccurate and that he’d be interested in making a Star Wars movie if it wasn’t potentially “career suicide” for him.
VARIETY: Just by working on The Mandalorian, you’ve landed squarely in the future of Star Wars conversation. Where does that stand now?
WAITITI: “I wish there was a better story, I’ll put it that way. Are there discussions about the Star Wars film? Like, yeah, I discussed with my friends in 1996 how cool Star Wars was. That’s what they’re going off.”
VARIETY: Really, there’s nothing happening?
WAITITI: “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.”
VARIETY: You would want to do a Star Wars movie.
WAITITI: “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.”
Taika has been vocal in the past about not being keen about making a Star Wars movie after what has happened to directors, despite directing a single episode of The Mandalorian he’s not giving the best impression he wants to make a movie.
He also spoke to Variety about his involvement with the Akira movie, which he might not end up directing given that production dates were bumped two years because of Thor: Love & Thunder.
VARIETY: What’s happening with the live-action remake of Akira?
WAITITI: “The whole thing went on hold. We had to keep pushing the dates, and it encroached on the Thor dates, which were immovable. So Akira ended up shifting two years down the track.”
WAITITI: “Post-Thor. So I’m not sure if even in two years I’d be — I don’t remember what I’m doing in f—ing two days.”
VARIETY: It may not happen, you mean?
WAITITI: “I think eventually it will happen. I’m just not sure if I’ll be doing it.”
In 1988 the Japanese government drops an atomic bomb on Tokyo after ESP experiments on children go awry. In 2019, 31 years after the nuking of the city, Kaneda, a bike gang leader, tries to save his friend Tetsuo from a secret government project. He battles anti-government activists, greedy politicians, irresponsible scientists and a powerful military leader until Tetsuo’s supernatural powers suddenly manifest. A final battle is fought in Tokyo Olympiad exposing the experiment’s secrets.
Warner Bros. has been developing a live-action adaption of the manga/anime Akira going back to 2002 and if they end up losing Taika as a director that could land the project back to square-one again.
Taika has a supporting role in Ryan Reynolds’ upcoming action flick Free Guy (July 3rd, 2020), currently editing his sports drama Next Goal Wins for Searchlight Pictures and is set to begin shooting Marvel’s Thor: Love & Thunder (November 5th, 2021) this August in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Seeing him pivot from studio IP wouldn’t be hard to imagine post-Oscar win. Once a filmmaker wins an Oscar there are many more opportunities to make original films and pushes a them to potentially focus more on their own material.