Exclusive: The Mask Reboot In Development, Taika Waititi Eyed To Write And Direct

A reboot of The Mask is in development at New Line Cinema with Taika Waititi intended to write and direct.

By Nathan Kamal | Updated

the mask taika waititi

The 1994 comedy film The Mask is in the process of being rebooted by Warner Bros. Discovery, with Thor: Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi under consideration to helm it. According to our trusted and proven sources, the Jim Carrey mega-hit is being developed under New Line Cinema, a Warner Bros. Discovery-owned production studio historically used to produce wilder genre fare like A Nightmare on Elm Street and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. While the writer/director is constantly busy, it feels like The Mask and Taika Waititi are a natural fit.

The first Mask film was adapted from a Dark Horse comic of the same name, though the source material was very different in tone from the light-hearted 1994 movie. The Mask involved a meek bank clerk named Stanley Ipkiss (Jim Carrey) who discovers a mask that gives the wearer essentially unlimited powers but also unleashes the id of the wearer. The movie was an enormous critical and commercial success, bringing in over $350 million at the box office, being nominated for an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, and launching the film careers of both Jim Carrey and Cameron Diaz.

It also launched a multimedia franchise that included a Saturday morning cartoon, a Super Nintendo video game, and a critically reviled 2005 sequel starring Jamie Kennedy that flopped at the box office. However, it seems that 17 years is enough time for New Line Cinema to try to give The Mask another shot and to try to bring Taika Waititi, one of the world’s most popular and acclaimed directors, in for a revamp. Interestingly, Jim Carrey has said he would return to the franchise if a “visionary director” were involved, which sounds like Waititi.

Taika Waititi

Taika Waititi is best known as the director of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films Thor: Ragnarok and Thor: Love and Thunder, but is also an Academy Award-winning filmmaker, actor, writer, and producer. If there was anyone who could mold the anarchic humor and wild fantasy elements of The Mask into something fresh and new, it would likely be Taika Waititi. 

It is also worth noting that the original Mask comics (which were created by Mike Richardson and Mark Badger and further developed by John Arcudi, Chris Warner, and Doug Mahnke) had a much darker and more violent tone than the Jim Carrey movie. While Waititi is generally thought of as a comedic director, he is also the filmmaker who made a movie about a Nazi-indoctrinated child and destroyed Thor’s entire planet. So, this new Mask reboot might get pretty grim under Taika Waititi. 

In addition to the potential reboot of The Mask, Taika Waititi has a ridiculously full slate of projects. His next project to be released is the sports comedy-drama Next Goal Wins and he has been in development on an adaptation of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s The Incal for some time. His remake of the influential manga Akira is currently in production, and he is directing episodes of multiple television shows, including Interior Chinatown and Time Bandits. All this, and he might still be directing a Star Wars movie. He’s a busy guy.