Director Taika Waititi recently responded to a recent report claiming that he will not only be directing an upcoming Star Wars film, but will also be potentially starring in it.
This report from Variety, was anything but new, it primarily regurgitated well-established information and attempted to frame it as new.
Nevertheless, Adam B. Vary at Variety wrote about Waititi’s Star Wars film, “Filmmaker Taika Waititi continues to work on his possible Star Wars feature, and he would most likely have a part in it as well, similar in prominence to his standout role as an imaginary Adolf Hitler in his Oscar-winning 2019 feature Jojo Rabbit.”
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As noted above, this is anything, but new information. Lucasfilm announced on their official StarWars.com website back in May 2020 that Waititi was tapped to “direct and co-write a new Star Wars feature film for theatrical release.”
This news came after Waititi starred in The Mandalorian as IG-11 and directed a number of episodes of the show’s first season.
Waititi responded to this new report in an interview with Deadline telling the outlet, “Yeah, that rumor’s about three years old. All I’ll say is God forbid I make a Star Wars film about people sitting on mountains playing flutes…”
Deadline’s Dominic Patten then posited, “Well, they kind of went there with the last few Stars Wars movies with Luke Skywalker.” Waititi responded, “Okay, then I won’t do that, for sure.”
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It’s interesting that Waititi claims the rumors about him filming and possibly starring in a Star Wars film are rumors going back three years. That time frame coincides with the official announcement from StarWars.com, meaning one would think it was more than a rumor, and that the film was actually in development at least in some shape or form.
However, given Waititi’s response to this recent report from Variety, it appears the film might not actually be in the cards at all anymore, and might actually be following in the wake of Rian Johnson’s announced trilogy, which has gone absolutely nowhere and for all intents and purposes is dead in the water.
Waititi’s comments about his potential Star Wars film come in the wake of Disney CEO Bob Iger discussing The Walt Disney Company’s new strategies at a Morgan Stanley conference.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Iger said, “I’m really pleased that the support that I’m getting from the content creators of the company is significant and real, and it comes in the form of reducing the expense per content, whether it’s a TV series or a film, where costs have just skyrocketed in a huge way and not a supportable way in my opinion. They all agree to that.”
He went on to reveal he would be also be reducing the amount of TV shows and films the company makes explaining the creators understand “how much volume we need, reducing how much we make. So it’s how much we spend on what we make and how much we make.”
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He reiterated he planned to reduce the amount of content they are producing while also noting they will return to an old way of doing business and licensing their content to other parties, “And as we look to reduce the content that we’re creating for our own platforms, there probably are opportunities to license to third parties.”
He explained, “For a while that was verboten or something we couldn’t possibly do, because we were so favoring our own streaming platforms. But if we get to a point where we need less content for those platforms, and we still have the capability of producing that content, why not use it to grow revenue? And that’s what we would likely do.”
Speaking specifically to Star Wars, Iger intimated the company will be focused on making a quality film, “Star Wars, we made three what we called saga films, which is obviously the successors to George Lucas’ first six. They did very well at the box office — tremendously well as a matter of fact. We’ve made two so-called stand-alones in Rogue One and Solo. Rogue One did quite well, Solo was a little disappointing to us.”
“It gave us pause just to think maybe the cadence was a little too aggressive. And so we decided to pull back a bit. We still are developing Star Wars films. We’re going to make sure that when we make one, that it’s the right one, so we are being very careful there,” he added.
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He made a point to highlight quality saying, “You know, there’s so much consumer choice right now, and it comes back to, What is differentiated? That’s one thing obviously we have talked about, is those brands: Star Wars, Marvel and Disney and Pixar, for instance. But quality is also a differentiator.”
Pointing to HBO, he elaborated, “I think HBO proved that well, you know, in their halcyon days when high-quality programming made a big difference, and not volume. And because the streaming platforms require so much volume, one has to question whether that’s the right direction to go, or if you can be more curated, more — I used the word ‘judicious’ a few times — but I guess, more picky about what you’re making, and to concentrate on quality and not volume.”
What do you make of Waititi’s comments and the future of his previously announced Star Wars film?
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