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The Marvel Cinematic Universe appears to be on a roll in 2017, and that trend is set to potentially continue with the long-awaited debut of Thor: Ragnarok. Taika Waititi's bizarre send-up of science fiction and superhero tropes has impressed many of the critics who had a chance to view the film early, but that doesn't mean the New Zealand-born director was an instant shoe-in for the job. In fact, it took a bit of convincing for the higher-ups at Marvel. When asked by Kevin Feige why Waititi felt he was the right filmmaker to bring Thor: Ragnarok to life, he reportedly said:
With that, it seems that Kevin Feige was sold on the What We Do in the Shadows director taking control of the third entry in the Thor franchise. Per the New York Times' recent profile of the director, Kevin Feige responded well to Waititi's enthusiasm during their initial meetings, and the rest is history. He didn't have blockbuster experience, per se, but he reportedly had a similar outlook on his work to the Marvel head honcho. From a practical point of view, this sort of decision-making seems to be translating into good business. Based on the early critic response to the film (not to mention CinemaBlend's own review), Taika Waititi has brought a delightful sense of playfulness and weirdness to the Asgardian corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that audiences may want to see.
If you have kept up with the development and production of Thor: Ragnarok, then you likely already know that Taika Waititi threw out many of the traditional Marvel rules in his creation of the threequel. He was given considerable freedom to allow his actors to improv on the set (so much so that it even shocked Hulk actor Mark Ruffalo) and say things that the characters would "want" to say. If Kevin Feige was looking for something weird and different in his Ragnarok director, then he seemed to find it in this indie filmmaker.
Check out a trailer for Thor: Ragnarok below to get a better look at the off-beat sensibility that Taika Waititi has injected into this franchise.
Of course, just because Taika Waititi claims to have made these enormous movies "in his head" for years doesn't necessarily mean that he thinks he's a perfect fit for any franchise. While he seems to have found quite a bit of comfort in control of the Thor series, he has also made it clear that he's not interested in joining the Star Wars franchise because he doesn't think he'd be a good fit. That said, Ragnarok is gearing up to become yet another box office hit for Marvel, and if it does well, it could merely be the beginning of Waititi's tenure as a blockbuster filmmaker.