Taika Waititi admits he forgot Natalie Portman was in the Star Wars prequels when he asked her if she’d consider starring in his upcoming film.
Thor: Love and Thunder writer and director Taika Waititi forgot about Natalie Portman’s Star Wars prequels role. Portman joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Jane Foster in 2011’s Thor before reprising her role in 2013’s Thor: The Dark World. After skipping Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok (and appearing in Avengers: Endgame via archive footage), Jane returns as the Mighty Thor in Waititi’s second MCU film, which releases in theaters this week.
Years before she became worthy of Mjölnir, Portman starred in George Lucas’ Star Wars prequel trilogy as Padmé Amidala. The Phantom Menace introduced her as the young Queen of Naboo, and Attack of the Clones saw her fall in love with Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) before dying in childbirth in Revenge of the Sith. As the mother of Luke and Leia (among other things), Portman’s character is an integral figure in Star Wars canon. Apparently, though, Waititi forgot this during their time together.
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In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Waititi discusses working with Portman on Love and Thunder. His next project will be a Star Wars movie, and he had the opportunity to talk about it with Portman while on set. However, in probing Portman’s interest in starring in said film, Waititi realized something important. Read what he has to say about the matter below:
Natalie said to me, what do you do next? And I said “I’m trying to work on a Star Wars thing. Have you ever wanted to be in a Star Wars movie?” She said, “I’ve been in Star Wars movies.” I forgot about those ones. [Laughs]
Waititi’s comments are especially hilarious considering he’s already worked in the Star Wars universe before with The Mandalorian. Since Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012, the Star Wars sequels, Rogue One, Solo, and many of the Disney+ shows have sought to recapture the look and feel of the original trilogy. So, it’s understandable that Lucas’ prequels wouldn’t be at the forefront of Waititi’s mind as they haven’t been a focal point for Disney/Lucasfilm. That is, until the recent release of Obi-Wan Kenobi, which is largely a result of fans’ newfound appreciation for the prequel movies. Waititi is likely someone who grew up watching Leia in the 1980s and 90’s rather than her mother in the early 00’s. On top of that, Portman has become an acclaimed actress outside of the franchise; Star Wars is far from the first thing audiences associate the Oscar winner with.
Waititi has said he wants Star Wars to start telling new stories detached from the Skywalker saga that still fit within the franchise’s wheelhouse. It’s unclear what his film will be about as he’s still writing and coming up with ideas. While Waititi jokes he’ll ruin the franchise by having his Star Wars movie focus on Jar Jar Binks (clearly, he does remember the prequels), fan outrage and general confusion will undoubtedly keep him from casting Portman as someone other than Padmé. Although, he certainly could if Lucasfilm’s parent company decides to apply Marvel’s multiverse theory to a galaxy far, far away. Still, with Ewan McGregor and Christensen recently returning to the franchise in Obi-Wan Kenobi, there’s a desire among fans to see Portman reprise her underutilized prequel role as well. Perhaps Waititi can help make that happen somehow.
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Source: Rolling Stone
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