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Taika Waititi’s vision for Hunt for the Wilderpeople


Dubbed the “New Zealand Box Office King” by nzherald.co.nz, director Taika Waititi has now taken the top two spots in the all-time top 10 for New Zealand movies with Boy and Hunt for the Wilderpeople.

His 2010 film Boy remains a number one with a local box office gross of $9,237,976, while his recent hit The Hunt for the Wilderpeople has made it to number two, grossing $7,399,091 after a month on release.

Riverside Theatres is committed to bringing New Zealand works across the Tasman. Since 2014, we have had an exceptional array of works tour here including Theatre Beating’s The Magic Chicken, Kila Kokonut Krew’s The Factory, Live Live Cinema’s Carnival of Souls / Dementia 13, NZTrio’s East From Here, New Zealand Dance Company’s Rotunda and Bullet Heart Club’s Daffodils.

Starring Emmy and Golden Globe nominee Sam Neill (Jurassic Park, The Hunt for Red October) and Julian Dennison (Paper Planes), Riverside is proud to be screening New Zealand’s latest smash-hit Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Ahead of our screenings, Taika Waititi discusses his vision behind the film.

“I first fell in love with this idea in 2005. The story took on many changes and evolutions over the years, and I’ve made three features in that time. This story has a deeply New Zealand quality that I think will resonate with international viewers with its unique rural flavour. There is no place like New Zealand and no people like those who live on, within, and from the land. It is the romanticism of the dense and mystical New Zealand bush mixed with the outlaw appeal of our rebellious and rugged heroes that promises an adventure filled with down home guts and humour. It is truly a story of survival, kinship, hunts and man hunters, with a good old car chase thrown in for good measure.

I’ve always been attracted to stories of the outsider, the rebel, those who live in the margins. I love the way this story takes two outsiders from different backgrounds, an odd couple of two loners forced to work together in a quest to stand independent and free of society’s unfair regulations. Whether they’re justified in their mission isn’t important, the mere fact they’re fighting for something as simple as freedom is what appeals. In a world of apathy, where “sheeple” stand for causes on Facebook rather than taking to the streets, these characters are throwbacks to the New Zealand heroes of old; those fighters and survivors upon whose blood, sweat and tears this country was built. We root for them because they’re giving it a go; they’re fighting the good fight.

It’s these two outsider characters, Hec and Ricky, who will be our guides in this world. There’s a great difference between these characters: Old meets new, age meets youth, bush meets city, Pakeha meets Maori, and wisdom meets instinct. At the end of the film we’ll have gone on a journey of mutual respect, dedication, and understanding.”

Don’t miss your opportunity to see Hunt for the Wilderpeople of Riverside’s Big Screen 25 June to 13 July.


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