At Star Wars Celebration London, Lucasfilm President Kathy Kennedy announced the next era of Star Wars theatrical films, with projects directed by James Mangold (about the dawn of the Jedi), Dave Filoni (about the Mandoverse), and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (on the new Jedi Order).
That’s plenty to keep them busy for years, but that’s not to say that those are the only projects being discussed. Over the past several years there have been several other projects either formally announced or rumored, and for various reasons a number of them haven’t materialized. But there are at least two of them that were announced that haven’t been entirely shelved. When asked about it at Celebration, Kennedy told Variety that she’d still love to see Rian Johnson and Taika Waititi make a movie.
“Rian and I talk all the time,” Kennedy said. “He is unbelievably busy. So we’re not actively involved in anything at the moment because he’s doing another one of the ‘Glass Onion’ movies and then God knows what else. But he really wants to step back into the space. It’s a big commitment of time, so that’s really on him.”
That’s been the theme almost every time that either Johnson or Kennedy have been asked about it, as both sides continue to express (1) how they’re still very much connected, (2) how they’d still very much like to collaborate on another film, and (3) how it really comes down to when (or whether) Johnson is ready to commit the amount of time needed to make a Star Wars movie. He certainly knows what that entails, having directed The Last Jedi, which was one of the most critically acclaimed movies in the franchise’s history. Since then, he’s written and directed Knives Out and Glass Onion, earning Academy Award nominations for the screenplay for both of them. He’s got a massive Netflix deal for the Knives Out world of films and is working on more, so he’s keeping quite busy.
The same is true for Taika Waititi, but it sounds like he’s also actively working on his Star Wars project, which was officially announced in 2020 but has since slowed a bit. He’s been working on other things, but he’s still also working on his Star Wars film to try to get the story right.
“Taika is still working away,” Kennedy said. “He’s writing the script himself. He doesn’t really want to bring others into that process and I don’t blame him. He has a very, very unique voice. So we want to protect that and that’s what he’s doing. But we’re going to make that one day.”
Kennedy sounds a lot more confident in that one happening, as instead of it being the hope of doing it (like with Johnson) there’s the confidence that it will happen. And perhaps it will help having these other three movies moving full speed ahead, as that allows Waititi the time to really develop this story and this film without being rushed.