Taika Waititi has been named as the director of a new Star Wars movie.
Executives announced that the New Zealand-born filmmaker would be heading to a galaxy far, far away on Monday, with Waititi to co-write the next instalment in the iconic sci-fi franchise with Krysty Wilson-Cairns.
It’s the first official feature film to be confirmed by Disney and Lucasfilm after Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss walked away from their deal to direct a Star Wars trilogy last October.
It was first reported back in January that the 44-year-old, who directed the season finale of the Disney+ Star Wars spin-off series The Mandalorian, had been tapped to helm one of the three as-yet-untitled movies, but Waititi was previously coy when he was quizzed about the speculation.
“I think people see me hanging out with people, especially with Star Wars, and think I’m having some big discussions about it. I would f**king love to… If it was right. I would want to do any kind of movie if it made sense, and if it felt not like career suicide,” he told Variety.
However, Waititi took to Instagram on Monday to confess he’d been lying all along.
“Guess it wasn’t a rumour after all. Psyyyych! #maythe4thbewithyou,” he wrote, alongside a report confirming his involvement in the much-loved saga.
And celebrities including James Gunn, Rebel Wilson, and Kate Beckinsale were quick to offer their congratulations to the Thor: Ragnarok moviemaker, with Michael B. Jordan jokingly commenting: “Yea yea look at me I’m a big successful talented man from New Zealand and I can’t stop making great movies I (me) love to watch!! Haha boo hoo I’m so happy for you (seriously).”
While Charlize Theron humorously added: “Whatever.”
Disney and Lucasfilm also confirmed that an untitled Star Wars TV series is in the works at their new streaming service Disney+, with Netflix’s Russian Doll co-creator Leslye Headland involved.
The three untitled Star Wars movies are due to be released in 2022, 2024, and 2026.
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