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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Sam Mendes scores top prize at Directors Guild of America Awards

Sam Mendes cemented his status as Oscars frontrunner by taking home the top prize at the 2020 Directors Guild of America (DGA) Awards on Saturday for his war epic 1917.The filmmaker’s latest movie beat Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite, Quentin Tarantino’s Once …

Sam Mendes cemented his status as Oscars frontrunner by taking home the top prize at the 2020 Directors Guild of America (DGA) Awards on Saturday for his war epic 1917.

The filmmaker’s latest movie beat Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite, Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit, and Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman to win the Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film award.

His victory comes hot off his success at the Producers Guild Awards (PGA) last weekend, meaning he has now secured his status as the one to beat for the Best Director prize at the Academy Awards on 9 February. The last six winners of the main DGA prize have gone on to win the Oscar.

Accepting the DGA honour, Mendes thanked his late grandfather, whose wartime stories inspired the film, and dedicated his win to his young daughter Phoebe.

“My grandfather inspired this film, and he made me when I was 12 sign a contract promising I would write a novel by the age of 18,” he said. “Obviously, I’m not a freak, so I didn’t do that, but I did do this.”

According to Deadline, Mendes told reporters backstage the win meant a lot to him.

“It’s voted for by people who know exactly what I do and that makes a huge difference. For me the whole event was moving,” the 54-year-old commented.

Other DGA winners included Alma Har’el, who won the Outstanding Directorial Achievement of a First-Time Feature Film Director award for Honey Boy, and Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert, who were also honoured for their Netflix documentary movie, American Factory.

In the TV categories, Bill Hader took home the Comedy Series prize for Barry, Johan Renck was recognised for Chernobyl in the TV Movie/Limited Series category, and Nicole Kassell won for her episode of Watchmen in Dramatic Series.

Mendes previously won the DGA honour in 1999 for American Beauty.

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Taika Waititi toned down Jojo Rabbit ‘so young people could watch’

Taika Waititi was determined to tone down Jojo Rabbit so that children would be able to watch it.The satirical World War II movie, starring Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell and Rebel Wilson, also features a predominantly young cast, due to the titular …

Taika Waititi was determined to tone down Jojo Rabbit so that children would be able to watch it.

The satirical World War II movie, starring Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell and Rebel Wilson, also features a predominantly young cast, due to the titular character, who is played by 12-year-old Roman Griffin Davis, being a member of the Hitler Youth.

And the New Zealand filmmaker was keen to ensure that kids the same age as his cast members would be able to engage with the critically acclaimed movie.

“We made a real effort to make the film PG, so that young people could see it,” he told Variety. “Roman Griffin Davis showed the film to a bunch of his classmates back in London, and one of his friends said, ‘This is a film about a kid learning to think for himself.’

“And I think that’s really the ultimate goal, to try and influence people into thinking for themselves, and also thinking from the perspective of tolerance and love.”

The movie, which follows the story of Jojo as he discovers his mother has been hiding a Jewish girl in their attic, has recently been nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Film Editing.

And Waititi was full of praise for Johansson, who received a Best Supporting Actress nod for her portrayal of Jojo’s mother Rosie.

“She was incredible and brought something to it that really elevated the whole thing to a level that I’d never even considered,” he said. “And I think that it’s probably the best version of Scarlett that I’ve ever seen.”

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Taika Waititi in talks to direct new Star Wars movie – report

Taika Waititi has reportedly been approached by Lucasfilm bosses to direct a new Star Wars movie.The filmmaker is in negotiations to join the as-yet-untitled project after he wraps production on Thor: Love and Thunder for Marvel Studios, according to e…

Taika Waititi has reportedly been approached by Lucasfilm bosses to direct a new Star Wars movie.

The filmmaker is in negotiations to join the as-yet-untitled project after he wraps production on Thor: Love and Thunder for Marvel Studios, according to editors at The Hollywood Reporter.

Waititi is no stranger to the sci-fi franchise, as he directed the last episode of The Mandalorian for Disney+, which was well-received by audiences.

The New Zealander also voiced the bounty hunter IG-11 on the show, which starred Pedro Pascal as the titular character, and saw the debut of the viral sensation, Baby Yoda.

Back in October, Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss abandoned their planned Star Wars trilogy in favour of developing projects at Netflix, leaving the future of the iconic sci-fi saga in doubt.

Negotiations are in the early stages, and it’s not yet known if the Star Wars movie will be for the big screen, or for Disney’s newly launched streaming service.

Waititi, 44, recently landed six Academy Award nominations for his critically-acclaimed World War II satire Jojo Rabbit, including Best Picture, and has just finished production on sports comedy Next Goal Wins, starring Michael Fassbender.

