For those who have seen Thor: Ragnarok (and judging by the box office, that's a lot of you), you know that the God of Thunder's latest outing was a stark departure from his previous films. Thor and Thor: The Dark World were straight-laced and tonally more serious than the colorful, cosmic fun of Thor: Ragnarok. This was not by accident and we now know that part of the inspiration for this shift came from Thor Odinson himself, Chris Hemsworth. The Thor actor had become disillusioned with the direction of his character and felt like change was needed. However, when he heard fanboy king Kevin Smith criticizing the Thor franchise on a podcast, it really affected the actor, and he went straight to Marvel Studios president, Kevin Feige to express his concerns. Chris Hemsworth explained how he felt when he heard Smith criticize the Thor films, noting,
Hearing someone like Smith, who represents the fanboy world, was such a kick in the ass to change gears. We sort of had nothing to lose. People didn't expect what we did with it this time around.
If the critical and fan reception to Thor: Ragnarok is any indication, this roll of the dice paid off handsomely and set the character up to continue this success down the road. Kevin Smith has always been a fan first and a filmmaker second so, despite being in the industry, he is never afraid to speak his mind about where adaptations of beloved comics err in execution. His platform is a powerful one because fans want to hear what he really thinks. The fact that Chris Hemsworth is actually listening to Kevin Smith's podcast, even as he was bashing the Thor franchise, speaks to a love of the character and willingness to hear criticism.
Chris Hemsworth also told Vanity Fair that after Avengers: Age of Ultron, he thought that they needed a tonal reset and for the future of Thor to be funnier and more unpredictable. This transformation goes hand in hand with the directorial choice of the hilarious Taika Waititi. Chris Hemsworth may have believed there was nothing to lose, but in fact there was a lot. Thor is not only the anchor of his own films, but he is also a critical element in an interwoven cinematic universe. A Thor: Ragnarok failure would have in no way been good for the rest of the MCU. To inject way more comedy, tell a more adventure-driven story and to completely change the color palette of the franchise and the look of the titular hero himself is no small switch. This was a risky and a bold choice by Kevin Feige, Chris Hemsworth, Taika Waititi and all involved in Thor: Ragnarok.
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Here's hoping that Kevin Smith continues to levy good criticism at the properties we fans love the most and that the people listening make better films because of it. Thor: Ragnarok is now playing. Be sure to check out our movie release schedule to see what's coming up and stay on CinemaBlend for all your movie news.