Academy Award Winner – and Indie film darling – Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit, Thor: Ragnarok) has been chosen to co-write and direct the next instalment in the Star Wars franchise. The New Zealand filmmaker has been expected to head the next instalment of the franchise after directing the season finale of the Star Wars streaming spinoff The Mandalorian, but the Walt Disney Co. waited, quite poetically, for the unofficial holiday of Star Wars, May the Fourth, to make the official statement.
Waititi will co-write the film with Krysty Wilson-Cains, who co-wrote the WWI thriller 1917 with Sam Mendes. Both Waititi and Wilson-Cains were nominated for this year’s Academy Awards, with Wilson-Cains for Original Screenplay and Waititi for Adapted Screenplay with his Nazi satire Jojo Rabbit, respectively. Waititi the only one to walk away with the award.
This announcement comes after large speculation surrounding Star Wars and its future with a considerable upheaval in Lucasfilm’s development slate. Last October, Game of Thrones’ David Benioff and D.B. Weiss departed their planned trilogy and Rian Johnson, director of The Last Jedi, was developing another trilogy but its status remains unclear as he has now moved to focus on a sequel to his 2019 hit, Knives Out.
In December 2019, Lucasfilm finished the Skywalker saga with the release of The Rise of Skywalker and to help rejuvenate the franchise, spoke to Marvel’s president Kevin Feige and Jon Favreau, creator of The Mandalorian. It would appear the successful working relationship that Waititi and Favreau found on The Mandalorian has instilled enough confidence in Disney and Lucasfilm to offer the opportunity to Waititi, and we cannot see what unique (and hopefully, hilarious) perspective he has to offer in the galaxy far, far away.