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Three years ago, in May of 2020, Lucasfilm officially announced that the director behind critical and commercial hits such as Jojo Rabbit and Thor: Ragnarok, Taika Waititi, was set to co-write and direct an untitled Star Wars movie. At the time Waititi was penning the project with Krysty Wilson Cairns, who is best known for her work on 1917 and Last Night in Soho. As months and years went by, we had various updates from Waititi, Wilson-Cairns and Lucasfilm president, Kathleen Kennedy, regarding the status of the film – which was typically that’s it’s still being written. By the end of 2020, Lucasfilm had set three release dates for Star Wars movies, one in December of 2023 for Rogue Squadron, and the other two in December of 2025 and 2027, with the belief at the time being that Waititi’s film was aiming for the 2025 release.
In May of last year, once Rogue Squadron was delayed indefinitely, Kennedy claimed that the Taika Waititi film would release in late 2023, something that the writer-director would play down as he revealed a decision would not be made on a release until he turned in his script, which at the time he said he had not done. Since then we’ve had very minor updates on the Waititi project, but Lucasfilm have stated each time when asked that the project is very much still being developed. In early April it was reported that Taika was still working on his mysterious Star Wars movie and that he planned to have a role in it. Many expected Waititi’s movie to be part of the slate of films that Lucasfilm announced at Star Wars Celebration last month, but it was not the case. However during an interview with IGN, Kathleen Kennedy revealed that Taika was still working on the movie, but revealed that he is now writing it alone. In a report last week from Deadline, they claimed that the Thor: Love and Thunder director was still excited about the Star Wars project and was hoping to start shooting it sometime next year.
At the time of the Deadline claim, many fans were baffled by the news given that all signs point to the next Star Wars film to release is the Daisy Ridley led New Jedi Order movie directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (Ms. Marvel), with plans to begin filming in February of 2024. The Deadline article mentioned that the next film Taika Waititi would direct is a film titled Klara and the Sun, which would likely take place later this year giving the director a short turn around if he wants to begin shooting his Star Wars project next year, especially when he’s now in the process of writing the project alone. However a new update from Lucasfilm president, Kathleen Kennedy, may have provided a positive update on the project.
When speaking with Empire, Kennedy was asked about the untitled Taika Waititi Star Wars movie, which she was happy to talk about. The outlet and Kennedy acknowledged that the project was announced three years ago and there’s been no significant update since, with Kennedy providing an answer and telling the outlet, “Taika is working away. He’s just, and he won’t get mad at me for saying this, slow. We’ve got a couple of acts [written], and we need a third.”
From Kennedy’s comments it appears that Waititi is pretty far along in the writing process for his Star Wars flick, even with the departure of Wilson-Cairns. Currently the Writers Guild of America is on strike, which Waititi is a part of, so the writer-director is not allowed to continue writing on the project until the strike is over and a new deal with the film and television studios is made, which could take weeks or months. This situation, mixed with Waititi planning to shoot a movie later this year and promote his next directorial effort, Next Goal Wins, which releases this Fall, leads me to believe that it’s unlikely Waititi will complete work on his Star Wars project by the end of the year, and that we’re likely years away from saying the movie on the big screen…if it ever happens.
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