Taika Waititi is one of the most successful and versatile filmmakers working today. He has won an Oscar for his satirical comedy “Jojo Rabbit”, directed a blockbuster Marvel sequel “Thor: Love and Thunder”, and is set to helm a “Star Wars” movie in the near future. He is also working on a soccer comedy “Next Goal Wins” and producing several TV shows, including “Our Flag Means Death” and “Reservation Dogs”.
But despite his impressive resume and popularity, Waititi says he doesn’t care about being remembered or leaving a legacy. In a candid interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he revealed his philosophy on making movies and his views on fame.
“I’m 47. My God, take the pressure off. People are so obsessed with likes or leaving behind a legacy, being remembered. Here’s the thing: No one’s going to remember us,” he said.
He gave the example of Michael Curtiz, who directed “Casablanca”, one of the greatest films of all time, but whose name is not widely known today. “No one remembers who directed ‘Casablanca.’ I mean, I do. But most people don’t,” he said.
Waititi said he makes movies for himself and for the audience of today, not for posterity. “I don’t think I’ve ever made anything that I’ve thought, ‘This will be great for future generations.’ I just want to make something that people will enjoy now,” he said.
He also said he likes playing characters who are marginalized or oppressed or who don’t have a voice, such as Hitler in “Jojo Rabbit” or Korg in “Thor”. “I think that’s where comedy comes from, from the struggle,” he said.
Waititi is known for his quirky and irreverent sense of humor, which he attributes to his Kiwi upbringing. “I think it’s important to have a sense of humor about everything, especially yourself. I don’t take myself too seriously. I think that’s a very Kiwi thing,” he said.
He also said he is always trying to challenge himself and do something different with his projects. “I don’t want to repeat myself or get bored. I want to keep evolving and growing as a filmmaker,” he said.
Waititi’s latest film, “Thor: Love and Thunder”, is a Marvel sequel that injects a surprising degree of melancholy into the plot, which finds the superhero teaming up with his ex-girlfriend Dr. Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) after she manages to wield his old hammer and became a superhero herself. The film opens this week and has received rave reviews from critics and fans alike.
Waititi’s next film, “Next Goal Wins”, is a soccer comedy based on a true story of the American Samoa national team, which was once ranked as the worst in the world. The film stars Michael Fassbender as the coach who tries to turn the team around. The film is expected to be released later this year after several delays due to the pandemic.
Waititi is also developing a new “Star Wars” movie, which he co-wrote with Krysty Wilson-Cairns. He has not revealed much details about the project, but he has said that it will be fun and fresh. “I tend to go down that little sincerity alleyway in my films,” he said. “I like to fool the viewer into thinking ‘ha it’s this’ and then them going ‘Damn it, you made me feel something!’”
– Taika Waititi Knows He’ll Be ‘Obsolete’ in Decades: ‘No One Remembers’ Who Directed ‘Casablanca’, The Hollywood Reporter, May 31, 2023
– Taika Waititi Interview: Thor: Love and Thunder and His Midlife Crisis, IndieWire, July 7, 2022
– Taika Waititi takes heat for not knowing director Michael Curtiz, ClutchPoints, May 31, 2023