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Taika Waititi tapped to direct new Star Wars movie

Academy Award winner Taika Waititi will direct and co-write a new Star Wars movie, Disney and Lucasfilm announced on Monday.

The Jojo Rabbit writer and director is no stranger to the Star Wars universe, having already directed the season 1 finale of The Mandalorian. The announcement of his attachment to the project was made on Star Wars Day, which is celebrated by fans of the sci-fi saga each year on May 4.

According to StarWars.com1917 and Last Night in Soho screenwriter Krysty Wilson-Cairns will join Waititi in penning the script for the Star Wars film, which has not been given a release date at this point.

The film will, however, receive a theatrical release and not be released directly to the Disney+ streaming service.

Waititi’s attachment to an upcoming Star Wars movie was first reported back in January, and official confirmation of the project was accompanied by confirmation of another rumored project, too.

Waititi — who has become one of Hollywood’s most sought after directors — rose to stardom after his turn behind the wheel as director of Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok, which transformed one of the MCU’s more melodramatic heroes into a comedic goofball to the delight of audiences and critics.

His skills directing both comedic and heartfelt, earnest moments make him an enticing choice to bring something new to Star Wars’ next film. While Disney’s The Mandalorian was a certified hit, the last theatrical release, The Rise of Skywalker, was met with tepid reviews and lukewarm audience reaction. It became the least profitable of Disney’s Star Wars sequel trilogy, according to Deadline.

Following an unconfirmed April report that Russian Doll creator and showrunner Leslye Headland was developing a new Star Wars series, Disney and Lucasfilm announced that series is headed to Disney+.

Although no premiere date was given for the project, it will join the three Star Wars series already in the works for the streaming service: The Mandalorian (which will return for a second season in October), the untitled Obi-Wan Kenobi series, and an untitled series based on actor Diego Luna’s Rogue One character, Cassian Andor.

Both the Obi-Wan series and the Cassian Andor series are currently on hold in various stages of development and production due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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