Thor: Ragnarok Director Talks Wacky & Crazy Humor He Wants To Bring To Film


It caught people by surprise when Marvel Studios chose Taika Waititi to direct Thor: Ragnarok as the New Zealand filmmaker has built a reputation on independent films, like What We Do In The Shadows and his latest film Hunt for the Wilderpeople. He did dip his toes in mainstream faire a few years back when he co-wrote Disney's upcoming animated film Moana, though, that connection to Marvel's parent company isn't what got him Thor 3.

"Well, they had not heard of the Disney thing so I know that wasn't part of it," Waititi told Collider at the Sundance Film Festival. "They have a record making out there and exciting choices and I think what they said to me was, 'We want it to be funny and try a whole new tack. We love your work and do you think you can fit in with this?' To make filmmaking interesting to me, I want to keep learning things. This is my fourth film at Sundance and it's very similar to my second film. I don't want to keep doing that. I want to do weird things and big budget things and no budget things. I don't have a five-year plan. I've loved comics since I was a kid, collected them, I've always dreamed of being involved in comics. So this is really cool for me."

One of the nice things about Marvel is that they are always trying to keep their superhero films/shows fresh by coming at them from every possible angle. "They've got their dark films, some are more serious, and I think it's great that they're mixing it up," Waititi said. "I really want to inject my style of humor into this."

Since landing the gig, Waititi has learned that Marvel prides itself on story first and foremost. "They are constantly looking for the best story, they'll tear everything down to rebuild it to make sure they have the best story," he shared.

Now that Waititi is working with a MUCH larger budget than he has ever had before he is studying other big-budget films so he knows what not to do. "Because also with that money comes the idea, 'Let your imagination run wild.' Which I think is a very dangerous thing," he explained. "I think it's dangerous because you can get into pretty wacky territory. There are things that are too crazy. So the films I like to watch are when they make it relatable to human audiences. I'm used to working with restrictions and that's when you come up with the more creative stuff."

Waititi is as much a director as he is a writer, but how much involvement does he have the script? "Well, at this stage, a little bit," he offered. "I'm not sure. I think the most use I'll be in terms of humor. Trying to find funnier ways of doing stuff. That'll be my strength. They've got structure and stuff but I'll be useful at putting jokes in there."

Thor: Ragnarok will star Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/The Hulk). It'll be directed by Taika Waititi, based on a script by Christopher Yost, Craig Kyle and Stephany Folsom.

Thor: Ragnarok will be released on November 3, 2017.