He is also attached to direct Warner Bros.’ live-action adaptation of Akira, a Japanese cyberpunk manga comic book series, and is currently preparing to start filming on the fourth movie in the hugely successful Thor franchise.

Chris Hemsworth will be reprising his role as the Norse god for the Marvel blockbuster, alongside Tessa Thompson, Natalie Portman, and rumoured newcomer Christian Bale, who may be playing a villain.

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Taika Waititi: ‘Michael Fassbender is a comic revelation’

Taika Waititi believes Michael Fassbender should stop doing dramas because he is a “comic revelation”.The New Zealand filmmaker has completed production on the upcoming sports comedy Next Goal Wins, which follows the true story of unorthodox Dutch-Amer…

Taika Waititi believes Michael Fassbender should stop doing dramas because he is a “comic revelation”.

The New Zealand filmmaker has completed production on the upcoming sports comedy Next Goal Wins, which follows the true story of unorthodox Dutch-American coach Thomas Rongen, played by Fassbender, who tries to help the American Samoa football team, considered one of the weakest football teams in the world, qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup tournament.

And Waititi is overjoyed with the movie, which also stars Elisabeth Moss, Armie Hammer, and Rhys Darby, and told Deadline that it was one of the best experiences of his life.

“It’s one of the happiest shoots I’ve ever been on. It’s a 99 per cent Polynesian cast; Michael Fassbender is a comic revelation,” he shared. “I think he should just stop doing dramas from now on because he’s so funny, and so good at improvising. To me, it was a real revelation.”

The 44-year-old, who recently landed two Academy Award nominations for his satire Jojo Rabbit, co-wrote the screenplay with Iain Morris, and filming took place in Hawaii last year.

Waititi also shared that shooting Next Goal Wins, which is based on the 2014 documentary of the same name, was a totally different experience to that of his upcoming Thor blockbuster.

“With the Thor film, I can’t share much, for obvious reasons. We’re going to be writing all the way up until we shoot, and then throughout the shoot,” he explained.

Chris Hemsworth is reprising his role as the Norse god for Thor: Love and Thunder, alongside Tessa Thompson and Natalie Portman, while Christian Bale is rumoured to be playing the villain.

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Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino land Directors Guild nominations

Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino have been nominated for the top honour at the 2020 Directors Guild of America (DGA) awards. The veteran filmmaker has received a nomination for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Theatrical Feature Film for 20…

Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino have been nominated for the top honour at the 2020 Directors Guild of America (DGA) awards.

The veteran filmmaker has received a nomination for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Theatrical Feature Film for 2019 for his gangster epic The Irishman and faces competition from Tarantino for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Bong Joon-Ho for South Korean thriller Parasite, Sam Mendes for one-take war movie 1917, and Taika Waititi for Jojo Rabbit.

Four of the nominees were also nominated for Best Director at the Golden Globes and BAFTAs, while Joker filmmaker Todd Phillips, who received recognition from BAFTA and the Globes, is surprisingly absent from the shortlist and has been replaced by Waititi. Mendes took home the directing prize at the Globes on Sunday.

The five DGA nominees don’t always line up with the five Oscar nominees for Best Director, but the last six winners of the main DGA prize – most recently, Roma’s Alfonso Cuaron and The Shape of Water’s Guillermo del Toro – have gone on to win the Academy Award.

During the DGA ceremony, which takes place on 25 January, a first-time film director will also receive an award. The nominees for Outstanding Directorial Achievement of a First-Time Feature Film Director for 2019 include Mati Diop, who became the first black woman to direct a film featured In Competition at the Cannes Film Festival last year with Atlantics, Alma Har’el for Shia LaBeouf’s biopic Honey Boy, Melina Matsoukas for Queen & Slim, Joe Talbot for The Last Black Man in San Francisco, and Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz for The Peanut Butter Falcon.

On Tuesday, the Producers Guild of America (PGA) also announced their nominations. The Irishman, 1917, Parasite, Jojo Rabbit, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood are all up for The Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures, alongside Ford v Ferrari, Joker, Knives Out, Little Women, and Marriage Story.

The winner will be announced on 18 January.

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Christian Bale in talks to join Thor: Love and Thunder – report

Christian Bale is reportedly in negotiations to appear in Thor: Love and Thunder.The Oscar-winning actor is in talks with Marvel bosses to play an as-yet-unknown character in the fourth instalment of the superhero franchise, which sees Chris Hemsworth …

Christian Bale is reportedly in negotiations to appear in Thor: Love and Thunder.

