As yesterday’s official San Diego Comic-Con trailer proved, Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows, Hunt for the Wilderpeople) is looking to bring the God of Thunder on a stranger, lighter and more colorful adventure than his previous two outings. In general, Waititi’s approach to directing Ragnarok looks to be more unconventional than what most take with superhero movies, as he explains in a new interview.
MTV News correspondent Josh Horowitz caught up with Waititi after Marvel’s giant Hall H presentation at Comic-Con on Saturday and picked his brain about the upcoming seventeenth entry in Marvel Cinematic Universe. The two quickly got on the topic of improvisation, to which Waititi revealed that a shocking amount of the film is improvised. He said, “I would say we improvised maybe 80% of the film, or ad-libbed.”
Improvisation is encouraged on the set of most (if not all) Marvel Studios movies, with Iron Man, Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man being some of the more famous examples, but having 80% of a film of Ragnarok’s size be improvised is absolutely unheard of and further sets Waititi apart from the crowd.
On testing the studio’s tolerance for the weird and offbeat, Waititi stated, “Mark Ruffalo would be finished shooting for the day and he’d come up to me and he’d be like, ‘Why have we not been fired yet? We are doing the most insane stuff in this film, so where’s the phone call?'”
“My style of working is I’ll often be behind the camera, or right next to the camera yelling words at people, like, ‘Say this, say this! Say it this way!'” he added. “I’ll straight-up give Anthony Hopkins a line reading. I don’t care.”
While many have accused Marvel Studios of hiring younger, more inexperienced directors to helm its big-budget superhero films in order maintain creative control, Waititi seems to have had no problem with bringing his own signature style to the MCU and pleasing the big wigs at Marvel Studios at the same time. Good or bad, Ragnarok will certainly be something different for the superhero genre.
In Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok,” Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok—the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization—at the hands of an all-powerful threat, the ruthless Hela. But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger—the Incredible Hulk.
Thor: Ragnarok is being directed by Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows) and features Marvel veterans Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Anthony Hopkins as Odin, Idris Elba as Heimdall and Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk alongside Cate Blanchett as Hela, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, Jeff Goldblum as the Grandmaster, Karl Urban as Skurge, Taika Waititi as Korg, Clancy Brown as Surtur and Sam Neill and Rachel House in as-yet-unrevealed roles. It is set for release on October 27th in the UK and November 3rd in the States.