Marvel’s Phase 3 will begin in May with Captain America: Civil War, and it will continue exploring the cosmic side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with movies like Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and Thor: Ragnarok. While the discussion on Strange and Guardians seems to come in fits and spurts, Thor has somehow managed be a topic of conversation with remarkable frequency.
So far, details surrounding third Thor movie suggest it will bring together the two big heroes absent in Civil War: Thor and Hulk. Otherwise little is known about the plot, although there are many rumors floating around (including one that suggests it could adapt Planet Hulk), but director Taika Waititi has previously opened up about the tone of the movie, saying it will be funnier than the previous installment. And now he spoke about his experience working with Marvel so far and his approach to the third movie centered on the God of Thunder.
In an interview with Collider at Sundance Film Festival, Waititi shared the secret to Marvel’s consistent success: reinvention. It’s all about not having rules, tearing down what has been established, and rebuilding it to bring out the best of them.
“I’ve learned that there are really no rules. There’s no road map. They’re very similar to Pixar in that way. They are constantly looking for the best story, they’ll tear everything down to rebuild it to make sure they have the best story. That’s why Marvel is good, they keep pushing and pushing and trying to get the best thing possible. That’s what I’ve discovered the way things have changed.”
Marvel have pushed their own limits in order to bring a variety of products within their superhero universe, as they did by making a spy thriller out of a superhero movie with Captain America: The Winter Soldier and even a space opera with Guardians of the Galaxy. Even within the solo trilogies – Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor – there are differences in tone between those movies, so it’s not surprising that Thor: Ragnarok will aim for a lighter, funnier tone than Thor: The Dark World.
Speaking about the movie’s humorous tone, Waititi shared that he draws inspiration from the comics as well as previous Marvel films; most notably, the funny bits in Joss Whedon’s The Avengers.
“I love that one moment in Avengers when Hulk grabs Loki and rag dolls him. It lends itself to great humor, do you read those comic books? They’re wacky. They’re crazy. I think that’s exactly what they need, to keep changing it up. They’ve got their dark films, some are more serious, and I think it’s great that they’re mixing it up. I really want to inject my style of humor into this.”
It certainly sounds as though Waititi has a specific vision for his Marvel movie. His referencing of the Hulk’s “rag doll” act with Loki in The Avengers bodes well for his use of the character in the film. Given the director’s film history, the idea of Thor: Ragnarok being something of a “buddy film” sounds not only like an exciting change of pace, but something that is definitely up Waititi’s alley.
The third Thor film is expected to start shooting in June, in Australia. Waititi, meanwhile, is currently promoting his new adventure-comedy, Hunt for the Wilderpeople (starring Sam Neill and Julian Dennison), based on the book Wild Pork and Watercress, by Barry Crump. In addition to working on Thor: Ragnarok, Waititi co-wrote Disney Animation’s Moana, set for a November 23 release.
Captain America: Civil War will release on May 6, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on May 1, July 10 and November 6, 2020.