Taika Waititi shares details about the making of Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Taika Waititi is the gift that keeps on giving! I’ve already shared some of his stories from his BAFTA screenwriting lecture, but I have one more to mark my final post of 2018.

I LOVED his movie Hunt for the Winterpeople, so naturally I was interested in what he had to say about the making of it. Here are the most interesting quotes:

On what his first draft of the script was like:

I was approached to adapt the book by a writer called Barry Crump who is very famous in New Zealand. And the book is not really that much like the film. The book’s not funny and I added a lot more characters and tried to make it kind of my own thing. But I wrote the first draft in 2005…. before I’d shot my first feature. And I wrote that and yeah, you know I was very much into being – I was wanting to make like Cannes cinema and be like (Lars) von Trier and stuff and make dark and depressing New Zealand films. And so in that version of the film there were basically no jokes; Sam Neill’s character dies at the end, he gets shot to death by the cops, and the kid goes back into foster care and that’s how it ends. Oh no he doesn’t go back into foster care, he starts living on the street.”

However, he explained that he put his script away for a few years and made other features before revisiting it and completely changing it to make it funny and in his signature style.

“So then I put that aside and went and made a few other films and kind of got a taste for what my style is, or the kind of stories I wanted to tell, and over the years decided it’s OK to put ridiculous shit in movies, the world needs stupid stuff. You need heart and stuff, but you need jokes. The world needs to laugh. And also I just couldn’t really make super depressing, horrible Cannes movies.” 

He previously explained that there was a lot of improv on What We Do In the Shadows, but that wasn’t the case in Wilderpeople due to the tight time constraints.

“I didn’t really diverge much from that script because it was a really short shoot and because we were shooting outside and there was limited daylight because it was winter, too, so they were really short days. It was really harsh conditions and so there wasn’t a lot of time to just improvise or go off-script, so I stuck to that script quite strictly.”

You can read what Waititi had to say about Thor: Ragnarok and What We Do in the Shadows by clicking on the links.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: