Taika Waititi Reportedly Meets with Marvel to Discuss New Project

Director Taika Waititi attends The Cinema Society's Screening Of Marvel Studios' "Thor: Ragnarok" at the Whitby Hotel on October 30, 2017 in New York City.

Taika Waititi | Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Could Taika Waititi replace James Gunn on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3? As Marvel seeks a new director for the sequel, the Thor: Ragnarok helmer has reportedly sat down with the studio to discuss a new project.

That’s according to a report from The Hollywood Reporter about Vol. 3 being put on hold for the time being. The article notes that it’s unclear what project Waititi recently discussed with Marvel, but it would not be surprising if it were Vol. 3.

After all, when Gunn was fired from the Guardians sequel last month, Waititi’s name was the first one that came to most fans’ minds as a replacement. He recently directed another cosmic Marvel film, Thor: Ragnarok, which utilized humor quite effectively and was almost a full-fledged comedy. So his sensibilities seem like they would be perfect for the next Guardians.

Waititi has also openly discussed the fact that he would like to work with Marvel again.

“I would like to come back and work with Marvel any time, because I think they’re a fantastic studio, and we had a great time working together,” Waititi said last fall. “And they were very supportive of me, and my vision. They kind of gave me a lot of free reign, but also had a lot of ideas as well. A very collaborative company.”

Waititi is currently busy working on Jojo Rabbit, a dark comedy that he wrote, directed, and stars in. That’s shooting right now and will keep him busy for the time being, so when Gunn was initially fired from Guardians, it wasn’t clear whether Waititi would be a viable replacement for a project that was scheduled to begin pre-production in a matter of months.

However, we’re now learning via The Hollywood Reporter that production on Vol. 3 is being placed on hold, with crew members being dismissed and told they can seek out other work. Marvel and Disney are reportedly “regrouping” and are “taking a measured approach” while looking for a new director.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 | Marvel Studios

This makes it extremely likely that Vol. 3 will no longer be released in May 2020; Disney had never officially confirmed that date, but Gunn had suggested that this was the target, and it seemed likely based on the progress the movie had made behind-the-scenes. Disney had also annoucned an unspecified Marvel movie would come out on May 1st, 2018. Now, depending on when a new director gets signed, Vol. 3 may not even come out in 2020 at all.

For some time, there were rumors that Disney might consider bringing back Gunn as director, but following a meeting between Gunn and Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn, this was apparently ruled out. However, Variety reports that Marvel is still planning to use Gunn’s script, which is bizarre since that means he will have to receive credit on the movie; one would think that the point of firing Gunn would be so that the film did not have to be associated with him in any way, but if his script is kept, the movie will open with a “written by James Gunn” card.

If someone like Taika Waititi is brought on board, though, he’d probably want to polish the script a bit and make it his own, in which case Waititi and Gunn would both receive a writing credit. Waititi also heavily utilized improvisation for Thor: Ragnarok, so he could potentially bring that to Vol. 3.

There’s always the possibility that Waititi was meeting with Marvel to discuss another project, though, in which case it could have been Thor 4. Assuming Thor actually survives Avengers 4, Waititi has said that he wants to make another movie in that series.

“I feel like what we’ve created now with Thor feels like its own new thing, and if we were to do another Thor film with Chris, I would just consider it to be Ragnarok 2,” he told Collider. “It wouldn’t even feel like Thor 4 to me. It would feel like the second outing of this new version of Thor, which I’d be into.”