This is not a drill, friends: Taika Waititi is confirmed as the director on a new Star Wars movie. The news arrives on Monday, May 4, one of the most exciting days in the Star Wars fandom and just a few months after fans got to enjoy Waititi in droid form on Disney+ original series The Mandalorian. So, what exactly do we know so far about this new Waititi-directed movie?
According to a press release from Walt Disney Studios, we’ve gotten only the barest of details about this new movie. Waititi, who won an Oscar earlier this year for Best Adapted Screenplay for his work on Jojo Rabbit, will be co-writing the script for this Star Wars movie in addition to direction. He won’t be going it alone, though. Joining him in scripting this new movie is fellow recent Oscar nominee Krysty Wilson-Cairns, who is best known for her work co-writing 1917. Other than confirmation of the director and screenwriting team, we have no idea what to expect from this new movie in terms of plot, casting, or even a filming schedule.
We reported back in January of this year on Waititi possibly directing a new Star Wars movie. At the time, the Jojo Rabbit and Thor: Ragnarok director was reportedly just in talks for returning to the Lucasfilm branch of the Disney family tree. It was thought that, if he did take on directing a new Star Wars movie, it would be filmed after he finished work on Thor: Love and Thunder. However, no official release date has been set for this new Star Wars movie, which means we can’t get a good grasp on when Waititi and his team plan to start shooting.
Given Waititi’s creative prowess and popularity with fans, him boarding the next Star Wars movie and helping chart a course for life post-Skywalker saga is an exciting and solid decision. It’s well-known at this point Waititi leans towards an improvisational style, allowing actors some room to play with dialogue while shooting and see where things go. While it certainly makes for some fun results (it certainly helped freshen up Thor’s MCU arc in Ragnarok and engage fans in a new way), will this kind of directing style be entertained at Lucasfilm? Especially considering the last time there were reports of improving on set and encouragement of comedic performances, the year was 2017, the movie was Solo: A Star Wars Story, and the directors were Phil Lord and Chris Miller — and we all know how that turned out. Given Waititi’s pre-existing relationship with both Lucasfilm and Disney, through his work on The Mandalorian and over at Marvel Studios, his creative process is not necessarily unfamiliar or unknown. Still, given Lucasfilm’s history with directors trying to take Star Wars in new directions — whatever those may be — it will be interesting to see how this project develops.
For more on all things Star Wars, catch up on the additional new original series in development from Russian Doll‘s Leslye Headland, our round-up of all the Star Wars content on Disney+ right now, and Collider’s own Adam Chitwood ranking every Star Wars movie (so far).