It seems that the family of MCU directors might be more close-knit than we realized. Though speculation has been running wild for who might replace James Gunn in the director’s chair for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and though Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi‘s name has been thrown into the mix more than most, the Oscar-nominated filmmaker has squashed that particular idea.
Waititi arrived at the ongoing TCA event today to attend the FX panel and chat about his upcoming series What We Do in the Shadows, a TV series based on the 2014 film by the same name he co-directed, co-wrote, and starred in alongside Jemaine Clement. (The series’ first official trailer dropped today, by the way.) But of course, questions as to his other projects popped up. Deadline reported on Waititi’s comments on GotGV3, his Star Wars series for the Disney+ streaming service, and more.
First up, will Waititi be taking over directorial duties from Gunn? Definitely not.
However, I’m still hanging out with those [Marvel] guys and talking about new stuff. I want to do another movie with them.
After confirming that he didn’t take any official meetings with Marvel before deciding not to pursue Guardians, Waititi clarified his reasoning:
For me, those are James (Gunn)’s films. Going into something like that with his stamp all over his films, would be like going into someone’s house and saying ‘Hey, I’m your new dad, and this is how we make peanut butter sandwiches now. It feels kind of awkward.
While Waititi would undoubtedly make better peanut butter sandwiches than my dad, his decision not to step on toes and, ostensibly, stand with Gunn (whom Disney/Marvel dismissed over manufactured outrage in order to distance themselves from his unsavory jokes and tweets from a few years back) is a respectable one. It’s also a smart one considering that he wants to make more movies with Marvel and has a Star Wars TV series in the works with Disney+. Here’s what Waititi had to say about The Mandalorian:
It was amazing. [Jon] Favreau is a genius … it’s fun doing something in the Star Wars universe. It’s [strange] to see a stormtrooper, and then when you’re doing a scene with 50 or 60 of them, it’s amazing.
So, not really much to go on there, but for fans who are worried that Waititi’s signature style will skew the new Star Wars story away from its core sensibility, something fans still hold Rian Johnson accountable for in their criticisms, he addressed those concerns as well. Could The Mandalorian be getting a boost from Waititi’s colorful, energetic, and improvisational style?
“A little bit, but Star Wars is very different to the Marvel style. The tone of the first films really should be adhered to, it’s what the fans like. You can’t disrespect it. Definitely my tone is in there.”
While it doesn’t look like we’ll be getting Waititi’s take on Guardians of the Galaxy anytime soon, fans do have The Mandalorian to look forward to. He’s also got the bizarre adventure that is the World War II dramedy Jojo Rabbit opening sometime this year. Then, in the unforeseeable future, Waititi might just be back for another round in the MCU. Fingers crossed!