Disney announces new ‘Star Wars’ theatrical film directed by Taika Waititi

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    By Lisa Richwine

    LOS ANGELES – Oscar-winning “Jojo Rabbit” screenwriter Taika Waititi will direct and co-write a new “Star Wars” feature film for theaters, Walt Disney Co said on Monday.

    A new “Star Wars” series for streaming service Disney+ also is in development from “Russian Doll” writer Leslye Headland, the company said in a statement.

    No release dates for either project were announced.

    Disney had paused its development of “Star Wars” movies after December 2019 release “The Rise of Skywalker,” the ninth installment in the saga that began with George Lucas’ original 1977 film.

    “Rise of Skywalker” sold nearly $1.1 billion worth of tickets worldwide but was the lowest-grossing film of the three “Star Wars” movies released by Disney since 2015.

    Krysty Wilson-Cairns, co-writer of Oscar-nominated movie “1917,” will write the new “Star Wars” film with Waititi.

    The company announced the news on May the Fourth, a day when “Star Wars” fans celebrate the franchise for its similarity to the phrase “May the force be with you.”

    The new projects add to the list of programming in the works from the galaxy of “Star Wars,” one of Disney’s major franchises.

    Disney previously announced a second season of Disney+ series “The Mandalorian” and two other streaming series.

    One is based on the life of Cassian Andor prior to the movie “Rogue One,” and another stars Ewan McGregor as Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi.

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