Speaking to director Taika Waititi – whose Thor: Ragnarok hits theaters this week – is a lot like watching one of his movies: it’s hard not to be immediately charmed before being hit with incredibly well timed, dry, deadpan responses. Then again, it’s also incredibly odd that Waititi – best known for smaller, unusual comedies like What We Do in the Shadows and 2016’s indie hit, Hunt for the Wilderpeople – directed a Thor movie in the first place.
It’s not uncommon for indie directors to jump to mainstream blockbusters of late, but it’s usually at least a little obvious that there’s a career path in place. Waititi’s movies are different: there’s nothing about them that scream, “please let me make a Thor movie someday.” In 15 years, when looking back on Waititi’s filmography, there’s a very good chance that his Thor movie will be the outlier. Look, this is the director who tweeted publicly about the possibility of directing a Star Wars movie, “Lolz. I like to complete my films.”
Thor: Ragnarok could almost be described as a pure comedy. It’s certainly up there as one of the most unusual Marvel movies to date, if not the most unusual. Thor isn’t the easiest Marvel character for movies to crack, and Waititi just went for something different – and, to date, that’s paid off with, as of this writing, a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. And if that holds, that would put it at number one as the most critically well-received Marvel movie to date. Which is all pretty impressive coming from a director who still can’t believe he agreed to make a Marvel movie in the first place.
Ahead, we try to get to the bottom of why Waititi agreed to make Thor: Ragnarok, even though I’m not convinced he even knows for sure. Waititi also discusses Tessa Thomson’s revelation that her character, Valkyrie, is bisexual. He also discusses his experiences as an actor on Green Lantern, what he learned from that, and if he thinks he’ll ever make a movie on this scale again. Finally, Waititi also discusses playing Korg, a brutish looking rock monster of a beast who, surprisingly, has a sweet, high-pitched thick New Zealand accent. (People are going to like Korg.)
The world needs more quotes from you on the internet.
Though I couldn’t find if you’re a fan of Duran Duran’s Rio or not? Bruce Banner wears a Rio t-shirt in the movie that Tony Stark had left behind.
I am, too.
It’s an exclusive club.
I was hoping a song would play.
People were wondering if we were trying to say something with this, it was just Tony Stark would probably have this t-shirt lying around.
I cannot get over the fact you directed a Thor movie.
As an admirer of your movies, when it was announced, it was strange combination of excitement and…
Yes. But not that they would want you, but that you would want to do it.
Yeah, I was surprised that I said yes.