Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi has revealed that the blockbuster MCU entry nearly featured a flashback showing a young Thor as you’ve never seen him before: chubby and being picked on by bullies. Waititi’s joke-infused take on Thor has already made box office history, hammering (and hamming) its way to a $120 million opening weekend.
Taika Waititi was a relative unknown with only a few small independent films to his name when he was hired to tackle the big-budget Thor: Ragnarok. Concerns about Waititi’s lack of experience on such material went by the wayside when fans saw the now-famous first teaser for the film, with its super-confident visual flair, riotous humor and throw-down-the-gauntlet Led Zeppelin soundtrack. With Waititi at the helm, the Thor formula was reworked to take better advantage of comic possibilities, including the relationship between Thor and a suddenly-chatty Hulk. Since this is an MCU movie, the Waititi touches, inspired by everything from Flash Gordon to Big Trouble in Little China, build upon what is still a solid structure of familiar Marvel business, including a super-powerful villain who has to be tackled via teamwork.
Speaking to MTV.com‘s Happy Sad Confused podcast, Waititi talked about adding jokes to the Thor universe, and revealed the hilarious flashback sequence he originally wanted to include in Thor: Ragnarok but was unable to work in. In this flashback, Thor would have been nothing like the buff, manly, near-invincible warrior we’ve come to know and love:
I wanted this little thing, and maybe if we ever do a Thor 4 we can have it, but I wanted to do some flashbacks where Thor was a kid, a fat little kid. There was like an 80s version of Asgard where everyone had massive shoulder pads, and everyone had mullets (laughs). Our idea was Thor and Valkyrie meet and he’s like, ‘Hey I know you,’ and she’s like ‘Ha I remember you,’ and then it cuts back to this thing and he’s just this pudgy little kid walking around with a mullet and being picked on by other kids. And Loki’s like this little emo goth hanging out by himself. He was like [Malfoy] in Harry Potter.
Waititi is all the way on-board with doing a fourth Thor film, and after the box office success of Ragnarok, Marvel Studios should have no hesitation in bringing the director back and letting him loose on Thor once again. If Waititi gets his way, the next Thor movie will include a kid Thor with an apparent binge-eating problem who has a difficult time handling himself and gets smacked around by bullies while his surly goth brother Loki stands around sighing and rolling his eyes. If that weren’t amusing enough, Waititi also has in mind a version of Asgard that for some bizarre reason resembles the 1980s on earth. If Feige ever took the leash all the way off Waititi, we might end up with a Stranger Things version of Thor where everyone is little kids running around a 1980s Asgard, and Chris Hemsworth’s version of Thor only appears in a cameo.
Unsurprisingly, there are some out there who are not entirely down with Waititi’s somewhat joked-up version of Thor. One criticism being leveled at the film is that it’s too close in tone to Guardians of the Galaxy, the wacky misfit off-shoot of the MCU. Box office returns for Thor: Ragnarok tend to indicate that general audiences for some reason don’t mind a little overt silliness in their superhero movie about a cosmic god befriending a giant green radioactive man and fighting with a self-proclaimed “goddess of death” who looks like she just stepped off the cover of a cheesy death metal album.
Ultimately, it seems Waititi’s quirky vision was a good fit for Thor, a character who has always fit somewhat awkwardly into the MCU concept. Thor will next show up in Avengers: Infinity War to perform his role within the central shared universe storyline – before possibly flying off on another wacky Thor: Ragnarok–style adventure with The Hulk and all his friends.
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