Following the discovery of controversial tweets from writer-director James Gunn, Disney last week announced it has severed all ties with him, which means he won’t be back to direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. That leaves one of Marvel’s most coveted projects without a way forward—at least for now.
With a release not scheduled until 2020, there’s plenty of time to regroup and move forward. But considering how important Guardians is to the MCU—it’ll help launch Phase 4—finding the right replacement will be difficult. And, no, we don’t think Ron Howard will take over, despite capably replacing Chris Lord and Phil Miller for Solo: A Star Wars Story.
So, where does that leave the fate of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3? We should print out pamphlets calling for Disney to hire Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi.
Seriously, he’s perfectly suited for the sarcastic, vibrant and wonderful world of Guardians of the Galaxy. This is the man responsible for turning Thor from a whining thespian into a lovable jock, now one of the coolest characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Waititi also lent his voice to Ragnarok’s goofy pile of rocks, a.k.a. Korg.
The right man for the job
Waititi has earned a reputation for his particular brand of wry and eccentric humor. Following the release of What We Do In the Shadows, a mockumentary about a group of argumentative vampires, the director moved on to the criminally underrated Hunt for the Wilderpeople. His transition to the Hollywood mainstream with Thor: Ragnarok was seamless, almost effortless.
But it’s not just Waititi’s immaculate style or sarcastic humor that would integrate so well with the Guardians franchise. The director has proven he has the temperament to handle a big Marvel franchise, and people love him. He was a hit with fans at San Diego Comic-Con last year, donning a shirt and shorts combo with pineapple print.
Marvel has a penchant for reusing directors—Gunn directed the first two Guardians movies—so asking Waititi to return for another film wouldn’t be unusual.
When one door closes and another one opens it means you have poltergeists. Did you check if your house was built on a graveyard?
— Taika Waititi (@TaikaWaititi) January 17, 2013
It almost makes too much sense, much in the way asking the Russo brothers to transition from Captain America to Infinity War did. But whereas Captain America and Infinity War were mostly serious, Guardians is loose and improvisational. Waititi can come in, look over the script drafted by Gunn, and then start formulating his own vision ahead of the movie’s release.
What’s more, Waititi’s movies have in some form or another been about family. Even What We Do in the Shadows is about a motley crew of individuals learning to embrace each other. (Yes, even Petyr.) That’s exactly what Guardians has evolved into since its sterling debut in 2014, and why it’s resonated so well with audiences. Waititi replicated that formula with Thor: Ragnarok and could continue down that path with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
And, come on, how cool would it be to see Korg interact with Groot? Waititi is currently filming a movie called Jojo Rabbit, which he’s writing and directing. After that? Hopefully, Disney can send him a pamphlet offering him the job.
Let the revolution begin (again).