Taika Waititi Explains Personal Reason for Accepting Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi says family came first when accepting the job to helm the Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbuster.

Per Entertainment Weekly, Waititi sat down on the podcast SmartLess with hosts Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, and Sean Hayes. While discussing his work in the third Thor installment, the critically acclaimed New Zealand moviemaker behind What We Do in the Shadows and Hunt for the Wilderpeople explained what drove him to work on an MCU project despite his lack of interest in the brand.

“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.’”

Waititi’s off-beat mixture of fantasy and comedy in Thor: Ragnarok was a sharp contrast from the epic adventure tone of the previous movies starring by Chris Hemsworth. The director’s unique approach made Thor: Ragnarok a worldwide smash, grossing $865 million and earning the best reviews in the Thor franchise. Waititi returned in 2022 to direct Thor: Love and Thunder, which was met with a mixed reception from critics and audiences.

Taika Waititi’s future in the MCU

Waititi has since seen his stock climb in Hollywood with hits such as Jojo Rabbit and his recent release Next Goal Wins. While Waititi will not return to direct Thor 5, he maintains a positive relationship with Marvel Studios and wants to keep the door open for future opportunities.

“I love Marvel, I love working with them,” Waititi said. “I love Chris [Hemsworth]. 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.”

Thor: Ragnarok and Thor: Love and Thunder are now streaming on Disney+.