It’s been over three years since Lucasfilm announced that Thor: Love and Thunder director, Taika Waititi, was writing an untitled Star Wars movie that he was also set to direct, but there’s been no real progress in that time it seems. However, the filmmaker still manages to find the comedy in the situation.
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The Jojo Rabbit director is currently at the Toronto International Film Festival where he premiered his next directorial effort and much delayed flick, Next Goal Wins, which is due to release in November. Unfortunately for the director, the film has scored mixed reviews from critics in attendance and is currently categorised as rotten on Rotten Tomatoes with a mere 57% and an average score of 6.2/10, the lowest rating of a film Waititi has directed since 2007. In addition to promoting and premiering his next release, Taika Waititi also presented fellow filmmaker, Shawn Levy, with the TIFF Tribute Award.
Levy, just like Waititi, is working on an untitled Star Wars film. Shawn Levy, best known for his work on films such as Night at the Museum, Free Guy, Real Steel and The Atom Project, along with directing various episodes of Stranger Things, was revealed to be working on a Star Wars film in the Fall of last year and was set to focus his efforts of the project once his next film, Deadpool 3, had been released. Deadpool 3 is currently set for a May 2024 release and filming was halted in July due to the start of the SAG-AFTRA strike.
When presenting Levy with his award, Taika Waititi, as expected, made various jokes during his speech, one of which was in regards to his long in development Star Wars movie. The What We Do in the Shadows creator quipped that unlike him, perhaps Shawn Levy will actually manage to finish a script for a Star Wars movie. You can read the full quote below.
“Once he’s had his way with that [Deadpool] franchise, like a cruel and indiscriminate virus, he’ll move on to another, and another, and another. And then eventually, probably Star Wars. And unlike me, there’s hope he actually manages to finish the script for that.” – Taika Waititi
I must stress that Waititi comments are very clearly of a joking nature, as you can see for yourself in the video of the speech here. I’ve often seen some fans strike out over the directors comments in the past, some due to the context of his comments either being missing or going over peoples heads. In addition, and more commonly, I’ve seen some lash out purely because they don’t like the idea of Waititi handling a Star Wars film, with the reasoning usually being that they didn’t like Thor: Love and Thunder, despite Waititi’s past work all garnering critical acclaim.
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.
Taika Waititi is seemingly now writing his Star Wars film alone, and is no longer penning the project with 1917 scribe, Krysty Wilson-Cairns, who was working with the Jojo Rabbit writer on the movie from its initial announcement in 2020 until at least the tail end of last year. I do not know this, but I assume that Taika began a rewrite of the project, maybe at the end of last year or the start of this, given the departure of Wilson-Cairns who worked on the project with Waititi for over two years and the fact that Taika is attempting to crack the middle portion of his script after three years of work. It’s also worth mentioning the current Writers Guild of America strike, which forbids the filmmaker from continuing to work on his script until an agreement is made between the guild and film and television studios.
Waititi is currently doing press for Next Goal Wins at TIFF as we previously mentioned, so let’s hope that some journalists in attendance are able to ask the director about his Star Wars movie and we get some new comments of substance. Shawn Levy at TIFF told Collider that he had just started development on his Star Was project ahead of the WGA strike which began in May, and due to the strike, has had to pause development on the project.
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