Coca-Cola’s 2020 Christmas advertisement, directed by filmmaker Taika Waititi, debuted this week.
The Oscar-winning director, writer and actor is perhaps best known for his films Jojo Rabbit, What We Do In The Shadows and Thor: Ragnarok. Waititi’s commercial carries the tagline “This Christmas, give something only you can give” and follows a father’s quest to deliver his daughter’s letter to Santa.
Academy Award winner Taika Waititi, who recently won Best Adapted Screenplay for “Jojo Rabbit” and directed the widely-acclaimed first season finale episode of “The Mandalorian” on Disney+, will direct and co-write a new “Star Wars” feature film for theatrical release. Joining Waititi on the screenplay will be Academy Award nominee Krysty Wilson-Cairns (“1917,” “Last Night in Soho”), who received a BAFTA Award for Outstanding British Film of the Year on the three-time Oscar-winning film, “1917.”
In addition, Emmy-nominated writer Leslye Headland (“Russian Doll,” “Bachelorette”) is currently developing a new untitled “Star Wars” series for Disney+. Headland will write, executive produce, and serve as showrunner for the in-development series, which adds to a growing list of “Star Wars” stories for Disney’s streaming platform including “The Mandalorian,” now in post-production on season 2, and two other previously ordered series: one based on Cassian Andor prior to the events of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” and another following the adventures of Obi-Wan Kenobi between “Revenge of the Sith” and “A New Hope.”
The release date for Waititi’s project has not yet been announced, while Headland’s project is in development.
Last year Netflix announced that they’re developing new animated series adaptations of award-winning author Roald Dahl’s iconic stories and characters.
Academy Award winner Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok, Jojo Rabbit) has officially signed on to direct two new original animated series which will be based on the 1964 novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, one of Dahl’s most recognizable works. The first series will center on the book’s famous characters including the eccentric Chocolate factory owner Willy Wonka, while the second one will be a fresh take on the Oompa-Loompas, the small humans from the Loompaland.
“I grew up reading Dahl stories and lived large parts of my young life in those magical worlds, so finding just the right creative partner to bring Willy Wonka, Charlie and the Oompa-Loompas to life in animation was a daunting task…until Taika walked into the room. Then, it was really obvious. If Dahl had created a character of a filmmaker to adapt his work, I’m pretty sure he would have created Taika,” Netflix Vice President of Original Animation, Melissa Cobb said in a statement.
“In the words of Willy Wonka himself – we are ‘Delighted! Charmed! Overjoyed!’ with Taika’s appointment on this project.” Commercial and Entertainment Director of Roald Dahl Story Company Gideon Simeloff said. “There is something undeniably Wonka-esque about Taika’s creative flair and inimitable sense of humor and we cannot think of anyone more perfectly suited to leading the creative charge on these first of their kind, feature quality Netflix shows.”
Acclaimed writer-director Taika Waititi brings his signature humor and pathos to Jojo Rabbit, a World War II satire that follows a lonely German boy (Roman Griffin Davis as Jojo) whose world view is turned upside down when he discovers his single mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic.
Jojo Rabbit and its ensemble cast have garnered attention in the 2020 awards season earning a Best Picture Academy Award Nomination, a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy, a Critics’ Choice Award nomination for Best Picture, and a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. Star Roman Griffin Davis, whose first-ever acting role was ‘Jojo,’ won a Critics’ Choice Award for Best Young Actor, as well as a nomination for a Golden Globe in the category of Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy. Additionally, Scarlett Johansson has received an Academy Award Nomination for Best Supporting Actress, and BAFTA and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for her performance as ‘Rosie.’ And at the film’s helm, writer, director, actor and producer Taika Waititi has received Academy Award Nominations for Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture (with Carthew Neal), as well as nominations from the Directors Guild of America, the Writers Guild of America, the Producers Guild of America, and BAFTA (Adapted Screenplay). Earlier this year, the film was honored at the AFI Awards, making it onto AFI’s list of the Top 10 Movies of the Year for 2019. And the film also won TIFF’s highly acclaimed Grolsch People’s Choice Award, while Waititi garnered the Ebert Director Award at the festival’s tribute gala awards event.
Add Jojo Rabbit to your digital collection on Movies Anywhere February 4 and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD on February 18.
Fox Searchlight has released the full trailer for Taika Waititi‘s JoJo Rabbit.
The film stars Golden Globe-nominated Scarlett Johansson (Avengers: Infinity War), Academy Award winner Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect), Thomasin McKenzie (The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies), Alfie Allen (Game of Thrones), Stephen Merchant (Logan) and introducing Roman Griffin Davis as Jojo.
Waititi brings his signature style of humor and pathos to a World War II satire. In Jojo Rabbit, the story follows an awkward young German boy (Davis) raised by a single mother (Johansson), and whose only ally is his imaginary friend Hitler (Waititi). His naïve patriotism is tested when he meets a young girl (McKenzie) who upends his world views, forcing him to face his biggest fears.
JoJo Rabbit is set to open on in theaters on October 18.
Taika Waititi is returning to the Marvel Studios fold to direct Thor 4, the followup to his wildly successful 2017 sequel Thor: Ragnarok! However, due to conflicting dates with the superhero film, Waititi’s plans to direct Warner Bros. live-action adaptation of Akira have been pushed back until after Thor 4 is complete.
Thor: Ragnarok was a hit with critics and fans alike, taking the franchise in a more overtly comedic direction to the tune of over $854 million worldwide.
As for the director’s adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo’s classic manga and anime film Akira, a May 21, 2021 release date has now been pushed back indefinitely. Waititi was in the process of testing actors from around the world to star in the picture, which he previously hoped to cast with Asian teenage leads. Unfortunately script issues forced the project into rewrites to address certain concerns, and with some of them yet to be addressed the filmmaker is moving ahead to Thor 4. Warners still hopes to retain him to start work on the long-gestating Akira after the Marvel sequel is complete.
Waititi’s busy schedule also includes plans to write/direct a Time Bandits TV pilot for Apple TV+, as well as the episode of Star Wars series The Mandalorian he completed for Disney Plus. Waititi also has the WWII dramedy Jojo Rabbit (in which he also plays the role of Adolf Hitler) finished for release by Fox Searchlight on October 18, 2019. He is also helping Fox develop an animated version of the comic strip Flash Gordon.
Warner Bros. has revealed that their upcoming live-action feature Akira will arrive in theaters on May 21, 2021. The film will be directed by Oscar nominee Taika Waititi (Two Cars, One Night, Thor: Ragnarok, Jojo Rabbit).
The movie is an adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo’s anime. Akira consists of six volumes and there are reportedly going to be two films, each based on three volumes. There was a Japanese animated film based on Akira back in 1988, directed by Otomo.
The movie synopsis is as follows: Set in a future city environment called New Manhattan, the sci-fi epic follows the leader of a biker gang who must save his best friend, who has been experimented on by the government causing him to develop dangerous and destructive psychokinetic powers.
Andrew Lazar (American Sniper) and Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way are producing the film, for which the studio acquired the rights back in 2008. Akira will film in California following an $18.5 million tax credit award from the California Film Commission. The Akira movie production team is expected to spend upwards of $92 million in the state of California. The movie is a passion project for Waititi, who saw the animated movie when he was a kid in the late ’80s.