I don't think I've ever seen a Director fall off quite like Taika Waititi. Several years ago, this was the guy that could do no wrong. He did some small comedies that were really well received, including "What We Do In The Shadows." He went the big budget route with "Thor: Ragnarok," which was one of the most well-received films of the entire MCU. He then followed up with "Jojo Rabbit," which is legitimately one of my favorite movies. I may even have to write a blog about that film at some point here soon. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. The guy was on top of the world. Then he made "Thor: Love And Thunder," and he lost his fucking mind. That's a very simplistic way to put it, but it's the only angle I can attack this. Seemingly overnight, this guy went from the quirky Director that everybody loved to one of the most loathed filmmakers in Hollywood.
I bring all of this up because Waititi's newest film, "Next Goal Wins," starring Michael Fassbender, seemed like an opportunity for him to get back on track potentially. It was without the glossy big budget sheen that comes with doing a Marvel movie. It was a good idea for him to go back to his roots. Right now, the movie is getting lambasted by critics.
Taika Waititi hasn't gotten canceled for anything. He's never been accused of being abusive, racist or sexist. He's just been accused of being a pretentious asshole. And people don't like that. He did himself no favors on the press tour for "Thor: Love And Thunder." The guy acted like the entire movie was a joke. Having seen it, he was kind of right. But there's something about a guy who doesn't take his film seriously at all that rubs people the wrong way.
￼It was announced years ago that Taika Waititi was in line to write and direct a Star Wars movie. The chances of that happening are about zero at this point. Star Wars has an awful track record of throwing projects in the trash, and given Taika Waititi's trajectory as a Director right now, I don't even know if I want to see him direct a Star Wars movie at this point.
It really speaks to the longevity of a Christopher Nolan or a Steven Spielberg. These guys have been around forever, and at one point, they were probably seen as up-and-coming flash-in-the-pan directors who became some of the best filmmakers of their day. When Taika Waititi is right, he's a masterful filmmaker with a lot of heart. I hope he can return to that one day, but he's on a cold streak right now. ￼￼￼