Taika Waititi acting career takes another step forward with Green Lantern

Taika Waititi Crazy Horses

Taika Waititi as Shogun leader of the Crazy Horses gang

Taika Waititi has joined the cast of fellow New Zealand director Martin Campbell’s Green Lantern. Produced by Warner Bros Pictures the filming is set to start later this month in New Orleans. The film is scheduled for a mid-2011 release.

Waititi will play the best friend of the Green Lantern. The decision to cast Waititi in the role was made after Warner Bros casting director’s watched New Zealand feature film, BOY, which Waititi wrote, directed and also stars in as the hapless but likeable father of two young boys being raised on the East Coast in 1984.

Ryan Reynolds will star as Green Lantern, with Blake Lively as his love interest Carol Ferris. Peter Sarsgaard will also star as Dr. Hector Hammond, the movie’s villain who becomes infused with psychic powers, with Tim Robbins cast as his disapproving father, Senator Hammond.

Waititi’s casting in the Green Lantern has meant he will not be in Auckland to attend the New Zealand premiere of his feature film, BOY, on Wednesday 24th March.

Before he left NZ, Waititi said, “I really wanted to be in Auckland for the NZ premiere, but to be offered this role in Green Lantern is a great opportunity to pretend I’m an actor and pursue my dream of becoming the next Cliff Curtis. Typically, everyone in NZ has been supportive and understanding and encouraged me to accept the role. The premiere will be a great event without me. In fact, it’s better I’m not there, I’m a terrible drunk and would just cause a scene. Seriously though, there are fantastic people working on making the premiere a great night; I’ve been told a few of the plans and I know it will be choice. Anyway, there’s no point in me taking up a seat in the audience…I’ve already seen it.”

BOY is financed by the New Zealand Film Fund, NZ Film Commission, Unison Films, NZ On Air, Maori Television Station and Te Mangai Paho. NZ Film, the sales arm of the NZFC, is handling world sales of the film.

BOY will be released on 50 screens nationwide in NZ through Transmission Films on Thursday, 25th March.

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