Taika Waititi hints his next film will be a Kiwi one

FAIRFAX NZ

We look back at some of New Zealander of the year, Taika Waititi's best moments.

Filmmaker Taika Waititi has hinted his next movie will be a Kiwi one.

Waititi told The Guardian that after finishing Marvel blockbuster Thor: Ragnarok, he would return to New Zealand to make an independent film.

"I know that after this I'll go back and do an independent film. Then I'll hopefully come back and do another studio thing. I would kind of like to dwell between both worlds," Waititi said.

Taika Waititi has hinted his next project will be an independent Kiwi movie.
ROSS GIBLIN / FAIRFAX NZ

Taika Waititi has hinted his next project will be an independent Kiwi movie.

"A lot of people are trying to get out of their home country and think 'making it' is if you're able to work in another. For me ... I'd be quite content to keep doing my own little films down there for the rest of my filmmaking career."

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Waititi's most recent film, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, was New Zealand's most popular movie ever, receiving rave reviews here and overseas. It is rumoured to have made as much as NZ$32 million world wide.

Taika Waititi made What We Do In The Shadows - a mocumentary about vampire flatmates -  in Wellington.
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Taika Waititi made What We Do In The Shadows - a mocumentary about vampire flatmates - in Wellington.

In the Guardian interview, Waititi revealed a tension between the pull of big-budget overseas projects and his desire to tell local stories in his homeland, likening choosing his film projects to picking food at a buffet.

"I want to try every little every thing from either end. I don't want to go straight to the chicken. I'll put some grapes on the plate, a bit of gravy and mix it all up."

One portion of sour grapes was Disney's Moana, which Waititi revealed he abandoned working on because he got "bored".

Waititi worked on an early version of Moana and says the final film was "good".
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Waititi worked on an early version of Moana and says the final film was "good".

It was 2012 and he'd just had a child, so he chose to return to New Zealand to make What We Do In The Shadows with long time friend and collaborator Jemaine Clement, instead.

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"Like I do all the time, I just ended up wanting to do my own thing again and make a vampire movie instead," he said.

He said his Moana script had focused more on Moana's relationships with her family, but very little of it had made the final film.

He still had plenty of praise for the final result, however. 

"I was relieved it was not insulting to Pacific cultures," he told The Guardian. "That was a big worry for me. I was very nervous about it. You often ask yourself, 'Oh my god, do I get involved with something like this?'"

In 2015, Waititi set up production company Piki Films with producers Carthew Neal and Leanne Saunders. The company aims to make Kiwi films and match them with international budgets to secure worldwide releases.

Waititi was named New Zealander of the Year in February.

 - Stuff

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