Taika Waititi 'invited to work on new Star Wars film'

Andrew Pulver
Photograph: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Taika Waititi, director of Jojo Rabbit and Thor: Ragnarok, has been invited to develop a Star Wars film feature project, according to reports.

Citing unnamed film industry sources, the Hollywood Reporter said that New Zealander Waititi has been approached by Lucasfilm to join the franchise that recently wrapped up its third film trilogy with the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

It is not clear whether Waititi will develop his own project, or if he will be part of one already in progress under Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, with whom Waititi is currently collaborating on the fourth Thor film, Thor: Love and Thunder. However, Waititi is already connected to Star Wars production having directed the eighth and final episode of the Disney+ spin-off TV series The Mandalorian.

Waititi’s involvement in Star Wars may also signal that the projected trilogy from The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson will not see the light of day. Little concrete information about the Johnson trilogy has emerged since it was announced in 2017, and the director appears now to be concentrating on a sequel to his hit crime comedy Knives Out. In a recent non-committal remark, Johnson said: “I’m still talking to Lucasfilm [about Star Wars] but they haven’t announced anything on their slate yet.” Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and DB Weiss dropped out of their projected Star Wars trilogy last year.

Waititi, who was recently Oscar-nominated for best adapted screenplay and best picture among six nods for Jojo Rabbit, is currently working on football comedy Next Goal Wins, before starting production on Thor: Love and Thunder, for planned release in 2021.