Taika Waititi, the New Zealand filmmaker of Jojo Rabbit and Thor: Ragnarok, will direct a new Star Wars film.
Waititi had for months been expected to take the reins of the galaxy far, far away, having already directed the season finale of the Star Wars streaming spinoff The Mandalorian. But the Walt Disney Co. waited until the franchise’s unofficial holiday, May the Fourth, to make Waititi’s hire official.
Waititi will co-write the film with Krysty Wilson-Cains, who wrote the World War I thriller 1917 with Sam Mendes. Both Waititi and Wilson-Cains were screenplay nominees at the Academy Awards earlier this year; Wilson-Cains for the original script to 1917 and Waititi for his adapted Nazi satire Jojo Rabbit. Waititi won.
The announcement potentially suggests the new path forward for Star Wars theatrical films following considerable upheaval in Lucasfilm’s development plans. Last October, Game of Thrones’ David Benioff and D.B. Weiss departed their planned trilogy. Rian Johnson, director of The Last Jedi, was developing a separate trilogy but its status is unclear. Johnson has instead been focused on a sequel to his 2019 film, “Knives Out.”