Taika Waititi to direct new Star Wars movie

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 franc…

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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Taika Waititi impressed by Mark Ruffalo’s commitment to Hulk role

Taika Waititi was impressed by Mark Ruffalo’s commitment to fully immersing himself in the role of the Hulk.The three-time Oscar nominee reprised his role as Dr. Bruce Banner and his powerful green alter ego for the 2017 Marvel movie Thor: Ragnarok, in…

Taika Waititi was impressed by Mark Ruffalo’s commitment to fully immersing himself in the role of the Hulk.

The three-time Oscar nominee reprised his role as Dr. Bruce Banner and his powerful green alter ego for the 2017 Marvel movie Thor: Ragnarok, in which he starred alongside Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, and Tessa Thompson.

And the New Zealand native filmmaker was wowed by Ruffalo’s decision to perform all the motion capture work himself, rather than relying on a stand-in.

“He has very strong opinions about what Hulk would say and how he would say it,” Waititi told Variety. “People assume, ‘Oh, well it’s a CGI character. Why would an actor do the movements?’ But he insisted on doing all the work in motion capture…. All of that stuff is him, dressed in those ridiculous pyjamas that you have to wear with ping-pong balls on his head.”

While the third instalment of the Thor franchise saw Hemsworth reveal a more comic side to the Norse god, Waititi was also excited for Ruffalo to explore how Hulk had finally gained control and overtaken nerdy scientist Banner.

“He wanted to show that Hulk was driving the vehicle and Banner was left in the trunk,” he explained.

Ruffalo recently teased the idea of reprising his role as the Hulk, after it was revealed in Avengers: Endgame that Hulk and Banner had learnt to co-exist as a half-man, half huge green superhero.

“There’s nothing completely at a place where it’s a done deal,” he teased. “If we come up with something good, that would be really interesting.”

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Taika Waititi using lockdown to work on Thor: Love and Thunder script

Taika Waititi is using the Covid-19 lockdown to work on the script for Thor: Love and Thunder.The fourth instalment in the Marvel franchise has been delayed due to the global pandemic, which has forced Hollywood to shut down production on movies includ…

Taika Waititi is using the Covid-19 lockdown to work on the script for Thor: Love and Thunder.

The fourth instalment in the Marvel franchise has been delayed due to the global pandemic, which has forced Hollywood to shut down production on movies including The Batman, Jurassic World: Dominion, and Cinderella.

However, as countries around the world impose strict restrictions on people’s movement to stop the spread of the virus, Waititi is using his time in self-isolation to tweak the script for his follow-up to 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok.

“There are a few positive things I can take away (from the crisis). One of them is that a lot of these films, and films in general, are rushed, or you don’t have as much time as you’d want to have on the script and things like that,” the 44-year-old told Total Film magazine.

Waititi added that he was confident his script, which he has co-written with Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, will be better than ever as he has more time to tinker with it.

“We’re still writing Love and Thunder, and I think it’s good to just keep writing, and then you know, we’ll have a really, really good script. And with writing, especially, you should use as much of that time as possible to get your story right, because you never really get it later on,” the Jojo Rabbit filmmaker shared. “Film is an industry where you’re always complaining about not having enough time. I think, right now, we’ve given ourselves a huge amount of time to work on all sort of things, so we may as well use it.”

Chris Hemsworth will reprise his role as the Norse god, alongside Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, and Marvel Cinematic Universe newcomer Christian Bale, in Thor: Love and Thunder, which has been moved from its original release date of November 2021 to 18 February 2022.

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Spider-Man 3 and Doctor Strange 2 release dates pushed back

The upcoming instalments in the Spider-Man and Doctor Strange franchises have both been pushed back by four months due to the coronavirus pandemic.Sony executives announced a further reshuffle of their release date calendar on Friday and revealed that …

The upcoming instalments in the Spider-Man and Doctor Strange franchises have both been pushed back by four months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sony executives announced a further reshuffle of their release date calendar on Friday and revealed that the follow-up to Spider-Man: Homecoming and Far From Home, starring Tom Holland, had been moved to 5 November 2021 from its original date of 16 July 2021, while the sequel to the animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse had been postponed by six months to October 2022.

