Taika Waititi to Co-Write, Direct Oklahoma-Set FX Pilot ‘Reservation Dogs’

     November 7, 2019

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In his ongoing quest to become the busiest filmmaker in Hollywood, Taika Waititi is adding one more project to his immediate to-do list—but this one’s just too good to pass up. As reported by Discussing Film and confirmed by the Tulsa World, the Thor: Ragnarok director will co-write, executive produce, and direct the pilot for an upcoming FX limited series called Reservation Dogs. The show was created by Sterlin Harjo, who will also write and executive produce the series which follows four teenagers in a Native American housing project in Oklahoma who commit petty crimes and fight crimes. The series will shoot in Oklahoma.

Harjo—who is of Seminole/Creek Indian decent—is the Oklahoma-born filmmaker behind the features Four Sheets to the Wind, Barking Water, and Mekko, and this marks his most high-profile project yet. Confirming the news to the Tulsa World, Harjo noted that Waititi helped co-create the series:

“It’s happening, and Taika (Waititi) and I created it, and it’s going to film in Oklahoma which is cool, and that’s really all I can say about it right now.”

After making waves with films like What We Do in the Shadows and Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Waititi hit big with his radical Marvel film Thor: Ragnarok. He immediately moved into making an “anti-hate satire” for Fox Searchlight called Jojo Rabbit, in which he also stars as an imaginary version of Adolf Hitler. That movie has proved to be a hit on the fall film festival circuit and is currently expanding into more theaters as it makes its way towards potential Oscar glory.

This isn’t Waititi’s first time venturing into the realm of television, as he directed three episodes of the FX series adaptation of What We Do in the Shadows and helmed an episode of the Disney+ Star Wars series The Mandalorian.

Waititi is returning to write and direct the next Thor film, Thor: Love and Thunder, but before that starts production next year he’s squeezing in one more smaller scale movie in Next Goal Wins. And now he’s due to shoot the pilot for Reservation Dogs, with production aiming to get underway in February. Last we heard, Thor 4 is on track to start filming in Australia in March 2020, but it’s possible that date has been pushed back a bit—which would explain how Waititi is able to squeeze in Reservation Dogs. Or maybe not. Maybe Taika really is a real-life superhero and will continue churning out incredible stories on an insane schedule.

Whatever the case, as an Okie myself I can’t wait to see the fruits of Waititi and Harjo’s collaboration here.

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