Taika Waititi took everything that the MCU had established about the character of Thor and cranked it up to 11 while also adding his own spin on the character and the story.
The first two Thor films, Thor and Thor: The Dark World, introduced viewers to the medieval-like God of Thunder. However, while still playing a vital role in the entirety of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, most fans attest that both movies haven't aged all that well and sit on the weaker side of the spectrum when compared to other films in the franchise.
Comedy filmmaker and director Taika Waititi was brought on to finish out the trilogy of movies about the Asgardians in 2017's Thor: Ragnarok. He completely revived the characters of Thor and Loki and even put a comedic spin on the entire storyline. Four years later, Ragnarok is regarded as one of the MCU's elite films.
A fourth film in the Thor franchise was announced in 2020 along with Waititi returning to the helm. Little has been revealed about the plot of the film, but the director treated fans with a title, Thor: Love and Thunder, and also announced that Natalie Portman's Jane Foster, who was absent in Ragnarok, would be making a return.
It has also been confirmed that Chris Pratt will be reprising his role as Star-Lord in Love and Thunder along with the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy, and the film's antagonist will be none other than Gorr the God Butcher, portrayed by Academy Award-winning actor Christian Bale.
As the film nears its release date in Spring 2022, Waititi is opening up to reveal more about the Chris Hemsworth-starring film.
TAIKA WAITITI ON THOR 4'S LOVE STORY
Thor: Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi recently sat down in an interview with Wired UK to talk about the upcoming film.
He revealed what his brainstorming process for Hemsworth's fourth solo movie was, saying he wanted to do something viewers would be "expecting the least" for his "craziest" project to date, which turns out to be "a full-blown love story:"
“What I wanted to do from the beginning was to ask: ‘What are people expecting the least from this franchise?’ Oh, I know – a full-blown love story!”
The interview also displayed Waititi's knowledge of other aspects that go into making a film, specifically about his understanding of visual effects and green screens, saying that he is "constantly working with [the VFX team]" to make sure the movie is exactly how he wants it:
“I’m constantly working with [the VFX team] to find solutions for things."
The technology used to make Thor: Ragnarok was credited to the creative studio Satellite Lab, which created a gadget called Dynamiclight that allows the lighting to run faster than the speed of sound.
It was revealed that Dynamiclight was what allowed Waititi to film certain flashback sequences in Ragnarok, in which light moves at 1,200 frames per second.
However, Waititi will be using even newer technology for Thor: Love and Thunder. This groundbreaking visual effects tool is known as PlateLight, which uses lighting at high speeds to capture multiple set-ups in the very same camera shot.
Waititi said that PlateLight allows filmmakers to "have every single kind of lighting" that can then be chosen "in post-production:"
"And then when you break down that footage into increments of 24 frames per second, you have every single kind of lighting, all individually captured. So, later you can choose your lighting in post-production."
Waititi also reiterated that he will still be using Industrial Light & Magic’s StageCraft technology, the same "The Volume" virtual environment that he first became familiar with when directing episode eight of The Mandalorian's first season.
StageCraft allows actors to literally be inside the location that they are shooting due to LED screens resting around the physical set, which Waititi noted allows actors to "be in the environment:"
"The actors can be in the environment; they can see what everyone else can see.”
LOVE AND THUNDER'S CREATIVITY AND INSANITY
It is clear that Taika Waititi is truly dedicated to his work. It doesn't matter if he is working on a 30-minute long short film or a CGI-heavy MCU blockbuster, he puts all of his efforts into not only making it the best he can but also putting his own spin on it.
Thor: Ragnarok was such a welcome and fresh new start for the character of Thor in the eyes of fans. The comedy that Waititi implemented into key plot points of the story, coupled with a wave of heavy emotion felt toward the characters, proves he is one of the elite directors in Hollywood.
Waititi's claim that Love and Thunder will be "a full-blown love story" will be interesting for fans to see. The first two films of the Thor franchise dove into the attraction Hemsworth's character had with Jane Foster, but nothing truly ever came of it after their "mutual dumping" that Thor alluded to in Avengers: Endgame.
Thor: Love and Thunder is going to be bigger with the stacked cast that it presents, and in the words of Karen Gillan who will reprise her role as Nebula in the upcoming film, Thor will be "even more hilarious than he was last time."
Thor: Love and Thunder is set to release in on May 6, 2022.