Taiki Waititi and Ryan Gosling were seen out for lunch together this weekend. You can imagine the reaction, even though they were apparently joined by other friends. They’re both internet boyfriends. They’re also both popular with nerds – Taika via his association with the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Ryan because of Blade Runner most recently and, in general, he’s an actor who’s accumulated cool points across several demographics. 

The MCU has a list of big name gets that they keep coming back to, hoping to work with. We know this because of Jake Gyllenhaal, Angelina Jolie, and, most recently, Keanu Reeves; Kevin Feige confirmed as much when he was asked recently whether or not Keanu would be in Eternals. I imagine Ryan Gosling must be on that list too. Pretty sure the MCU and DC both want to find something for Ryan. You’ll recall, before Robert Pattinson, he was rumoured incessantly for Batman too. 

Is it possible then that Ryan Gosling might be in Thor: Love and Thunder? Perhaps as a villain? They need a villain. Chris Hemsworth is coming back, Natalie Portman is the new Thor, Tessa Thompson will also return… but who’s the Big Bad? Last time, in Thor: Ragnarok, the Big Bad was Cate Blanchett. That’s some pressure, to have to follow up Cate Blanchett. Conventional wisdom has it that you can’t follow up that kind of Big Bad with a Medium Bad. Ryan Gosling could be the Big Bad that Thor 4 is looking for. And… there’s no shame in being a Thor villain when Cate Blanchett has already done it. If it’s good enough for Cate, it should be good enough for him. 

That said, it was announced last week that Thor: Love and Thunder isn’t going to be Taika’s next project. First he’ll be promoting Jojo Rabbit during festival season – he’s coming to TIFF next month – and then, if the film generates the expected hype, he could be carrying it through award season. And then, before Thor 4, he moves on to the feature film adaptation of Next Goal Wins, based on the 2015 British documentary. 

Next Goal Wins is the story of the American Samoa national football team as they tried to make it into the 2014 World Cup with the help of Dutch-American coach Thomas Rongen. If you haven’t seen the doc, I highly recommend if you need a feel-good experience. Taika is expected to direct and co-write the script which means that this story will not be white savioured. That said, he still needs to cast the coach. Ryan Gosling? 

Ryan hasn’t worked since First Man. He’s taking some down time, spending it with his family. And it’s not like he wouldn’t have had the offers. Clearly he’s waiting for the right one – and maybe Taika is the one?