While 2020 was a downer year for much of the world, there was at least plenty for Taika Waititi be thankful for. Following the confirmation in the previous year that he would return to write, direct, and star in Thor: Love and Thunder, the multi-talented New Zealand-born artist won an Academy Award for his adapted screenplay for Jojo Rabbit, got to be in director James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, and, after helming the Season 1 finale of The Mandalorian, was given the greenlight to make his own feature-length Star Wars installment. That is only a small fraction of the Taika Waititi movies and TV shows fans should look out for.
There is still a little ways to go before we see his triumphant return from behind the camera on his very exciting sequel to Thor: Ragnarok, but there are still a few 2021 movies which will put his on-camera talents on display, which actually includes Thor: Love and Thunder, as well. We will begin shedding light on the future of Taika Waititi the actor, before getting into the future of Taika Waititi the auteur, in the following breakdown of the 10 most notable titles on his to-do list, starting with a different sort of collaboration with a few fellow Marvel stars.
The Suicide Squad - August 6, 2021 (Completed)
As we have rightfully come to expect from Taika Waititi, the man has many action-packed comedy blockbuster on the horizon. Audiences can check him out in The Suicide Squad, a rebootquel(?) to David Ayer's Academy Award winner (for Makeup) in which DC's most notorious villains teamed up to actually do something heroic, this time with Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn at the helm.
Not only is there still not much we can say about the plot of this jam-packed comic book flick, but Taika Waititi's role is also being kept under wraps, which led to rumors suggesting he is voicing King Shark, which comedian Steve Agee has performed the motion capture, before Sylvester Stallone was finally confirmed as the one lending his voice. The Suicide Squad wrapped production in early 2020 and is coming to theaters and will be available to stream on HBO Max Friday, August 6, 2021.
Free Guy - August 13, 2021 (Completed)
In an alternate universe where 2020 was very different, audiences would have already seen this action-packed comedy that, in a way, does partially take place in its own alternate universe. Directed by the versatile Shawn Levy (who has done everything from family films like Night at the Museum to adult dramas like This is Where I Leave You), Free Guy stars Deadpool actor Ryan Reynolds in the title role of a bank teller who becomes aware of the fact that he is really a background character of a video game similar in setting and extreme violence to that of the Grand Theft Auto franchise.
Alongside Jodie Comer, Joe Keery, and Lil Rel Howery in the supporting cast, Taika Waitii appears as Antoine - the ruthless publisher of the video game at the center of the film, Free City. Originally meant to come out in July 2020, the long-delayed release of Free Guy is currently set for August 13, 2021.
What If…? (TV Series) - 2021 (Post-production)
If you needed any further proof as to just how popular Taika Waititi is in the world of geekdom, he is one of the few actors appearing in both the DCEU and the MCU in 2021 alone. However, even saying that is a bit of stretch, to be honest - not necessarily due to any uncertainty over The Suicide Squad's DCEU connections, but because the stories that What If...? will present are not exactly canon.
The upcoming Marvel TV show, coming to Disney+ sometime in the summer of 2021, is an animated anthology series inspired by the comic of the same name which will reimagine key moments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe had things turned out differently for some, such as if Yondu found T'Challa instead of Peter Quill, for instance. Many Marvel actors are returning for What If..? to voice their characters, including Taika Waititi as Korg - his rock-like alien warrior from Thor: Ragnarok.
Thor: Love And Thunder - 2022 (Filming)
Taika Waititi is also reprising the role of Korg in a live-action setting... well, as live-action as the character can be, that is. In fact, the man is pulling triple duty (as co-writer, director, and motion capture performer) for the fourth installment of the God of Thunder's solo franchise, led by Chris Hemsworth, which is about to make history by giving the God of Thunder a familiar new face.
After being notably absent from 2017's Thor: Ragnarok, Natalie Portman is reprising her role as Jane Foster in Thor: Love and Thunder (and on What If...?, too!), in which she will take on the titular Norse God's mantle. The highly-anticipated game-changer of a comic book sequel is currently filming with an also jam-packed cast, including former Batman Christian Bale, Guardians of the Galaxy's Chris Pratt and Karen Gillan, Tessa Thompson, and some amusing cameo appearances that will surely get a laugh when it hits theaters in 2022.
