If there is any such thing as a “rockstar filmmaker” in Hollywood today, Taika Waititi would be a close contender for the title. After working in the indie film space for many years, Waititi burst into prominence with the blockbuster success of Thor: Ragnarok, and followed that up with an Oscar win for Jojo Rabbit. The eccentric filmmaker has also captured the internet’s imagination with his zany sense of humor and comic acting abilities. In a Collider interview, Armie Hammer revealed the most impressive thing he had discovered about Waiititi’s sleep habits on the sets of their upcoming film Next Goal Wins.
“Having [Taika] on set is the best. I mean, when he’s not sleeping, that is. Actually, his napping thing is also very impressive. He’s got this thing where he’ll go, ‘Okay, set up this camera over there, set up that over there, set up that over there, set up that over there. How long will that be?’ [And the crew says], ‘That’ll be about three minutes,’ [and he goes], ‘Okay great,’ and then he’ll be out [Hammer mimes sleeping for a second before talking] and then two minutes and 55 seconds later he’ll go, ‘Okay, are the cameras ready?’ and you’re just like, ‘What was that? Holy shit!'”
Next Goal Wins is a sports comedy that Taika Waititi co-wrote and is directing. The film stars Michael Fassbender, Elizabeth Moss, and Armie Hammer among others. While the three actors have garnered great critical acclaim for their dramatic roles, they are not as well known for their comic chops. According to Hammer, it was the prospect of working with Waititi and being a part of his unique blend of humor and pathos that made him want to do the film.
“[Waititi’s] phenomenally talented. He’s almost too talented for his own good. [Next Goal Wins is] the story of a coach – played hilariously and perfectly by Michael Fassbender – who goes, kind of as a dead-end job, just to kind of get rid of him, [is sent] down to American Samoa to coach a soccer team there and it’s about what happens to this coach goes down to Samoa to coach a soccer team. It’s hilarious and it’s fun and it’s heartfelt and there are things in it that are really touching. Like all of Taika’s films. Like Hunt for the Wilderpeople. That movie is funny and touching and you’ll cry and laugh in the same film. That’s very Taika. When he wants to do that, that’s what he’s gonna do.”
Apart from working on his soccer movie, Waititi is also working on the next Thor movie, which will see a new God of Thunder in the shape of Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster. Additionally, the filmmaker will also be stretching his comic abilities with the role of a video-games developer in Free Guy alongside Marvel alum Ryan Reynolds. All in all, Waititi seems poised to get even bigger with his next few projects, and fans can’t wait to come along with him for the ride. This news was first reported at Collider.