Why Taika Waititi Is Your New Favorite Director

The vampire Viago (Taika Waititi) holding up a glass of what appears to be blood in What We Do in the Shadows (2014)

Taika Waititi, a 44-year old New Zealand native, has had a rather long and successful career as an actor, filmmaker, and director in multiple movies which have yielded much acclaim and even some awards. Waititi rose to international fame in 2014 after the release of his vampire comedy mockumentary What We Do In The Shadows (2014), which he co-write, co-directed, and co-starred in playing the hilarious Viago Von Dorna Schmarten Scheden.

In 2017, he was swept up into the MCU and took on directing Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok (also playing a role as Korg that would make an appearance in Avengers: Endgame), which soon was recognized as the best chapter of the Thor series. As of this year, Waititi has announced the release of the follow up to the Thor franchise, Thor: Love and Thunder (2021), which he will also be writing and directing—needless to say, we are all a little excited.

D23 Expo 2019—Marvel Studios Highlights

Thor Ragnarok-BTS
Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Taika Waititi (director), and Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie) in Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Prior to his career in the MCU, Waititi took part in various projects including his own movies like Eagle vs Shark (2007), a teeth-grindingly awkward love story featuring long-time friend, Jemaine Clement, and the coming-of-age drama Boy (2010). Boy went on to win several awards including the AFI Audience Award for Best International Feature Film. 

Down the road a piece, we graciously received Waititi’s masterpiece, Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016), featuring Sam Neill (Jurassic Park) as Hec, a crotchety, grieving senior citizen who just wants to be left alone. The only problem is that Hec has become the sole guardian for troubled delinquent, Ricky (Julian Dennison), who really doesn’t want to go back to child services. What follows is a gut-busting, heart-wrenching adventure shared by the unlikeliest of pairs. If you haven’t had a good laugh-cry in a while, we highly recommend watching this modern classic.

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Adolf (Taika Waititi) and Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) in Jojo Rabbit (2019)

Well before TIFF 19, there was a buzz about the new movie title coming from Waititi set to be released this year. With his distinct talent for being whimsical yet smart, charismatic yet grounded, and having a unique eye for capturing emotion, we knew something special was on its way.

This fall, we eagerly await the release of Waititi’s latest movie, Jojo Rabbit. Based on the novel Caging Skies by Christine Leunens, we received one of the most anticipated movies of the year due to the rather peculiar approach to the story, as well as the high-caliber cast. Jojo Rabbit tells the story of Jojo Betzler, a Hitler youth who discovers his mother is secretly sheltering a Jewish girl in their home. Torn by his blind nationalism, Jojo is accompanied by his imaginary friend, a cartoonishly friendly Adolf Hitler (played by Waititi), to guide him along his journey of inner turmoil.

Taika Waititi on His WWII Satire JOJO RABBIT

Described as an "anti-hate satire," Jojo Rabbit has already created quite a stir around itself, potentially locking in a spot as a contender come awards season. Keep an eye out for the release of Taika Waitit’s latest movie, coming to Regal on October 18th.

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