As rumours swirled on social media in regards to the status of the in-development Star Wars movie from director and writer, Taika Waititi, a reliable source has now confirmed its situation.
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Over the weekend, X (Twitter), was abuzz with unfounded rumours that Taika Waititi’s untitled Star Wars movie had been cancelled at Lucasfilm and Disney. Various social media accounts, who claim to be people in the know, though get a whole heck of a lot wrong, started claiming that Waititi’s Star Wars flick was dead at Lucasfilm and were using a quote from the filmmaker from TIFF as evidence of its demise. It essentially came across as fan-math and in some cases, wishful thinking.
Here at BespinBulletin, we covered Taika’s TIFF quote last week, where we emphasised that the quote was heavily laced with sarcasm. The quote itself came from a speech Waititi gave at the film festival when presenting a fellow future Star Wars filmmaker, Shawn Levy (Free Guy), with an award. The speech, as expected with Taika, was filled with jokes, and he quipped that “unlike me, there’s hope he [Levy] will actually finish his Star Wars script.” The line was clearly a joke, and we even linked to a video so that readers could see the quote in context. However, with social media, it seems that most only users read a headline or an out context quote and start making something out of nothing, and many follow that narrative, not doing any research themselves.
Though we did our part here, making the headline that of Taika Waititi making a joke in regards to his Star Wars script and emphasised within the article that the Jojo Rabbit director was joking along with adding visual context – most people online will unfortunately see an out of context quote from somebody with vastly more followers than I and unfortunately start to believe an untrue and an unfair narrative being created.
I always tell my readers and listeners to check track records of those making a claim or a report. Here we only cover those we consider reputable and outlets or individuals with a proven and reliable track record, so if you don’t see it being covered on BespinBulletin, it’s because we likely don’t believe the claim or that the individual or outlet does not have a proven track record. Which brings me to today’s information, which comes from a reputable individual.
Yesterday, journalist and insider, Jeff Sneider, took to his podcast, The Hot Mic, alongside his co-host John Rocha, to discuss a bevy of topics – one of which being the rumours of Waititi’s Star Wars project being cancelled. Sneider brought up the topic and shared what he had been hearing from his sources. Sneider revealed that he’s heard that the What We Do in the Shadows creator had turned in multiple drafts of his Star Wars script to Lucasfilm and that other writers had also worked on the project, but that once the Writers Guild of America strike has concluded, Waititi will submit another draft of the script. You can read Sneider’s quote below.
“It’s not dead. Taika [Waititi] has turned in multiple drafts at this point and other writers as well have touched it. Taika owes them [Lucasfilm] another draft after the [WGA] strike is over.” – Jeff Sneider via The Hot Mic
Given that Waititi has been working on his Star Wars script for over three years, it’s not surprising to hear that the Thor: Love and Thunder director has submitted multiple scripts to Lucasfilm – we’ve even speculated as such before. During Taika’s announcement in May 2020, it was revealed that Krysty Wilson-Cairns, who wrote the films 1917, Last Night in Soho and The Good Nurse, was set to co-write the effort with Waititi. Wilson-Cairns in the Fall of last year mentioned that she and Waititi were still working on the script. However in April of this year, the Lucasfilm president, Kathleen Kennedy, seemingly revealed that Taika was now writing the film alone. Wilson-Cairns is the only writer, outside of Taika, that has been revealed to have worked on the project and was seemingly still on the project around a year ago.
The last we heard of Taika’s Star Wars film was in May, when the director told The Hollywood Reporter that he has a really good idea for the flick. The director added that he was currently struggling to crack the middle section of his script and joked that he couldn’t let his characters just meet a ‘smuggler with an alien sidekick.’ Those comments from Waititi followed some made by Kathleen Kennedy the month before at Star Wars Celebration, where the Lucasfilm president revealed that Taika was a slow writer and that his script needed a third act.
Waititi has been at the Toronto International Film Festival since last week where he debuted his next directorial effort, Next Goal Wins, which unfortunately was received with mixed reviews. Next Goal Wins at the time of writing holds a mere 48% on Rotten Tomatoes – the lowest score of Waititi’s career. Personally I was hoping that while Waititi was at the event, he might do some press and share an update, however brief, on his Star Wars movie. However, that now seems unlikely. Perhaps we’ll get an update from the director in November when promotion for Next Goal Wins begins.
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