Star Wars: Taika Waititi Confirms His Film Won't Start Shooting This Year

Thor: Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi is going from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to the Star Wars galaxy, but not in 2022. Waititi, who directed an episode of The Mandalorian before Lucasfilm announced he would helm a theatrically released Star Wars movie in 2020, has updated the status of the still-untitled project telling an original story with new characters outside of the Skywalker Saga. Lucasfilm president and producer Kathleen Kennedy recently suggested Waititi's Star Wars movie might release in December 2023 — marking the franchise's return to theaters for the first time since The Rise of Skywalker in 2019 — but the Thor director confirms cameras won't roll this year. 

"Not this year," Waititi told TheWrap when asked if work will begin soon on his Star Wars movie. "I'm going to be in New Zealand from August until the end of the year with [HBO Max series] Our Flag Means Death and [Apple TV+ pilot] Time Bandits and during that time I will still be writing."

Waititi added: "I'm still trying to figure out what the story is."

During the Star Wars Celebration convention in May, Kennedy said the Star Wars: Rogue Squadron movie from Patty Jenkins has been "pushed off to the side for the moment" at Lucasfilm as the Wonder Woman director continues to develop the script about the new generation of starfighter pilots. That movie was previously dated to open in theaters on Christmas 2023. 

In a May interview with Total Film, Kennedy clarified that Waititi's Star Wars is aiming for "not 2023, but late 2023," nothing Lucasfilm hasn't "locked anything in." After the coronavirus pandemic upset the industry in 2020, Disney set new dates for its slate of Star Wars movies first announced in May 2019. 

Reserved dates include December 22, 2023 (previously dated December 16, 2022), December 19, 2025 (previously dated December 20, 2024), and December 17, 2027 (previously dated December 18, 2026). 

"I'm still writing. I'm still coming up with the ideas and storylining it and just wanted to make sure that it feels like a Star Wars film," Waititi said in a recent interview. "Because, I could say, "Oh yeah, we'll just write any old thing and set in space and then put 'Star Wars' on the front." But it wouldn't be a Star Wars film without certain elements and a certain treatment, so I've just got to make sure that it stays within that wheelhouse."

Following the release of the Obi-Wan Kenobi series on Disney+, future Star Wars titles include the live-action series Andor (August 31 on Disney+), Season 3 of The Mandalorian (February 2023 on Disney+, Ahsoka (TBA), The Acolyte (TBA), and Star Wars: Skeleton Crew (2023 on Disney+).