On the same day, Disney bosses made more changes to their schedule, announcing that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the sorcerer, would no longer be coming to cinemas on 5 November 2021, but on 25 March 2022. They have also decided to move up Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder by a week in February 2022.

In addition, Paramount officials confirmed that they are delaying the release of the seventh and eighth Mission: Impossible movies, starring Tom Cruise. The crew was preparing to film in Venice, Italy when the pandemic hit and they were forced to halt production. The seventh, which was due to be released on 23 July 2021, will now debut four months later on 19 November 2021, while the eighth will come out on 4 November 2022.

Elsewhere in release date news, Tom Holland’s much-delayed video game adaptation Uncharted has been brought forward from October 2021 to July 2021, Kevin Hart and Woody Harrelson’s comedy Man From Toronto has been shifted from this November to September 2021, Chris Pratt’s post-apocalyptic thriller The Tomorrow War will now open on 23 July 2021, and the Paw Patrol movie will debut on 20 August 2021.

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Chris Hemsworth teases ‘pretty insane’ Thor: Love and Thunder script

Chris Hemsworth has promised fans the script for Thor: Love and Thunder is “pretty insane”.The Australian star is reprising his role as the Norse god for the fourth instalment in the Marvel franchise, and in an interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer,…

Chris Hemsworth has promised fans the script for Thor: Love and Thunder is “pretty insane”.

The Australian star is reprising his role as the Norse god for the fourth instalment in the Marvel franchise, and in an interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer, revealed that director Taika Waititi, who helmed Thor: Ragnarok, has pulled no punches this time around.

“It’s one of the best scripts I’ve read in years. It’s Taika at his most extreme, and at his best. If the version I read is the one we get running with, it’s going to be pretty insane,” the 36-year-old told the publication.

The coronavirus outbreak has cast a shadow of doubt on the future of the blockbuster, which also features Tessa Thompson, Natalie Portman, and Christian Bale, as production was due to begin this summer.

But Waititi recently spoke about Thor: Love and Thunder in an Instagram Live Q&A with Thompson, and told followers that the comic book adaptation makes Thor: Ragnarok look “safe”.

“There’s so many great, great things in it,” he shared. “It’s so over the top now, in the very best way. It makes Ragnarok look like a really run-of-the-mill, very safe film.”

The filmmaker joked: “This new film feels like we asked 10 year olds what should be in a movie, and then we said yes to every single thing. Space sharks, if you know anything about the comics… That’s all I’m gonna say… Space sharks.”

Thor: Love and Thunder is slated for release in U.S. cinemas in February 2022.

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Taika Waititi: ‘Thor: Love and Thunder isn’t a run-of-the-mill movie’

Taika Waititi teased details about his upcoming movie Thor: Love and Thunder during an Instagram Live screening party on Thursday.The actor and filmmaker took to the platform to provide some light relief for fans amid the coronavirus lockdown, and was …

Taika Waititi teased details about his upcoming movie Thor: Love and Thunder during an Instagram Live screening party on Thursday.

The actor and filmmaker took to the platform to provide some light relief for fans amid the coronavirus lockdown, and was joined by Valkyrie actress Tessa Thompson for a Thor: Ragnarok viewing session.

After the screening, the celebrated star hinted at some details about the sequel, Thor: Love and Thunder, telling fans they are about four or five drafts into the writing process and insisting the sequel isn’t going to be a “run-of-the-mill” movie.

He joked: “It’s like 10-year-olds told us what should be in a movie and we said yes to every single thing.”

Tessa, who previously said she wants Valkyrie to be one of the first LGBTQ+ characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), added that she’s also read the latest draft.

