‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Director Taika Waititi Talks Marvel And Humor

Thor: Ragnarok will officially begin filming this summer on July 4 in Queensland, Australia. Photos recently surfaced online, revealing sets being built for the film at Village Roadshow Studios at Oxenford. Before principal photography kicks off, director Taika Waititi talked about Thor: Ragnarok with The Verge, discussing his transition from small-budget indies to big blockbusters and what it’s like working with Marvel Studios.

As far as making the leap from indies to major studio films, the Hunt For The Wilderpeople director, like many other directors, says the process is not very different.

“It hasn’t been that different. So far it’s been good!,” Waititi told the site. “I’ve been more organized, which is saying something, for a guy like me to be organized. I’m surrounded by really intelligent, amazing people. I’ve got access to great minds and great resources. So I’m at a real advantage. In terms of the studio thing, these people don’t act like a studio. They’re cool, smart storytellers. I’ve been enjoying hanging out with them. And I’ve made commercials, so I’ve worked with the worst people in the world. Nothing could be more restrictive than working with people in advertising.”

This is a sentiment that is often expressed by many of the other directors who have worked within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So it looks like Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios have been able to stay consistent on that end.

When it comes to the humor, the MCU has also been pretty consistent, particularly with the Thor films. 2011’s Thor and 2013’s Thor: The Dark World relied on a heavy dose of humor in their scripts, much of that provided by actress Kat Dennings as Darcy Lewis. Thor: Ragnarok is being touted as a “buddy-cop” film, of sorts, with both Hulk and Thor traveling across the universe with one another. That structure is perfectly designed to allow for plenty of comedy.

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Waititi has a specific sense of humor when it comes to his material and for the most part, it sounds like he will be able to transfer that pretty seamlessly to Thor: Ragnarok.

“Yes, it will. Until it doesn’t. [Laughs] I don’t know, I can only hope. I’ve got to bring as much of myself as I can to this, and then see how it goes. You obviously need people overseeing the bigger picture, the next five movies or whatever. Otherwise we’d all be left to our own devices, and God knows what would happen.”

Not having that creative control is something that doesn’t both Taika Waititi.

“I didn’t invent Thor, so I don’t feel a passionate need to have creative control over him,” the director says. “I wonder how Stan Lee feels about me doing a Thor film? [Laughs]”

Thor: Ragnarok has announced a pretty phenomenal and talented cast.

“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. 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.”

Thor: Ragnarok opens in theaters November 3, 2017.

[Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images for Sundance Film Festival]