News Taika Waititi Directed Thor Because He Was 'Poor': He Had No Interest In It
Taika Waititi Directed Thor Because He Was 'Poor': He Had No Interest In It
In the dynamic landscape of the
Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), the unexpected collaboration between filmmaker Taika Waititi and the god of thunder led to the creation of two iconic Thor movies: 'Thor: Ragnarok' (2017) and 'Thor: Love and Thunder' (2022). However, what many fans may not know is that Waititi initially had 'no interest' in taking on the directorial reins for a Marvel superhero film. The revelation came during an insightful conversation on the SmartLess podcast, where Waititi candidly shared the intriguing journey that led him to helm two Thor installments. The Unlikely Journey:
On a fateful episode of the SmartLess podcast, hosts Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, and Sean Hayes delved into a conversation with Taika Waititi. Amidst laughter and anecdotes, Waititi disclosed the surprising fact that directing a
Marvel film wasn't initially part of his grand plan as an auteur. 'You know what? I had no interest in doing one of those films,' Waititi confessed, laying bare his initial reluctance.
Financial constraints played a pivotal role in altering Waititi's trajectory. In a candid moment, he revealed, 'But I was poor and I’d just had a second child, and I thought, ‘You know what, this would be a great opportunity to feed these children.’' This pragmatic decision to secure a stable income through a Marvel project marked the beginning of Waititi's unexpected journey into the superhero genre.
Thor, the Unpopular Franchise:
To add another layer to the story, Waititi acknowledged that, at the time, Thor was not the most popular franchise within the
Marvel universe. 'And Thor, let’s face it — it was probably like the least popular franchise,' he remarked. This admission hinted at a certain level of skepticism Waititi harbored toward the character and the narrative potential within the Thor comics. The revelation that he never read Thor comics during his childhood further underscored his unfamiliarity with the source material.
Intriguingly, Waititi shared his initial bafflement with Thor's character after reading a comic, emphasizing the challenges he faced in comprehending the essence of the Norse god. This lack of affinity with the material makes his eventual success with 'Thor: Ragnarok' and 'Thor: Love and Thunder' all the more remarkable.
Bottom of the Barrel:
As the conversation unfolded, Waititi expressed his belief that
Marvel approached him to direct the Thor films because 'there was no place left for them to go with that.' He humorously added, 'I thought, ‘Well, if they’ve called me in, this is really the bottom of the barrel.'' This self-deprecating remark shed light on the director's perception of his involvement in the franchise and the initial fan reaction.
Waititi went on to mention that fans initially 'hated that I … signed on for the first one.' This acknowledgment of fan skepticism and backlash added an intriguing layer to the narrative, showcasing the uphill battle Waititi faced in winning over the Marvel audience.
The Success of Thor: Ragnarok and Love and Thunder:
Contrary to his initial reservations, Waititi's directorial approach breathed new life into the Thor franchise. 'Thor: Ragnarok' not only earned critical acclaim but also amassed a staggering $853 million worldwide. The success of the film shattered preconceived notions about Thor's popularity and solidified Waititi's position as a director capable of revitalizing a superhero saga.
The journey continued with 'Thor: Love and Thunder,' which, despite being one of the franchise's most polarizing entries, still managed to secure a robust $760 million worldwide. This success affirmed that Waititi's unique blend of humor, storytelling, and visual flair resonated with audiences, even in the ever-expanding
Marvel universe. The Future and an Open Relationship:
Despite his triumphs with Thor, Waititi hinted at a departure from the franchise. In a recent interview with Business Insider, he stated, 'I know that I won’t be involved,' referring to the potential 'Thor 5' directing duties. Busy with an array of projects over the next six years, Waititi expressed his love for
Marvel but clarified his focus on other ventures.
In a metaphorical analogy, Waititi likened his relationship with Marvel to an open one, stating, 'We’re in an open relationship, and it’s like if they want to see other people, I’m happy for that. I’d still get back into bed with them one day.' This whimsical metaphor not only showcased Waititi's amicable approach but also left the door open for potential future collaborations.
Chris Hemsworth's Perspective:
Chris Hemsworth, who portrays Thor in the MCU, added his perspective to the ongoing uncertainty about Thor's future. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Hemsworth emphasized the need for unpredictability in a potential 'Thor 5.' He expressed a desire for freshness in the narrative while being cautious about not overstaying Thor's welcome in the MCU.
Hemsworth's comments hinted at the delicate balance between keeping the character relevant and avoiding creative fatigue, a challenge that
Marvel continually faces as it navigates the evolving phases of its cinematic universe. Taika Waititi's Creative Vision:
In the midst of speculation about Thor's cinematic future, Waititi teased his vision for a potential fifth Thor movie. He pondered, 'What is left to do to him? It’s got to be something that feels like it’s carrying on with the evolution of the character, but still in a very fun way and still giving him things to come up against that feel like they’re building on the obstacles that he has to overcome.'
This glimpse into Waititi's creative process suggested a commitment to pushing boundaries and exploring new facets of Thor's journey. The mention of introducing a villain more formidable than Hela raised anticipation for the potential challenges that Thor might face in the future.
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