Marvel have a bit of a director problem. The MCU is a giant behemoth of corporate branding, and as such has to adhere to some pretty strict standards. So even though they attach interesting names to their projects — Branagh, Whedon, the Russo brothers — the final product always has that Marvel sheen to it — for better and worse. I suppose it’s inescapable, really, considering the financial stakes involved, but that doesn’t mean we have to like it. To their credit, Marvel do sometimes manage to walk the line between safe product and work of expression without tipping too much into the former. The ever-delightful Taika Waititi, who is directing the latest entry in the Thor movies — the weakest of the MCU’s strands thus far — has been promising a retro sci-fi vibe to the movie, and he took to Reddit the other day to take part in an AMA.
Highlights are below, but the takeaways seem to be: Taika Waititi is hilarious, and Taika Waititi doesn’t give a fuck. Maybe there is hope, and Thor: Ragnarok will break the curse of that series.
Check it out:
Hello Taika. In Making Thor 3, did you make efforts to make it similar or dissimilar to the previous Thor films? As in, did you try to maintain the same elements, or did you try to make it more unique? Thanks
I made an effort to ignore the fact there are other Thor films.
Thanks for doing this Taika! What does Kevin Feige smell like?
Starbucks. But that’s all Americans actually.
How difficult was it to fit your vision for Thor: Ragnarok into the existing continuity of the MCU?
I didn’t bother trying.
To whom do you credit your sense of humour?
Hey Taika, did you ever get made fun of in this industry for being Polynesian? I’m making films in LA, I’m young and haven’t had a chance to prove myself yet, but people don’t take me seriously. I get called Lilo and Moana or get made fun of for being small. If it happened to you, did you just ignore it?
Ignore it. They’re idiots. Our ancestors explored the ENTIRE of the pacific ocean without GPS. You come from that greatness.
Chris Hemsworth is really funny. How much of his comedy chops are utilised in THOR: RAGNAROK?
All of them.
Is Jemaine Clement a good hugger? He looks like a good hugger.
Terrible hugger! I’m serious. Like hugging a limp wet fish.
What are the specific directors/films that have influenced your directorial style?
Malick, Tarkovsky, Kubrick, Nichols, Ashby.
what are your favorite tv shows at the moment?
I haven’t had any time to watch tv. The last thing was Stranger Things. Loved that.
(Aside from your own movies) what are some of your favorite New Zealand or Polynesian-produced films?
The Silent One and Whale Rider.
Two questions: 1). How are you able to get such good performances out of child actors?
2). With Thor: Ragnarok, did the bigger scale of the project affect the way you direct?
Thanks for doing this, I’m a HUGE fan of everything you’ve done!
1) Bribe them with promises you never intend to honour. 2) Nope!
Considering the retro logo, can we expect an 80’s vibe in Thor: Ragnarok?
You can. And more.
I was wondering what your opinion was on film school is, or film education in general? Is it a waste, or does it give an advantage?
I’m currently working on my film degree and it’s pretty discouraging to hear my engineering friends joke about how I won’t make any money. Not that it’s all about the money, but, y’know, there’s the general implication of failure. Anyways, some words of support from my favorite director could help ;)
My mother is a teacher. I believe strongly in education. It’s vital. However I don’t think university (college) is necessary for everyone. I don’t think I learned very much that I couldn’t have learned practically, in the real world. I think the same about film school. I never went but it might be useful for some people.
Do you know how much of your original script of Moana Disney has used for the finished film?
Big fan, love all your movies!
How many takes did you guys have to do of Deacon doing his sexy dance for his friends in What We Do In The Shadows, because you couldn’t stop laughing? Because I couldn’t stop laughing.
About 4 takes. But each take was 7 minutes.
Will you be doing a press tour in the states for Thor:Ragnarok?
I hope so. I can’t trust the actors to reliably promote this thing.
Howdy Taika, Kevin Feige said that Thor: Ragnarok would be the Winter Soldier of the MCU’s Phase 3 movies. Care to elaborate on that?
Jeez. I better see Winter Soldier… no joke.
Hi Taika! I saw “What We Do in the Shadows” and loved it! I’m really excited for Thor: Ragnarok & I’ve got a couple little questions:
1) Will Thor: Ragnarok meld well with the previous two movies, or will it stand on its own?
2) Can we expect some of the same brand of humor in Thor? If so, were you ever given a hard time about certain scenes or lines?
3) Why does the title card for Thor look like it was pulled from a retro video game?
4) What’s happening with We’re Wolves?
5) Would you like some bisghetti?
1) I have no idea. It will be a nice addition to the Taika Waititi box-set though.
2) You can expect a Taika-esque tone. They’ve been very accepting of my style.
3) In case there’s a retro style video game spin-off.
4) We have a title, what else do you want??
5) I’m not falling for that!
Thanks for doing this.
Which character or actor is going to steal the show in your opinion?
I’m going to the grocery store- you need anything?
My childhood back.
Taika, massive fan here - well chuffed at your meteoric rise - what would you say to yourself five years ago knowing what was coming?
Buy more socks and learn how to use reddit at least an hour before your AMA
Beyonce or Jeff Goldblum? This is an important life or death question, Taika.