New Zealand actor/director Taika Waititi has been popular for several years now but is primed for superstar status thanks to his directing gig on Thor: Ragnarok. He recently took part in a Reddit AMA in which he discussed the Marvel film, Moana, and more.
In 2005, his short film Two Cars, One Night was nominated for an Academy Award and his second feature film, Boy, did well on the festival circuit and in critical reviews. His vampire mockumentary feature What We Do in the Shadows is fantastically ridiculous (there's a TV spinoff in the works) and his most recent film Hunt for the Wilderpeople, starring Sam Neill and Julian Dennison, was also released this year to great praise.
Waititi isn't new to superhero films, he played Hal Jordan's pal Tom Kalmaku in 2011's Green Lantern, but landing the director's gig for Thor: Ragnarok had a lot of fans wondering what his take on the God of Thunder would be like. We've certainly seen some humorous extras, but when asked if his trademark humor would make it into the film he replied, “You can expect a Taika-esque tone. They've been very accepting of my style.”
“I've been given a lot of creative freedom,” he added in another answer, telling the Reddit crowd his experience working with Disney on Thor: Ragnarok, as well as Moana, has been “Very pleasant,” and that working on such a big project has been “Not very different at all” from working on smaller productions with his friends. Although, “The only challenge is dealing with the amount of people. There are literally hundreds more crew members than I'm used to. I gave up remembering anyone's name months ago.”
Fans touched on the new Thor logo style which Waititi said was, “inspired by 70s / 80s sci-fi fantasy art. Because our film feels like that.” Later adding that we can expect an '80s vibe “and more” from the film.
“I made an effort to ignore the fact there are other Thor films,” he said when asked about how it would be different or similar to the past two in the franchise. “I think [Thor: Ragnarok] will be one of the most adventurous and most 'out there' of all the Marvel movies,” he wrote. “It's a crazy movie.” He also admitted he “didn't bother trying” to fit this film into the larger Marvel continuity, he was focused on his work alone. “They tell me nothing [about Guardians 2, Doctor Strange] and that's the way I like it. I have to concentrate on my film and make it the best.”
He also mentioned that Guardians of the Galaxy is his favorite Marvel cinematic universe film and in fact, “I would have liked to get John C. Reilly's character in the film but there was no real way to pull it off.” And as to rumors of a Doctor Strange post-credits sequence, or at the very least a reference, “Probably a reference.”
Waititi also spoke a bit about breaking into the film industry but one of the most interesting answers I found was the answer to what he feels is the coolest shot before VFX in Thor: Ragnarok. “We have an amazing shot that took a bunch of mathematicians and scientists (nerds) a couple of months to figure out,” he said. “We're also using a rig called Satelight that has never been used in a movie before.”
I'm really interested to see what that looks like now. And speaking of Science Bros, Waititi's answer to “which character or actor is going to steal the show” was simply “Banner.”
While he's only contracted for this one Marvel film, the director also put some work into Disney's animated film Moana. Though he's praised the work being done on it in the past he told Reddit, “I was involved very early on with some storylining. But there have been about 10 other writers since me” adding that “Probably 0%” of his work made it into the final product.
Make sure the check out the whole AMA for more.