The Oscar-winning actor is in talks with Marvel bosses to play an as-yet-unknown character in the fourth instalment of the superhero franchise, which sees Chris Hemsworth reprising his role as the titular Norse god, according to editors at Collider.

Taika Waititi is also returning to direct the sequel, after his huge success with Thor: Ragnarok back in 2017. Production is set to start later this summer.

Should the deal go ahead, Thor: Love and Thunder will be Bale’s first comic book movie since his final turn as Batman/Bruce Wayne in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises in 2012.

Since the news broke, Marvel fans have speculated on social media that the 45-year-old could be playing Beta Ray Bill, who first appeared in Marvel comics as Thor’s adversary in 1983, and shares similar strength to the superhero.

Meanwhile, Thor comics writer Jason Aaron suggested that Bale should portray Dario Agger, the vicious chief executive of the Roxxon Corporation.

“You know who’s got my vote. ‘Who Is Christian Bale Playing in THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER?'” he wrote on Twitter, alongside an illustration of the character.

Marvel representatives have not yet to commented on the report.

Tessa Thompson will also be reprising her Thor: Ragnarok role as Valkyrie in Love and Thunder, while Natalie Portman will return to the franchise as Dr. Jane Foster and take on the mantle of The Mighty Thor in the fourth instalment.

Thor: Love and Thunder is set for release in November 2021.

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Taika Waititi had ‘no concerns’ about making Jojo Rabbit

Taika Waititi didn’t have “any worries or concerns” making Jojo Rabbit despite the film’s divisive nature.The Thor: Ragnarok filmmaker wrote, directed, produced and stars in the comedy-drama, which follows Jojo, a young boy who idolises Adolf H…

Taika Waititi didn’t have “any worries or concerns” making Jojo Rabbit despite the film’s divisive nature.

The Thor: Ragnarok filmmaker wrote, directed, produced and stars in the comedy-drama, which follows Jojo, a young boy who idolises Adolf Hitler, as he discovers his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their house.

Despite its content, Waititi doesn’t believe his film is actually controversial and had no doubts while making it.

“I haven’t had any worries or concerns making this. A lot of people ask if I should be very nervous. I never really felt nervous at all,” he told Uproxx. “It’s not a controversial film! It’s not massively challenging to people just because it’s got some jokes and me doing Hitler. It’s not a film that’s like bad boy’s cinema. Like, ‘We need boobs.’ Or, ‘Oh yeah, we need all the attention because we’re going to do stuff just for shock value. We want the crazy press.’ No, we don’t. We just don’t like that kind of attention.”

The director also portrayed Hitler as the imaginary friend of Jojo in the film because he was convinced another actor would have “overthought” the part and done “too much research” into the dictator, when that wasn’t required as the depiction of him is “silly”.

“I just realised I didn’t want to do any research on this guy. I was just going to put the moustache on because I’m not playing him. I’m playing a 10-year-old in an adult’s body,” the filmmaker explained.

Jojo Rabbit, which also stars Roman Griffin Davis, Scarlett Johansson, and Sam Rockwell, is in cinemas now.

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Taika Waititi ‘didn’t have to do much’ to convince Natalie Portman to return to Thor

Taika Waititi “didn’t have to do much” to convince Natalie Portman to return for the fourth Thor movie.Back in July, it was announced that the Oscar-winning actress was reprising her role as Dr. Jane Foster in Thor: Love and Thunder, which will be co-w…

Taika Waititi “didn’t have to do much” to convince Natalie Portman to return for the fourth Thor movie.

Back in July, it was announced that the Oscar-winning actress was reprising her role as Dr. Jane Foster in Thor: Love and Thunder, which will be co-written and directed by the New Zealand filmmaker.

It was later confirmed that Portman would become The Mighty Thor in the upcoming instalment of the hugely successful Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise, which is led by Chris Hemsworth, who plays the eponymous God of Thunder.

And Waititi explained that he had an easy job persuading the 38-year-old to come back to Thor, after her character was notably missing from 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok.

“I mean, I didn’t have to do much. And, I think for her it was about making the character interesting. And I think especially when you’re playing ‘an Earthling who’s just into science’ in one of these big movies, it kind of gets a bit sort of, you know…” he told Uproxx. “After doing that for two movies, you want to do something different.”

Waititi also suggested that Portman wanted to revisit her character in Thor: Love and Thunder as she finally gets to wield the powerful hammer Mjolnir.

“I think for her, the thing that might’ve been attractive about this is being able to step it up and be a superhero. And I’d rather her do that than play a scientist. And it’s also from the comics as well. So it’s not something we made up,” he added.

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