Taika Waititi has a number of upcoming movie projects in the works, including Thor: Love and Thunder. Waititi is a jack-of-all-trades in the entertainment industry with a bevy of work as director, writer, producer, and actor. The New Zealand filmmaker came to mainstream recognition after directing 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, though he is well-known for making independent films as well. In addition to what he’s done so far, Waititi will look to expand his success and his name is currently attached to multiple big titles.
Before helming a Thor solo film, Waititi directed New Zealand films like Eagle vs. Shark and Boy. In 2014, he wrote, directed, and starred in What We Do in the Shadows alongside Jemaine Clement. The horror-comedy mockumentary followed a group of vampires that lived together in a suburban flat. The movie received critical acclaim and grew into a cult classic. Waititi followed that up with the release of Hunt for the Wilderpeople, a top-grossing film in New Zealand when it debuted.
More recently, Waititi had a small role in James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad as Ratcatcher 2’s father and helped revive What We Do in the Shadows with a TV series. Aside from directing multiple episodes of the FX series, Waititi also reprised his role from the 2014 movie. He additionally reprised his role as Korg for Avengers: Endgame and voiced a key role in The Mandalorian, a show that also gave him a directing gig. The most impressive feat, however, was Waititi’s work on Jojo Rabbit, a movie about a Hitler Youth member who finds out his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their attic. Waititi wrote and directed the movie in addition to portraying Adolf Hitler for the comedy-drama. Waititi also co-created Wellington Paranormal with Clement, which is also a spinoff of What We Do in the Shadows. With so many projects already under his belt, here’s what’s up next for Waititi behind the camera over the next few years.
Next Goal Wins
Coming off the highly-acclaimed Jojo Rabbit, Waititi will look to strike gold again with the sports comedy, Next Goal Wins. Not only is Waititi directing but he also co-wrote and produced the film. Next Goal Wins is based on the 2014 documentary by Mike Brett and Steve Jamison and follows Thomas Rongen, a Dutch-American coach who led the American Samoa national football team to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. After being considered one of the weakest teams in the world, Rongen managed to turn the team around, transforming them into the elite.
Michael Fassbender is set to portray the role of Thomas Rongen while Elisabeth Moss, Oscar Kightley, David Fane, Beulah Koale, Uli Latukefu, Rachel House, Rhys Darby, and Angus Sampson round out the cast. In addition, Kaimana will play the role of Jaiyah Saelua, the first openly binary transgender woman player to compete in the men’s FIFA World Cup. The announcement regarding Waititi’s involvement came a month after his plans for another Thor film. Despite his commitments, the filmmaker completed the movie and it’s expected to be released at some point in 2022.
Thor: Love And Thunder
Waititi managed to revamp the Thor franchise with his treatment of Thor: Ragnarok so it’s no surprise that Marvel Studios had an interest in his return post-Avengers: Infinity War. The filmmaker succeeded in freshening the God of Thunder’s arc while making the entire film a ton of fun for viewers. Phase 4 of the MCU is a new chapter for the studio, but they will be missing some of their beloved characters at the forefront. Thor, however, will continue that connection to the original Avengers. With all that Waititi has done for Marvel Studios, Thor: Love and Thunder is in good hands.
The announcement that Waititi signed a deal to write and direct the fourth Thor solo film came in July 2019. The biggest surprise to come with the confirmed sequel was the fact that Natalie Portman was confirmed to reprise her role as Jane Foster. Even more exciting was the reveal that Portman’s character would take on the mantle of Mighty Thor. Chris Hemsworth will once again play the God of Thunder while Tessa Thompson will return as Valkyrie, who now serves as the ruler of New Asgard as she searches for a queen. Christian Bale will also star alongside Chris Pratt, who is appearing as Peter Quill and many more. Waititi will also reprise his role as Korg. Thor: Love and Thunder is currently scheduled to release on May 6, 2022.
Before Waititi boarded Thor: Love and Thunder, he was named as the director for the upcoming live-action adaptation of Akira for a 2021 release. Akira was first developed as a 1988 animated Japanese cyberpunk film based on the manga of the same name. Katsuhiro Otomo created the original story and directed the animated film. Akira is a post-apocalyptic tale following Shōtarō Kaneda, the leader of a biker gang whose friend acquires telekinetic powers after an accident. A rebellion then ensues set in the futuristic world of Neo-Tokyo.
Warner Bros. acquired the rights to the beloved animated movie since 2002 but there have been several failed attempts to turn it into a live-action project. Waititi joined the project back in 2017 but neither party felt the need to rush the adaptation. Just before Waititi joined Thor: Love and Thunder, Warner Bros. announced that Akira was put on indefinite hold. As of now, there’s no reason to believe the plans are officially scrapped. Waititi is still attached to the project and he’s still trying to get it made, but there’s no telling when that might actually happen at this point considering the director’s very busy schedule.
What was once slated as an animated film is now being adapted to a live-action one, with Taika Waititi writing the upcoming Flash Gordon movie. The film is based on the 1930s comic strip, which focused on the titular character in his ongoing adventures and battle against the villain Ming the Merciless. Currently, Waititi is not officially confirmed to be directing the sci-fi film, but that could change in the future. For now, Flash Gordon is in development, with Jungle Cruise producer John Davis sounding excited about the project when speaking with Collider about it and Waititi’s vision for the story and characters. Since the film has not entered into production yet, it does not yet have a release date scheduled, nor has a cast been announced.
Not only is Lucasfilm tapping into Marvel Studios for Kevin Feige, but it’s been confirmed Waititi will direct and co-write (with Krysty Wilson-Cairns) an untitled Star Wars film that is currently slated for 2025. Taika Waititi is certainly no stranger to the galaxy far, far away since he directed The Mandalorian season 1 finale. The director also voiced the droid, IG-11 for multiple episodes of the Disney+ series. Acquiring Waititi is a major win for Lucasfilm, especially in the eyes of fans that need to be won over after the mixed reception following the end of the Skywalker Saga.
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
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