Elsewhere, Taika confirmed his character Korg won’t have a romantic interest in the sequel because he was “deeply in love and lost that love along the line”, adding, “He doesn’t feel brave enough to find love again”.

However, he did reveal that Krog’s Kronan culture will be revealed and suggested the Space Sharks, also known as Starsharks, which appear in the original comic book series, will feature.

Viewers also got a surprise during the party when actor Mark Ruffalo, who plays Hulk, joined the session for a brief chat with his pal.

Thor: Love and Thunder is currently scheduled to hit theatres on 18 February, 2022.

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Vin Diesel reveals Guardians of the Galaxy characters will appear in Thor: Love and Thunder

Vin Diesel has revealed that the characters from the Guardians of the Galaxy movies will feature in the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder.The team of superhero misfits, led by Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill, were last seen in Avengers: Endgame, jetting off wi…

Vin Diesel has revealed that the characters from the Guardians of the Galaxy movies will feature in the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder.

The team of superhero misfits, led by Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill, were last seen in Avengers: Endgame, jetting off with the Norse god, who jokingly christened the group the Asgardians of the Galaxy in a cheeky nod to his mystical home.

And Diesel, who voices the extraterrestrial tree-like creature Groot, revealed that director Taika Waititi is planning on including the Guardians in the fourth instalment of Thor’s standalone franchise.

“The director talked to me about Thor will incorporate some of the Guardians of the Galaxy,” the 52-year-old told ComicBook.com. “That’ll be very interesting, nobody knows, maybe I shouldn’t have said anything.”

The Fast & Furious star is currently waiting to reprise his role as Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which was delayed after director James Gunn helmed The Suicide Squad for DC Comics.

“I am waiting and excited for my friend James Gunn to knock this next one out of the park,” Diesel shared. “He took The Suicide Squad so he’s about to embark on it.”

Gunn has told fans during Q&A sessions on his Instagram Stories that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is already written, but hasn’t divulged any information on when production will begin.

Pratt is currently filming Jurassic World: Dominion and production is due to begin on Thor: Love and Thunder this summer, with Chris Hemsworth reprising his role as the Norse god, alongside Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, and franchise newcomer Christian Bale.

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Tessa Thompson confirms Christian Bale will play villain in Thor: Love and Thunder

Tessa Thompson has confirmed that Christian Bale will play the villain in Thor: Love and Thunder.The 36-year-old let the news slip in an interview with Entertainment Tonight on the red carpet of the Westworld season three premiere, and revealed she can…

Tessa Thompson has confirmed that Christian Bale will play the villain in Thor: Love and Thunder.

The 36-year-old let the news slip in an interview with Entertainment Tonight on the red carpet of the Westworld season three premiere, and revealed she can’t wait to work with the Oscar-winning British star, who was rumoured to be joining the project back in January.

“Christian Bale is going to play our villain, which is going to be fantastic,” Tessa shared. “I’ve read the script (but) I can’t tell you much.”

And her co-star Natalie Portman, who returns as Jane Foster in the new movie, is also thrilled about the casting news.

“(There have been) lots of exciting text messages exchanged between Natalie and I. We’re going to have fun,” she added, before teasing more additions to director Taika Waititi’s star-studded cast. “Taika is writing (and) directing. Some familiar faces. Some new people coming into the mix.”

The Creed star, who made her debut as heroine Valkyrie in 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok and reprised her role for last year’s Marvel blockbuster Avengers: Endgame, also revealed she’ll be playing King Valkyrie in the new movie.

“She’s king,” she said. “If she can’t find her queen, she’ll just be king and queen at the same time.”

Taika previously revealed that he shot a scene showing Valkyrie as bisexual for Thor: Ragnarok, but it was cut from the final edit, and he’s since hinted that the character may get a queer storyline in the upcoming film.

Thor: Love and Thunder, also starring Chris Hemsworth, is scheduled to hit theatres in November 2021.

