Why The Mandalorian’s Taika Waititi Isn’t Returning To The Director’s Chair For Season 2

Taika Waititi as IG-11 on The Mandalorian

Taika Waititi has quickly emerged as one of the most sought-after directors working in Hollywood. The New Zealand filmmaker, who recently picked up his first Oscar win, has been in the business for a while but has just now started to emerge as an influential force in the industry. As such, he’s been consumed with a number of projects, and fans have been wondering if one of these was an episode of The Mandalorian Season 2. Unfortunately, Waititi didn’t return to direct, but he has a good reason for it.

Taika Waititi recently did a commentary for Thor: Ragnarok on Instgram Live, during which he answered various questions from fans. When asked about a possible return to The Mandalorian, Waititi explained that he was unable to return for the second season due to his latest film project:

I’m not directing any of the episodes of The Mandalorian because I was doing another film, a soccer film with Michael Fassbender. After Jojo Rabbit I decided to make a sports film, something I’ve never done, about a sport I knew nothing about and I still don’t.

Hearing that Taika Waititi won’t be helming a Season 2 episode of The Mandalorian is honestly disappointing. Waititi directed the first season’s finale and managed to end things on a relatively high note. He, along with creator and showrunner Jon Favreau, created a new fan-favorite character in IG-11. Yet it would be hard to find free time when you have a jam-packed schedule like his.

Waititi was just one in a murderer’s row of talent that Jon Favreau brought in to direct during the first season. Other notable directors include Dope’s Rick Famuyiwa, actress Bryce Dallas Howard, Star Wars vet Dave Filoni and Deborah Chow, who will next helm the Obi-Wan limited series.

Like Waititi, some of the directors also scored roles in front of the camera as well – albeit in a smaller capacity than Waititi’s. Famuyiwa, Chow and Filoni all guest-starred in the sixth episode of New Republic X-Wing fighters.

Lucasfilm is keeping details on the newest season of The Mandalorian extremely close to the vest. Production on the newest set of episodes has been completed, but nothing was leaked from the set.

However, it was recently reported that Rosario Dawson would be joining the cast as Jedi and Rebel Alliance leader Ahsoka Tano. Neither Disney or Lucasfilm have confirmed or denied the casting, but fans are still speculating on how Ahsoka could play into the new season. If she does actually appear, her presence could have something to do with the Force-sensitive Baby Yoda.

Even though Taika Waititi didn’t come back for Season 2 of The Mandalorian, it’s very likely Jon Favreau has found another big name or two to fill the void, meaning fans still have reason to be excited. We’ll see who ended up sitting in the director’s chair when The Mandalorian returns for its second season this fall on Disney+.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Erik Swann is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He began working with the publication in 2020 when he was hired as Weekend Editor. Today, he continues to write, edit and handle social media responsibilities over the weekend. On weekdays, he also writes TV and movie-related news and helps out with editing and social media as needed. He graduated from the University of Maryland, where he received a degree in Broadcast Journalism. After shifting into multi-platform journalism, he started working as a freelance writer and editor before joining CB. Covers superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. He eats more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.