Thor: Ragnarok is in theaters today, already looking like it’ll exceed initial box office estimates based on overnight ticket sales. The success is likely due to a combination of the positive reviews, enthusiastic test audiences, celebrity endorsements, smart promotional gags, the Marvel brand, and, of course, the humor. Director Taika Waititi estimated the film is “probably 80 percent” improvised, and the clip above includes a bit of that improvisation.
The clip shows Thor reuniting with Hulk when they face off in an arena for Jeff Goldblum‘s amusement– er, for the Grandmaster’s amusement, we mean. (Hard to tell those two apart.) The now well-known line — “He’s a friend from work!” — was improvised. More specifically, it was written by a Make-A-Wish kid who suggested the joke to Hemsworth just before the scene shot. You can see the clip above, although it doesn’t include the funny part where “puny god” Loki (Tom Hiddleston) reacts to seeing Hulk enter the arena by saying, “I have to get off this planet.”
Hemsworth also spoke about the humor of the film on The Tonight Show last night. In a move that surely won’t end in fire, Hemsworth partially credited his role in the Ghostbusters remake/reboot/whatever for convincing Marvel to let him do more comedic scenes:
“I did Saturday Night Live, I did Vacation, did Ghostbusters, and kind of was having fun improvising, and then thought, ‘God, we could do more of that in Thor.’ And thankfully, the Marvel guys said, ‘Yeah, go for it,’ and we did. And I got to say, laughing for six months, shooting the movie, and mucking around with your mates, is the best way to go to work, if you can even call it that.”