Filmmaker and actor Taika Waititi is finally focusing on his upcoming Star Wars movie. Between his efforts as a director, screenwriter, actor, producer, and more, Waititi is always incredibly busy with one project or another. It’s taken a bit of time to get to the Star Wars movie he’d been tapped by Disney to direct, but in a new interview with Wired, Waititi says he’s now putting his focus on Star Wars, though he’s just getting started at this point.
“It’s still in the ‘EXT. SPACE’ stage,” Waititi said of where Star Wars is at, referring to the format used in scripts to set up a scene. “But we’ve got a story. I’m really excited by it because it feels very me.”
When asked if it’s been a challenge to bring his style of filmmaking to the “operatically sincere” Star Wars universe, Waititi responded: “I tend to go down that little sincerity alleyway in my films. I like to fool the viewer into thinking ‘ha it’s this’ and then them going, ‘Damn it, you made me feel something!'”
While Star Wars is becoming front and center for Waititi, there’s another project near and dear to him that he’s still working on getting developed. He’s still hoping to get the long-gestating live-action adaptation of Akira made, noting that he doesn’t “wanna give up on that.” Meanwhile, he’s also committed to making a sequel to What We Do in the Shadows along with a Flash Gordon remake and animated adaptations of Roald Dahl stories for Netflix. That’s not to mention recently wrapping Thor: Love and Thunder.
“It’s my comfort zone to have a lot of things on,” Waititi said of being such a workhorse. “That chaos is where my best work comes from. Someone said to me, ‘You need a break, man’. Yeah, but I feel like I was on a break for 35 years. I’m working now. I don’t want to stop.”
“People are like, ‘Oh you just popped out of nowhere’. Yeah, but I worked for ten years straight before Marvel gave me a call,” he also said. “I was not just f–king around. I have evolved as a storyteller.”
Previously, Waititi served as a director for the hit Star Wars series The Mandalorian on Disney+. He also voiced the droid bounty hunter IG-11, which earned him a Primetime Emmy Award nomination in 2020. Last year, it was also announced that he’d been tapped to direct and co-write a Star Wars movie with 1917 co-writer Krysty Wilson-Cairns. Prior to this announcement, he was asked by Deadline if he’d want to do a Star Wars movie, and suggested he’d be interested.
“I would want to do any kind of movie if it made sense, and if it felt not like career suicide,” Taika Waititi said.
Taika Waititi’s Star Wars movie doesn’t have a set release date at this time. His next movie, Thor: Love and Thunder, will premiere on May 6, 2022. Meanwhile, Waititi can soon be seen with a role in Ryan Reynolds’ Free Guy, which hits theaters on Aug. 13. You can read the full interview with Waititi at Wired.