Taika Waititi to Direct Fox Searchlight Soccer Movie Before ‘Thor 4’ [Updated]

     August 7, 2019

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[Update: A source close to this project tell us that it’s actually a narrative adaptation of the 2015 documentary Next Goal Wins, which told the story of the American Samoa soccer team—known as one of the weakest teams in soccer—and their journey towards qualifying for the 2014 World Cup. So yeah, Taika’s making an underdog sports movie next! Our original story follows below.]

It appears that Taika Waititi’s next movie won’t be Thor 4 after all. No, the Marvel sequel isn’t being delayed. Instead, the Thor: Ragnarok filmmaker will be squeezing in a different project altogether later this year, before he heads back into the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the next two years.

Per Variety, Waititi was approached about writing and directing this project by Andy Serkis and Jonathan Cavendish of Imaginarium Productions, and once he agreed to take the helm with Garrett Basch producing, Fox Searchlight jumped at the opportunity to distribute. The film has already been greenlit to start filming this fall, before Waititi has to go and prep Thor: Love and Thunder to start shooting in March 2020 in Australia.

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Image via Marvel

Waititi burst onto the scene with his joyful films What We Do in the Shadows, Boy, and Hunt for the Wilderpeople before essentially rebooting the Thor character in Thor: Ragnarok. But instead of jumping to the next franchise after the wild success of Ragnarok, Waititi moved directly into making his World War II satire Jojo Rabbit, which hits theaters later this year and is being given an awards push by Fox Searchlight. Indeed, Waititi’s relationship with Searchlight on Jojo Rabbit no doubt led to the two teaming up once again on this secret project, which speaks volumes about the quality of Rabbit. Additionally, Disney owns Fox Searchlight, so it was likely easier to get the go-ahead from Marvel/Disney to squeeze this film in before Thor 4.

Thor: Love and Thunder came about pretty rapidly over the summer, and Waititi’s decision to write and direct the sequel led to him pumping the brakes on Akira over at Warner Bros. He was initially intended to next direct that long-in-the-works adaptation, but its status is unclear now that Thor 4 and this new secret project have jumped ahead priority-wise. The Thor sequel will see Chris HemsworthTessa Thompson, and Natalie Portman all reprising their roles.

So stay tuned, folks. It looks like we could have three new Taika Waititi movies released three years in a row.

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