Taika Waititi: Thor director's next step as Kiwi admits he’s not coming back for ‘Thor 5’
What has Kiwi director Taika Waititi got in store after the revelation he won’t be coming back to direct the next chapter in the Thor series?
It’s news that perhaps has come as a surprise for some; the revelation that New Zealand director Taika Waititi will not return to the film franchise that made him even more celebrated in Hollywood. That first celebration easily goes to when he was nominated for the Oscar for Academy Award for Best Live-Action Short Film with ‘Two Cars, One Night.’
In an interview with Business Insider, Waititi addressed the discussion of directing a third Thor movie, following on from the successes of his last two - ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ and ‘Thor: Love and Thunder.’ “I wouldn’t know if that’s accurate,” Waititi said in response to questions about Marvel beginning work on Thor 5. “I know that I won’t be involved. I’m going to concentrate on these other films that I’ve signed on for.”
“I love Marvel; I love working with them. I love Chris [Hemsworth],” he said. “I would never feel like they are cheating on me. We’re in an open relationship, and it’s like if they want to see other people, I’m happy for that. I’d still get back into bed with them one day.”
Currently, it seems that Waititi is ‘all in’ with a forthcoming movie in the Star Wars universe he’s been roped in to create, with a suggestion he is pouring his creative efforts into that at the ‘expense’ of a follow-up to Thor. However, he has also mentioned an interest in eschewing the bigger budget films for a return to something a little bit more low-key. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter at the premiere of ‘Next Goal Wins’ in Los Angeles, he told reporters “I’m a bit fatigued by working on those big films, studio films, which is why I’ve come back to do smaller films like this; my next film will be a smaller one.”
So what could be next for Taika? Will he return to low-key movie-making before embarking on the juggernaut that is the ‘Star Wars’ franchise? Will he look to continue to produce television and film much like his production credits on FX’s ‘Reservation Dogs’? Or given that his starring role in Max’s ‘Our Flag Means Death’ has once again earned rave reviews after the second season’s conclusion, are there more acting roles on the horizon for the Kiwi?
We’ve ruled out ‘Thor 5’ and it would be safe to say from his comments that the next ‘big’ film that he’s going to be working on is in the ‘Star Wars’ universe, but IMDB offers a few more ideas as to what Waititi might be up to next. That website lists that he has six directorial credits coming up before 2026’s ‘Star Wars’ film - that includes an episode of the television adaptation of Terry Gilliam’s cult classic ‘Time Bandits,’ alongside ‘Tower of Terror,’ ‘The Incal,’ ‘Klara and The Sun’ and ‘Interior Chinatown.’
There is one film though that Waititi has seen his name persistently associated with, one that we hope has a budget to rival anything from the ‘Star Wars’ or MCU universe. It would appear that there is still discussion surrounding a live-action adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo’s iconic manga ‘Akira,’ which has been in production hell for years. In April 2023, Waititi confirmed that he would be looking to work on the film after the completion of his ‘Star Wars’ feature, from a script he co-wrote with Michael Golamc and produced by Leonardo DiCaprio.
Could Taika take this time to act a little more? He’s been outstanding in both seasons of Max’s ‘Our Flag Means Death’ alongside Rhys Darby, portraying Blackbeard and coming to terms with his emotions as a pirate fallen in love with what appears to be a polar opposite. He was also a scene-stealer in the Ryan Reynolds film ‘Free Guy,’ playing the villainous boss of a video game company and lovingly chewing up any chance he had on screen with typical Waititian aplomb.
IMDB suggests that there are no acting roles on the horizon, however, the creative genius has a knack for appearing in his own films; be it as a priest in ‘Hunt For The Wilderpeople’ or as an absentee father in the fantastic ‘Boy.’ He’s certainly come a long way from his acting debut back in New Zealand, in the Dunedin-based comedy-thriller ‘Scarfies.’
Maybe Taika might take a break between films and concentrate on his production credits instead. He is currently an executive producer for the aforementioned ‘Reservations Dogs’ and another FX comedy, ‘What We Do In The Shadows’ (which he created alongside ‘Flight of the Conchords’ member Jemaine Clement). His name appears next to three movies IMDB has stated he will be working on; ‘Time Bandits,’ ‘Klara and The Sun’ and ‘Interior Chinatown.’
But alongside those forthcoming production credits, Waititi is also involved in ‘We’re Wolves,’ a third spin-off from the ‘What We Do In The Shadows’ franchise after the release of ‘Wellington Paranormal,’ and also a production credit for ‘The Mountain,’ a feature film directed by long-time Waititi collaborator Rachel House.