Taika Waititi ‘Had No Interest’ in Directing a Marvel Movie, Took ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Because He Was ‘Poor’ and It Was ‘A Great Opportunity to Feed’ His Kids

Taika Waititi revealed on a new episode of the “SmartLess” podcast that he had no interest in joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a director. The filmmaker has directed two MCU movies: 2017’s “Thor: Ragnarok,” which is widely considered one of the best Marvel movies, and 2022’s “Thor: Love and Thunder,” which is one of the franchise’s most polarizing. The Oscar winner said he originally accepted the “Ragnarok” gig for money, as he had just had his second child.

“You know what? I had no interest in doing one of those films,” Waititi said. “It wasn’t on my plan for my career as an auteur. But I was poor and I’d just had a second child, and I thought, ‘You know what, this would be a great opportunity to feed these children.'”

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“And ‘Thor,’ let’s face it — it was probably the least popular franchise,” he continued. “I never read ‘Thor’ comics as a kid. That was the comic I’d pick up and be like ‘Ugh.’ And then I did some research on it, and I read one ‘Thor’ comic or 18 pages, or however long they are. I was still baffled by this character.”

When asked if Marvel executives were scared to bring him in, Waititi answered: “I think there was no place left for them to go with that. I thought, ‘Well, they’ve called me in, this is really the bottom of the barrel.”

“Thor: Ragnarok” ended up earning critical acclaim and $853 million at the worldwide box office. “Love and Thunder” topped out at a still-strong $760 million worldwide. Waititi recently told Business Insider that he will most likely not return to direct another “Thor” movie because his slate is booked for the next six or so years.

“I know that I won’t be involved,” he said about “Thor 5” directing duties. “I’m going to concentrate on these other films that I’ve signed on for … But I love Marvel, I love working with them. I love Chris.”

“I would never feel like they are cheating on me,” Waititi added, noting he’d have no ill will if Marvel goes ahead and hires another writer-director for a fifth “Thor” movie. “We’re in an open relationship, and it’s like if they want to see other people, I’m happy for that. I’d still get back into bed with them one day.”

Hemsworth told Entertainment Weekly over the summer that nothing is official regarding his Marvel return. He wants a potential “Thor 5” to be “unpredictable,” but he also doesn’t want to risk playing Thor for so long that Marvel fans start rolling their eyes.

“I’ve got to be careful how I word that because I have no idea what’s happening in the next phase,” Hemsworth said. “There’s always conversations …Before anything is official, people are throwing around ideas. But officially, I don’t know.”

“Thor: Love and Thunder” turned off some Marvel fans with its goofy humor. Hemsworth told GQ that the crew “had too much fun” making the movie and “it just became too silly.”

In the “‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ The Official Movie Special” book, Waititi teased what he would do with a potential fifth “Thor” movie.

“What is left to do to him? It’s got to be something that feels like it’s carrying on with the evolution of the character, but still in a very fun way and still giving him things to come up against that feel like they’re building on the obstacles that he has to overcome,” Waititi said. “I don’t think we can have a villain that’s weaker than Hela. I feel like we need to step up from there and add a villain that’s somehow more formidable.”

All of the “Thor” movies are available to stream now on Disney+.

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