Disney is most assuredly in the Taika Waititi business. The director who helped to reshape Marvel Studios’ “Thor” movies is bringing his unique energy to “Star Wars.” While the original announcement that Waititi was going to make a “Star Wars” film first hit in 2020, it looks like the project is being fast tracked.
The news came directly from Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy during Star Wars Celebration. She not only confirmed the project, but said that they were aiming for a late 2023 release.
TotalFilm: There were reports that the next movie will now be Taika Waititi’s Star Wars film. Is that correct?
Kathleen Kennedy: That’s correct.
TotalFilm: Is that aiming for 2023?
Kennedy: Yeah. Well, not 2023, but late 2023.
TotalFilm: The December 2023 release date?
Kennedy: We haven’t locked anything in.
This is both exciting and shocking news to come out for a number of reasons. The biggest of which is that it sounds like we won’t be seeing “Rogue Squadron“ any time soon. The Patty Jenkins film about X-Wing pilots has been missing in action for awhile, but the news makes it clear that there has been no further traction. You probably shouldn’t even ask if Rian Johnson “Star Wars” trilogy will ever see the light of day.
[Editor’s Note: Not at all. Both projects are still being developed. This just means we’ll be seeing Taika’s film before any other movie projects. Expect more news about the feature films during D23.]
The other thing to take away from this announcement is that Disney feels pretty good about “Thor: Love and Thunder.” While that film isn’t out until July 8th, the hype from fans over it is palpable.
Just looking at the trailer for “Thor: Love and Thunder” and it is clear that Waititi is fully capable of doing big budget films that still look visually distinct. Waititi most likely has a blank check to do whatever he wants, and we can’t wait to see what that looks like.