Thor Director Taika Waititi has been awarded the Queen’s birthday honor for services to film in New Zealand.
Waititi, who has also directed New Zealand films such as Boy and Hunt for the Wilderpeople was honored on New Zealand’s Queen’s birthday list on Sunday. The Oscar-winning filmmaker has also been made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
Speaking with Radio New Zealand, revealing that the award meant more to him than any other he has won in the past:
“Personally I make my stuff for New Zealanders first and foremost. They are my first audience. My peers and colleagues, to be recognised by them, people who are closer to my home, is more significant.”
Waititi was just officially confirmed last month to be returning to the Star Wars universe to direct a feature film for Lucasfilm. He previously helmed the season finale of The Mandalorian in addition to voicing bounty droid IG-11.
But prior to returning to Star Wars, Waititi will return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe to helm Thor: Love and Thunder, his follow-up to 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok. Waititi is set to write and direct the fourth Thor installment with Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, and Natalie Portman are all reprising their roles in the new film which will be based on Jason Aaron’s Mighty Thor comic book run, with Portman’s Jane Foster becoming the new Thor. Christian Bale has also joined the cast, taking on the role of the film’s villain.
Thor: Love and Thunder was originally slated to hit theaters on November 5, 2021, however, the project has been pushed back to February 11, 2022, due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Waititi commented on the delay in April, explaining that the delay itself will allow the filmmaker more time to work on the script.
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Source: Radio New Zealand