The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is giving Thor a fresh new look, and we aren’t talking just about his hair (but whoa!). No, we’re talking about director Taika Waititi, who drives “Thor: Ragnarok”, the MCU’s 17th film to date, to trippy, fun and comedic heights we have never seen before (yes, even more so than Guardians). As a long time fan of Waititi (seriously, you HAVE TO check out “What We Do In The Shadows” and “The Hunt for Wilderpeople” or your life is meaningless), I know that the somewhat bland treatment Thor has gotten in the past, would get a huge makeover and Waititi was just the guy to do it.
Recently, at a press conference in Los Angeles, Waititi and cast members Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Tessa Thompson, Jeff Goldblum, Cate Blanchett, Tom Hiddleston, Rachel House, Karl Urban and Marvel President, Kevin Feige, sat down with select press to talk about the film and more. More often than not, they all turned to praise Waititi while joking with each other. Here’s what Waititi and cast had to say about “Thor: Ragnarok”
Chris Hemsworth on how this Thor was different than the films prior
Taika Waititi, basically. I think we all had a, a vision, and an idea, and a want to do something vastly different than what we’d done before, and take it to a different place. And that meant kind of doing away with what we knew, and just reinventing it, and it all came from his crazy, wonderful brain, and his inspiration, and him pushing us every day on set, and constantly encouraging us to improvise, and explore, and take risks. And it was one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve ever had on a set, and a film that I feel the most proud of, just because of this – this whole team, and the collaboration, and fun we had.
Waititi on jumping into a blockbuster film straight from an indie film background
When they first asked me to come and to them about making this film, obviously I thought that Marvel had lost their minds, so they’re just hiring anyone now. No, but I came in, and I guess I thought that, I knew my strengths were just like tone, character, and you know, relationships, and things, and I had to ignore the scale of this monster, this beast, you know it’s a huge, huge film. What can be distracting on set is if you look over your shoulder, and you see 300 people standing there, and so I just had to keep reminding myself what’s more important is what’s inside the rectangle, and usually, it’s two or three people trying to remember their lines. So it doesn’t matter the scale of the film, that’s always the same, I just focused down on what I was used to, which was what’s in front of the camera.
Kevin Feige on how Waititi’s clip of a film scored to Led Zeppelin defined Thor: Ragnarok
Filmmakers sometimes will say, using clips of other movies, ‘Here’s what I have in mind.’ And sometimes they’re not good. Most of the times, they’re okay. His was amazing, and was scored to that Led Zeppelin song (“Immigrant Song”). So from the beginning, that song kind of defined what Taika was going to do with this. That it’s in the trailer, that it’s in the film – all from that first meeting, and from one of his first instincts of this movie, is very impressive.
Tessa Thompson on the possibility creating a film of ALL the MCU women
Recently, I marched up with a couple other women that work in Marvel, and we were like, to Kevin, ‘What about a movie with some female superheroes – just like, all of them.’
Feige: And I said, ‘Yes.’
Thompson: The Femengers?
Thor: Ragnarok opens Nov. 3rd.