Taika Waititi is an Oscar winning screenwriter now, and his first official move as an Oscar winning screenwriter is to hire another writer to collaborate on Thor: Love and Thunder. Many auteurs would have you believe that filmmaking is a solitary craft and great films result from a single voice, but filmmaking is a collaborative art and great artists are never afraid to acknowledge their influences and collaborations. Taika Waititi is as distinctive a filmmaker as any auteur, but he’s also a regular, admitted collaborator. What We Do in the Shadows is the result of his collaboration with Jemaine Clement, Hunt for the Wilderpeople features additional writing from Maori filmmaker Te Arepa Kahi, and now Taika has hired a collaborator for Thor: Love and Thunder.
Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, creator of Sweet/Vicious and writer/director of the friend-com Something Great, will be collaborating on the script for Love and Thunder. This is actually something I have called for before: dude filmmakers, don’t be afraid to collaborate with women. Like I can’t stop thinking about Marriage Story, and how it might have been better balanced if Noah Baumbach collaborated with a woman on the script, to ensure that Nicole’s side didn’t get lost in the shuffle. It’s not even about a full-blown co-writing scenario, it’s just about acknowledging your own limits as a storyteller and inviting another voice into the process to strengthen your own perspective. Writing doesn’t HAVE to be lonely.
Of course, Taika is also insanely busy. Love and Thunder is supposed to shoot later this year, but he’s also wrapping up his soccer comedy Next Goal Wins. Having a collaborator is also about time management. If he’s going to finish Next Goal Wins and meet Marvel’s production schedule for Thor, then he’s going to have to delegate. I just like this so much, that a newly-minted Oscar winner, regarded for his distinctive style and voice, isn’t afraid to share credit and be known as a filmmaker who shares. They ALL share, they just don’t all admit it. Taika admits it. It’s just one more thing that makes him such a distinctive artist.