How Moana Saved Taika Waititi's Chance to Direct Thor: Ragnarok
The book The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was just released and its revealed a whole lot of interesting behind-the-scenes information about all of the films in the MCU. We've learned everything from why the Russo Brothers almost quit Marvel to the fact that Marvel's creative committee didn't like the ending of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Another excerpt from the book reveals that Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi almost lost out on directing the threequel, but was saved by an unlikely source... Moana.
Waititi was in Hawaii celebrating his 40th birthday when he found out Marvel President Kevin Feige had a time slot available for a meeting. Producer Brad Winderbaum was pushing hard for Waititi to direct the film and recalled, "I was resting all my hopes and dreams on this meeting going well." Waititi agreed to fly to Los Angeles but hit a snag when he realized he accidentally sent his passport back to New Zealand. Waititi called Winderbaum and told him things weren't looking good, and the producer stressed that this was his only chance. Thankfully, Waititi had a stroke of luck when he found a letter from The Walt Disney Company in his bag. Waititi wrote the initial screenplay for Moana, and while the company ended up passing on his story, he still had the visa letter from the company and was able to use it to get to Los Angeles. The rest, as they say, is history!
Not only did Waititi get the gig as the director of Thor: Ragnarok, but the movie was such a success that he is returning to helm Thor: Love and Thunder. The movie is set to feature the return of many fan-favorite Marvel characters, including Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Natalie Portman as Jane Foster, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, Jaimie Alexander as Lady Sif, and Waititi as Korg. Some of the Guardians of the Galaxy cast members will also be featured in the movie, and MCU newcomers include Christian Bale as Gorr the God Butcher and Russell Crowe as Zeus.
During a recent chat with Empire, Waititi emphasized that Thor: Love And Thunder is "the craziest film" he's ever done.
"Well, just between [me and] you and the readers, I've done some crazy sh*t in my life. I've lived, like, ten lifetimes. But it's the craziest film I've ever done," Waititi shared. "If you wrote down all the elements of this film, it shouldn't make sense," he added, "It's almost like it shouldn't be made. If you walked into a room and said, 'I want this and this and this.' Who's in it? These people. What are you going to call it? Love And Thunder. I mean, you'd never work again. Maybe I won't after this."
"It's very different from Ragnarok," Waititi continued. "It's crazier. I'll tell you what's different. There'll be far more emotion in this film. And a lot more love. And a lot more thunder. And a lot more Thor, if you've seen the photos."
Thor: Love And Thunder is now scheduled to hit theaters on July 8th, 2022.