When Guardians of the Galaxy was about to be released, everyone was saying how big of a “gamble” the film was for Marvel Studios. I’m not sure how big a risk the film actually was given that Marvel had already established a brand, meaning folks were interested solely based on the “Marvel Studios presents” tag, but it certainly was a tonal departure from Marvel’s other output. However, that “risk” paid off in a huge way, with Guardians now standing as one of the most popular Marvel movies ever made. Moreover, it paved the way for Marvel to really stretch in subsequent films, like the upcoming Thor sequel Thor: Ragonarok.
We knew Ragnarok was going to be different the moment Marvel hired What We Do in the Shadows and Hunt for the Wilderpeople filmmaker Taika Waititi to direct. Those films feature a hilarious, playful tone that’s underlined by a breakneck pace. Fans immediately started overreacting, begging Waititi not to make the film “too funny,” which was dumb—we have no idea what story Ragnarok is going to tell, so trust the filmmaker to bring home something that is in line with the overall vision for the movie because he, you know, has read the script.
As filming on Ragnarok is winding down, Waititi recently took part in a reddit AMA where he answered some questions about the Thor sequel. Most notably, Waititi teased that Ragnarok will be unique in the MCU:
I think [Thor: Ragonarok] will be one of the most adventurous and most “out there” of all the marvel movies. It’s a crazy movie.
Indeed, Waititi stressed that the tone is “very different,” urging folks to think “CRAZY”, and he also praised Marvel for allowing him plenty of creative freedom. That also extends to the character of Thor, with Waititi saying Chris Hemsworth’s iteration of the God of Thunder this time around will be unique:
My favourite character is Thor. But not Thor from the previous films – Thor from Ragnarok. He’s different and amazing.
Waititi also revealed that the film’s new logo, unveiled at Comic-Con this past July, is in keeping with the visual and tonal theme of the film:
The new logo suits the 70s/80s sci-fi fantasy that this film is becoming.
And the filmmaker also answered a question about the MCU’s lack of iconic music themes, admitting he’s aware of those complaints and discussing why he felt it was important to land Devo artist and The LEGO Movie composer Mark Mothersbaugh to score Ragnarok:
I didn’t see that
but I was very aware of the discussions. It was important to me that we got someone who has a very unique flavour for this. Our film is crazy so we needed someone to help compliment that.
As for things he wishes he could’ve had but didn’t get, Waititi admits that he wanted to find a way to bring a character from his favorite Marvel movie into the fold:
I would have liked to get John C Reilly’s character [from Guardians of the Galaxy] in the film but there was no real way to pull it off.
It certainly sounds like Waititi is being given a very long leash here by Marvel, and I’m encouraged by the tone and influences he’s teasing here. Of course, Marvel usually gives plenty of creative freedom while filming, but has something of a stronger hold during post-production as relayed by Thor: The Dark World helmer Alan Taylor. Here’s hoping Watiti’s vision and Marvel’s vision continue to align. Thor: Ragnarok opens in theaters on November 3, 2017.