Taika Waititi, director of the Oscar-nominated Jojo Rabbit and the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder, plays coy when asked if there's any truth to murmurs he was "approached" to helm a Star Wars movie. The fan-favorite Thor: Ragnarok filmmaker joined the Star Wars universe in the franchise's first live-action television series, The Mandalorian, where Waititi voiced bounty hunter droid IG-11 before directing the Disney+ series' season finale. The Hollywood Reporter later claimed Disney-owned Lucasfilm was eyeing Waititi for an unspecified Star Wars movie, but when responding to the report, Waititi on Twitter shared the cover of Fleetwood Mac album Rumours without comment.
"Listen, what does 'approached' even mean?" Waititi told Entertainment Tonight when asked to confirm if he was approached by Lucasfilm. "I’ve seen Star Wars, that’s about as far as it got."
When asked about his Star Wars director candidacy in 2017, Waititi quipped he'd be "fired within a week." The filmmaker has been in hot demand even before World War II-set satire Jojo Rabbit scored six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay for Waititi.
Asked about his joke in a 2017 interview with Uproxx, Waititi said he was "just saying I'd be scared I'd be fired."
"Look, I’m not an idiot," Waititi said. "Who would actually say no to Star Wars? Of course, I didn’t send that idea very seriously, it’s more that in light of all the things that were happening over the last couple of months, it would make me a little nervous."
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy later said Waititi possesses "exactly the right sensibility" for a Star Wars film, telling Newshub, "It was very exciting to see him step into the Marvel universe and do such an amazing job with Thor." More recently, Waititi confirmed with Variety he remains interested in helming a Star Wars feature.
"It's one of those experiences that you just know isn't going to happen, so you don't even bother dreaming about it. So when you turn up, you're like, oh, this is a dream I didn't even know I had. And it's come true," Waititi previously told The Star Wars Show of his Star Wars directorial debut in The Mandalorian. "It was just very surreal and strange. We shot the whole thing in a very similar style to the original films. And so that stuff keeps it grounded in the universe. And then you know, we had like a lot of practical effects and a lot of creature design. And all of that — just to be on set around that stuff — there's nothing like it."
The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger in recent months stated Star Wars has been placed on theatrical hiatus, a position he reiterated earlier this week when he said "the priority in the next few years [for Star Wars] is television."
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