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It's not uncommon for a director to insert themselves into the project they're working on, especially if they already have plenty of acting experience. That's just what Taika Waititi did for Thor: Ragnarok. In addition to helming the God of Thunder's third standalone MCU adventure, Waititi played Korg, the Kronan warrior who Thor met during his time on Sakaar. Because Korg was an all-CGI creation, it was particularly difficult bringing him to life for Thor: Ragnarok, and for visual effects supervisor Jake Morrison, the process became more challenging whenever Waititi would come up with new lines during post-production. Morrison recalled:
I would say the one thing I did learn on this is, once Taika discovered that he could just come up with new punch lines and zingers in the edit suite, was when my life got a lot harder.
Taikia Waititi is known for encouraging improvisation among his actors, and he admitted that "probably 80%" of Thor: Ragnarok was improvised, so it's not surprising to learn that he came up with new pieces of funny dialogue for Korg long after the cameras had stopped rolling. From a comedic perspective, this can pay off, but for Jake Morrison, the man who's overseeing the creation of Thor: Ragnarok's visual effects, it poses all-new challenges that need to be handled. As Morrison noted later in his interview with Comicbook.com, not only was working on Korg hard because the character's actor was also the director, but because comedy is harder to effectively pull off than drama, then he had to ensure that a creature made up of rocks could look "realistic" and still be funny to the audience. Morrison continued:
So, the fact that, that would rest firmly upon the visual effects department shoulders, the fact that we had to make the audience laugh, we had to completely bring them into the story and make them believe the character, even though he's 7'6" rock monster made of 1,300 rocks or whatever that it was. And literally each rock you had to move against each other, but never deformed or look like latex. They're all sort of impossible tasks.
Thor: Ragnarok was one of the funnier MCU movies, particularly in comparison with the previous two Thor movies, and judging by the overall critical reception, Taika Waititi made the right call with that tonal shift. That being said, it's understandable why the Korg portions of the movie were particularly difficult for Jake Morrison given both the average visual effects obstacles and Waititi's improvisational nature. If Morrison works on another movie where Waititi is playing Korg, hopefully this experience won't make the next one quite as stressful.
Thor: Ragnarok is now available for digital purchase, and you can buy the Blu-ray/DVD starting March 6. While Korg's next big screen appearance hasn't been announced yet, Taika Waititi has floated several ideas for MCU projects he could direct next. With Black Panther now playing in theaters, the next MCU installment, Avengers: Infinity War, will be released on May 4.