Exclusive: Taika Waititi Star Wars Movie Is In Serious Trouble

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By Nathan Kamal
| Published

When it was announced in 2020  that Taika Waititi would be directing and writing an upcoming mystery Star Wars project, the news was met with both excitement and surprise. After all, he had just won an Academy Award for Adapted Screenplay for 2019’s Jojo Rabbit (which was also nominated for Best Picture) and had made one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s most odd and exciting movies with Thor: Ragnarok in 2017. In other words, Taika Waititi was an idiosyncratic choice to helm a Star Wars movie. However, according to our trusted and proven sources, the Taika Waititi Star Wars movie has ground to a standstill and is now in development hell. 

Development hell is a loose term for the purgatory that film projects go to when they stop progressing towards production for various reasons. Taika Waititi’s theoretical Star Wars project could have entered this terrible domain for any number of reasons. Maybe script development stalled, either because the director could not get something to his liking or Lucasfilm had too many notes. Maybe Disney isn’t currently apprehensive about the direction of their content from a galaxy far, far away; after all, the last Star Wars feature film was Rise of Skywalker back in 2019. While the movie made money, it was the lowest-grossing installment of the sequel trilogy, plagued by development and production difficulties, and largely reviled by fans. 

Taika Waititi should know better than most what direction Lucasfilm is taking Star Wars in. He directed the first season finale of the Disney+ breakout series The Mandalorian, “Chapter 8: Redemption” and voiced an assassin droid in several episodes. Since the massive success and critical acclaim of The Mandalorian, Lucasfilm seems to be moving more and more toward Star Wars releases via Disney+ shows. Currently, The Book of Boba Fett season two, Andor, The Acolyte, the next season of The Mandalorian, The Bad Batch, a possible second season of Obi-Wan Kenobi, and more are in the works. However, there is nary a Star Wars movie in confirmed production. 

That does not look great for the future of a Taika Waititi Star Wars movie. When he was first hired to write and direct a movie for Lucasfilm, the atmosphere surrounding one of these movies was very different. There have been reports that a Rogue Squadron Star Wars movie from Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins has also stalled out and entered development hell. Regardless of the quality of talent it is hiring, it seems increasingly likely that Lucasfilm and Disney have no plans to actually make another Star Wars movie anytime soon.

Fortunately, even if Taika Waititi never gets to make a Star Wars film, he has plenty on his plate. Around the time it was announced that he would be working for Lucasfilm, he also was reported to be working on a werewolf-themed sequel to his cult hit What We Do in the Shadows. He is also a producer on the FX series adaption of the vampire show, and a co-creator and a producer on Hulu’s massively acclaimed show Reservation Dogs.