Taika Waititi Movies And TV - Writing/Directing/Producing
Here are the projects the filmmaker is involved in behind the scenes.
Next Goal Wins (Completed)
Taika Waititi's upcoming efforts purely from behind the camera actually outweigh his future acting roles, such as this dramatization of the 2014 documentary of the same name, chronicling the crushing loss of the American Samoa soccer team against Australia at the 2001 World Cup. Despite not yet receiving an official release date, Waititi has reportedly completed Next Goal Wins, which he directed and co-wrote with the What We Do in the Shadows series consulting producer Iain Morris. Armie Hammer, Elisabeth Moss, and Michael Fassbender are among the biggest names in the cast of the humorous sports biopic.
Reservation Dogs (TV Series) - 2021 (Post-Production)
Speaking of What We Do in the Shadows, the vampire comedy's home network, FX, gave a series order in December 2020 to Reservation Dogs - a pilot that Taika Waititi co-created with Sterlin Harjo about four Native American teens who pass time both committing and fighting crime in Oklahoma. The coming of age comedy series, whose title is a play on Quentin Tarantino's 1992 debut feature Reservoir Dogs, stars D'Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai, Devery Jacobs, Paulina Alexis, and Lane Factor as the four young protagonists, and will premiere as part of Hulu's exclusive line-up of FX content sometime in 2021.
Untitled Taika Waititi Star Wars Film - 2025 (Announced)
A long time from now in a galaxy far, far away is when we can expect what is arguably a more highly anticipated directorial effort from Taika Waititi over Thor: Love and Thunder, especially after how well he did on the Season 1 finale of The Mandalorian (for which he also received an Emmy nomination as the voice of IG-11, a bounty hunter droid). The writer and director has actually been hilariously on brand in response to his new Star Wars movie (joking about ruining the franchise on Instagram), which was officially announced in mid-2020 and is currently scheduled for release in 2025. May the force be with him.
Time Bandits (TV Series) - (Announced)
Another sci-fi classic Taika Waititi could be at risk of ruining (I am only kidding) is Time Bandits, a fantasy comedy about a boy who stumbles on an bizarre adventure spanning decades from visionary director Terry Gilliam, who also co-wrote the story with fellow Monty Python alum Michael Palin. A TV show based on the 1981 cult film has been talked about for years, but Waititi will reportedly be the one to write and direct the pilot for Apple TV+, if Gilliam approves of it, that is.
Our Flag Means Death (TV Series) - (Announced)
Believe it or not, Time Bandits is not the only time-spanning TV show that Taika Waititi is reportedly working on for streaming, as he will serve as the executive producer and director for the pilot episode of Our Flag Means Death. Created by People of Earth showrunner David Jenkins, the HBO Max exclusive series will present a comedic take on the true story of Stede Bonnet (who will be played by Rhys Darby - Waititi's What We Do in the Shadows co-star), a rich, dissatisfied landowner who takes up the pirate's life in 1717.
We’re Wolves (Announced)
Rhys Darby's character in What We Do in the Shadows, Anton, is part of a pack of werewolves who, by nature, make enemies with the mockumentary-style horror-comedy's bloodsucking subjects. Taika Waititi and his co-director and co-star for the 2014 cult hit, Jemaine Clement (also known as one half of the folk parody duo Flight of the Conchords), have voiced interest in a follow-up spin-off about the hairy rivals called We're Wolves for years, but according to Darby, the writers' busy schedules have interfered with its development.
In case you were hoping to hear any updates on Taika Waititi's involvement with the new animated Flash Gordon movie or the live-action remake of the anime classic Akira, I am afraid that the former was officially cancelled in 2019 and the director's commitment to the latter has been hazy since it was put on indefinite hold. However, things are still looking pretty good for the ten titles above, even if some have clearly been a greater struggle to achieve than others. Which of these projects are you most confident will be worth the wait?
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Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in almost any article about Batman.