If you know anything about Taika Waititi, then nothing that follows this sentence will be a surprise.
The New Zealander who has taken the entertainment industry by storm, started small. From Indies Boy to What We Do in the Shadows to Hunt for the Wilderpeople, he ballooned into high profile projects that the studio machines were funding. There was his stellar take on Thor: Ragnarok, the only good episode of The Mandalorian was directed by the Waititi-ster, and if you read the news you know that he is involved in a Flash Gordon project, the Warner Bros. reimagining of Akira and this season’s awards darling Jojo Rabbit.
Then, earlier this week, rumors started swirling that Waititi was in discussions to develop and direct a new Star Wars film. Waititi’s Twitter account simply posted a single image as his official response:
The UK-spelling of the word rumors.
If you know anything about Taika Waititi, you know is he more like Marvel’s Loki than a regular Hollywood Director. He is mischievous, he is a jokester, he is someone to whom details are the most important. And as the Internet was speculating about the “rumors” of this Star Wars bombshell, he instead posted the picture above with the incorrect spelling of the kind of “rumors” everyone else was wondering about. Yes…it was Taika’s way of pushing off the “rumors” but winking to the audience of the World that perhaps, by using the wrong spelling of the word, these rumors were potentially, actually true.
Sure. Maybe that’s a reach.
What’s not a reach? Taika Waititi delivered a Thor movie that reinvigorated the character and opened the door for Hemsworth to really have fun with the character in Avengers: Endgame. Ragnorak was one of the most successful Marvel movies and introduced the kind of tongue-in-cheek attitude and humor that made Guardians of the Galaxy such a success. Taika’s work on The Mandalorian both as Director and the voice of droid IG-11 elevated the project far above many of the other installments of the Disney Plus series. His work on Jojo Rabbit (also for the House of Mouse, indirectly) walked away with many Oscar nominations, although not nearly as many as Joker.
But Taika Waititi is a valuable asset in the Disney/Marvel/Star Wars/Searchlight house. He’s already working on his next movie for Searchlight (recently renamed from Fox Searchlight as early as this morning due to the merger) and is a highly-desired asset that everyone is stumbling over themselves to get on a project. At the same time Star Wars is a tired piece of intellectual property that Disney needs to figure out how to reinvent.
The Waititi Factor is strong in this way.
Finally, if you know anything about Waititi, who is a true child of the 80’s, you know that Star Wars is a property he holds dear to his heart. When he nabbed the episode of The Mandalorian, he publicly stated how over the moon he was about the gig. And now, having had a huge visual effects blockbuster under his belt like Ragnarok, the once-indie filmmaker has all the tools and skills to take on something in a galaxy far, far, away. That, despite his Fleetwood Mac album cover posting, means more to him than any Akira, Flash Gordon or Thor property.
He wants this. He wants this bad.
So when Taika says they’re just rumours, take that with a grain. Because the reality is that Taika is going to be developing and directing a new feature film set in the Star Wars universe. We are sure of this. We would put money on this.
Disagree with us. Call us a stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder. It won’t change our mind.
Because Taika’s gonna do it. It’s just a matter of time.