Taika Waititi, director of Marvel's Thor: Ragnarok, caught many Thor fans by surprise when his name was announced as director for the third Thor film. Taika Waititi has only one other connection to a superhero project -- that being Warner Bros.' 2011 flop Green Lantern, in which Waititi played the best friend to Ryan Reynolds' Hal Jordan, Tom Kalmaku. This is probably where most comic book fans recognized him from, if they recognized him at all.
Marvel's Thor series started off extremely well with actor/director Kenneth Branagh helming the first film. Thor: The Dark World was originally going to be directed by Patty Jenkins, but due to creative differences Jenkins left the project and is now directing Wonder Woman. Game of Thrones director Alan Taylor was brought in as a replacement, but it was still a directorial choice that made sense overall. But Taika Waititi directing Thor: Ragnarok is certainly a strange idea, with the filmmaker even admitting so, but it's also the exact reason he should direct the film, according to Waititi himself.While discussing his latest directorial effort, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Taika commented on landing the directing gig and what it means when an unknown director such as himself gets the chance to direct such a high profile project.
"I'm absolutely an outside choice for them. Which is good! That's why I think they do so well. They just keep choosing weird people to make their movies. I think it's great. It's awesome. It's a genius move, really. Why would you get the obvious choice?"Joe and Anthony Russo (Community, Arrested Development) certainly were not the obvious choice to take on Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but the directing-duo delivered Civil War this year and will be handling the two-part Avengers: Infinity War films.
"It's like when Hollywood sees a movie that does really well and then they copy that movie. If you're trying to get someone to make a certain film, you don't get someone who made the last film that was like your film that you're trying to make. Because you're going to get the same film, and it's going to be boring, and everybody's going to see how boring it is.""You should get someone who's really weird, like me, who's never made one of these things before," Taika Waititi continued. "And then you guide them and shape them and make sure they don't spend all the money on leather jackets."
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Marvel confirmed Thor: Ragnarok's cast as well as who certain actors would be playing. Creed's Tessa Thompson has been cast as Valkyrie; Cate Blanchett will play Ragnarok's villain - Hela; Jeff Goldblum and Judge Dredd actor Karl Urban have also been cast in the film. The official press release can be read below.
"Two-time Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine, Carol, Cinderella) joins Marvel Studios' Thor: Ragnarok as the mysterious and powerful new villain Hela, along with Jeff Goldblum (the upcoming Independence Day: Resurgence, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Jurassic Park) who joins the cast as the eccentric Grandmaster, Tessa Thompson (Creed, Selma) who will bring the classic hero Valkyrie to life on the big screen, and Karl Urban (Star Trek trilogy, The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King) who will add his might to the fray as Skurge.Marvel's Thor: Ragnarok, directed by Taika Waititi, hits theaters on November 3, 2017.
"Rounding out the cast for the film is three-time Oscar-nominee Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight, The Kids Are All Right, Foxcatcher), reprising his role of Bruce Banner/the Hulk from Marvel's The Avengers and Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron.
"'The continuation of the epic Thor franchise will be powerful and unique, and with the additions of Cate, Jeff, Tessa, Karl, and Mark to the cast we have the makings of his most dangerous and heroic adventure yet,' said Producer Kevin Feige. 'The sheer, raw talent each of these actors brings to the screen can't be quantified. Having any one of them join the Marvel Cinematic Universe would be an honor, and having all of them is incredible.'
"Thor's new cast members join returning stars Chris Hemsworth (Rush, In the Heart of the Sea, Ghostbusters) in the title role for the fifth time; Tom Hiddleston (Crimson Peak, The Night Manager, Kong: Skull Island) as Thor's adversarial, adopted brother, Loki; Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award winner Idris Elba (The Dark Tower, Luther, Beasts of No Nation) as the Asgardian sentry, Heimdall; and Academy Award-winner Sir Anthony Hopkins (Silence of the Lambs, Nixon, Hitchcock) again portraying Odin, Ruler of Asgard.
"Thor: Ragnarok, the third installment of Marvel's popular Norse Super Hero, is directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Taika Waititi (Two Cars, One Night, What We Do in the Shadows, Hunt for the Wilderpeople). Kevin Feige will produce the film, joined by executive producers Louis D'Esposito, Brad Winderbaum, Victoria Alonso, Thomas M. Hammel and Stan Lee."
[Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images]