Taika Waititi might be the busiest man in Hollywood. Following his Oscar-winning Jojo Rabbit, Waititi has been at the center of FX’s new series Reservation Dogs, HBO’s Our Flag Means Death, the series adaptation of his comedy-horror film What We Do in the Shadows and, oh yeah, just premiered one of the biggest movies of the year: Thor: Love and Thunder.
Ten years ago, Waititi made small, independent films in his native New Zealand in relative obscurity. While many of those small-budget comedies, like Eagle vs. Shark, Boy, and “Hunt for the Wilderpeople,” were hailed by critics, it was Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok that helped establish Waititi as one of the most exciting filmmakers working today.
But what’s next for the actor/filmmaker who seems to be everywhere? Let’s take a look at his upcoming slate of projects:
‘Next Goal Wins’
Next Goal Wins looks like a return to form for Waititi — a small, charming comedy with more in common with Boy and Hunt for the Wilderpeople than Waititi’s comic book blockbusters. Based on a 2014 documentary by Mike Brett and Steve Jamison, Next Goal Wins follows a rag-tag American Samoa soccer team — ranked as the worst soccer team in the world — as they strive to qualify for the FIFA World Cup. With Michael Fassbender and Elisabeth Moss heading the cast, the film wrapped production in January 2020 and is now eyeing a release date in 2023.
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Hot off Thor: Love and Thunder and with Next Goal Wins in post-production, next up on Waititi’s docket looks like a remake of Terry Gilliam’s 1981 cult classic Time Bandits as a series for Apple TV+. The original film, penned by Monty Python alums, finds an 11-year-old history buff recruited by six-time jumping dwarves who traverse historical eras looking for treasure.
Alongside Waititi, the new series is co-created with longtime collaborators Jemaine Clement and Iain Morris and will be executive produced by Gilliam himself. The series is headed for production this summer for a likely air date on in 2023.
Untitled ‘Star Wars’ project
Being one of the most in-demand writers/directors in the biz today, Waititi has also recently made a habit of popping up in favorite tv shows and movies for cameos. Keep your eyes peeled, and you can spot him in Ryan Reynolds’ recent film Free Guy and Pixar’s Lightyear. But his early work as the droid IG-11 in The Mandalorian had fans buzzing for a Waititi-helmed Star Wars project.
In December of 2020, Lucasfilm President Katheleen Kennedy confirmed reports that Waititi was already at work on an original “Star Wars” script that he also signed on to direct. While details have been kept under lock and key, Waititi recently revealed that the film could start production as early as 2023, per multiple sources.
Hollywood is obsessed with reboots, so it’s no surprise Waititi’s slate is full of them! Waititi has been tapped to helm a reboot of the 1930’s space adventure comic strip, turned 1940’s Buster Crabbe serial film series, turned cult classic 1980 sci-fi adventure film Flash Gordon. Originally announced as an animated series, producer John Davis recently noted that the Fox/Disney project will now be a live-action film.
While Waititi is reportedly signed on as writer/director, this Flash Gordon remake has been in development limbo since 2019, so we might have to wait until Waititi’s plate is a little less full until this hits the big screen.
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After two wildly successful Thor films, what are the chances Waititi climbs back in the director’s seat for another go-round? According to the man himself, there’s still a chance. Recently sitting down with Insider, Waititi said he’d be up to return for another film as long as Chris Hemsworth returns as the titular character. “But it would need to be something surprising and unexpected for me to want to do it,” said Waititi. “Like what would be the new take? The battles and all the fighting are fine, but I would want something that feels unexpected in the story. Like making just a $5 million movie with no fighting at all, just Thor on a road trip. Like Nebraska.”
With Thor: Love and Thunder‘s global box office recently surpassing $500 million worldwide, audiences would surely welcome another installment by one of Hollywood’s most in-demand filmmakers. Thankfully for fans of Waititi, he has more than enough projects to keep him busy for years to come.
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