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Taika Waititi wants Tessa Thompson to explore queer Valkyrie in new Thor movie

Taika Waititi hopes Tessa Thompson will get to explore the queer side of her character Valkyrie in Thor: Love and Thunder.The Jojo Rabbit director initially shot a scene showing Valkyrie as bisexual for 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok, but it was cut from the fi…

Taika Waititi hopes Tessa Thompson will get to explore the queer side of her character Valkyrie in Thor: Love and Thunder.

The Jojo Rabbit director initially shot a scene showing Valkyrie as bisexual for 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok, but it was cut from the final edit. However, the Westworld actress later revealed her character was part of the LGBTQ community at a Comic-Con fan event last year.

Speaking to Variety, Taika shared that he would love Tessa to get a queer storyline in the upcoming film, but the decision is ultimately down to Marvel Studios and Disney bosses.

“The IP (intellectual property) is not mine,” he said of whether the character would be explicitly bisexual. “But with the actors, I feel whatever makes them comfortable – whether they feel like there’s a natural choice, or a natural way for that character to go – then I’m pretty supportive. If Tessa wanted to do that, I’m in.”

Thompson told Variety last year that she plays Valkyrie as bisexual but that side of her hasn’t been explored because romance isn’t “at the forefront” of the superhero films.

“In the canon, yeah, she is bisexual. You see her with both women and men, so that was my intention in playing her,” she said, adding that Marvel will be including more overtly LGBTQ characters in “the next phase”.

As for the rest of the movie, which will feature Natalie Portman’s Dr. Jane Foster taking on the mantle of her old love interest, Thor, Taika said fans can expect the unexpected.

“At Marvel, we always change everything,” he explained. “I could say one thing right now, and in two years, it will be the complete opposite – or that thing won’t exist. We continue writing even in post-production.”

Thor: Love and Thunder, starring Chris Hemsworth and rumoured franchise newcomer Christian Bale, debuts in November, 2021.

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Parasite and Jojo Rabbit triumph at Writers Guild of America Awards

Parasite and Jojo Rabbit took home top honours at the Writers Guild of America Awards on Saturday.Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin Won were presented with the prize for Best Original Screenplay at the 72nd annual ceremony for Parasite, making it the first non-…

Parasite and Jojo Rabbit took home top honours at the Writers Guild of America Awards on Saturday.

Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin Won were presented with the prize for Best Original Screenplay at the 72nd annual ceremony for Parasite, making it the first non-English language feature to win a WGA award in history.

“I’d like to share this award with all the nominees tonight and especially it’s such a huge honour to receive this award from (presenter) Kevin Bacon,” the director said during his speech.

Meanwhile, Taika Waititi received the Best Adapted Screenplay prize for Jojo Rabbit from the organisation, which handed out its annual awards at simultaneous shows in Los Angeles and New York.

The film awards, which are traditionally held at the end of the bash, were the first two categories of the night and were announced at the New York ceremony, so that nominees could leave early and head to London for Sunday’s BAFTA Awards, during which Waititi and Joon Ho repeated their screenplay wins.

Over in the WGA TV categories, Succession won the award for Best Drama Series, Barry took home the Comedy Series prize, and Watchmen won for a New Series.

Chernobyl also triumphed, nabbing the Original Long-Form award, while Fosse/Verdon won for a Long-Form Adaptation.

The main list of winners is as follows:

Original Screenplay – Parasite, Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin Won

Adapted Screenplay – Jojo Rabbit, Taika Waititi

Documentary Screenplay – The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley, Alex Gibney

Drama Series – Succession

Comedy Series – Barry

New Series – Watchmen

Original Long Form – Chernobyl

Adapted Long Form – Fosse/Verdon

Original Short Form New Media – Special

Animation – Thanksgiving of Horror (The Simpsons)

Episodic Drama – Tern Haven (Succession)

Episodic Comedy – Pilot (Dead to Me)

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