The next film from Marvel Studios might be the third entry in a popular franchise, but it doesn’t feel like the end of a trilogy. Thor: Ragnarok is shaping up to be its own beast entirely.
The third movie in the Asgardian franchise will take a new approach to the character, mixing humor with heroics in a way that will allow Chris Hemsworth to shine. But the film will also take the God of Thunder to new locations, including the backwater planet known as Sakaar, which is littered with Jack Kirby-inspired designs.
Director Taika Waititi helms Thor: Ragnarok, the biggest production he’s worked on to date. And his unique sensibilities as a filmmaker are what sets this entry apart from the first two Thor movies.
“I think the main challenge, for me, was actually working at getting away from the other two films,” Waititi said during our set visit earlier this year.
“And again, yes, the other films are there and it’s great to watch them. I think they're good films,” Waititi said. “But I don't mind if people start with this film. For me, this is my Thor 1.”
Though the film acknowledges the previous events of Thor and Thor: The Dark World, it’s not beholden to them or building off of those stories. It paves new ground, partially inspired by the classic Marvel storyline “Planet Hulk.”
“I've seen the other films and I respect them a lot. But I can't spend too much time thinking about this as a threequel,” Waititi said. “Because then I'll get tied up too much in respecting what went before, and respecting what's gonna come after. It just, for me, has to be a standalone thing. [It] can be the only time I do this. And, you know, I just want to make it a type of version of a Marvel film in the best way possible.”
Waititi is best known for movies like The Hunt For The Wilderpeople and What We Do In The Shadows, making Thor: Ragnarok his biggest project to date. But given Marvel Studios’ penchant for putting amazing crews around newer directors, it’s probably safe to bet on another hit for the company.
Thor: Ragnarok premieres in theaters November 3.