Love & Thunder: Waititi Wanted To Deliver A Thor Fans Wouldn't Want

Writer/director Taika Waititi wanted to give audiences a version of Thor they didn’t know they wanted while making Thor: Love and Thunder. Waititi successfully revitalized the Thor franchise in 2017 with the release of Thor: Ragnarok, which transformed the god of thunder from a stoic warrior to a more comedic dimwit with good intentions. The film earned critical acclaim and was a box office smash hit. Marvel Studios decided to continue the Thor franchise, making him the first MCU hero with a fourth solo film.

Waititi has been busy hyping up Thor: Love and Thunder, which is drawing heavily from Jason Aaron’s run on the Thor comics with the inclusion of Christian Bale as Gorr the Godbutcher and the return of Natalie Portman as Jane Foster. Waititi appears to have been given full reign on the story, including his featuring Thor's goats Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder, who were rejected from appearing in the first Thor back in 2011. Waititi has also hyped up the film's themes of love and the romance between Thor and Jane Foster, something that audiences looking for a traditional MCU action movie may not initially care about.


Related: Thor's Complete MCU Timeline Explained

In an interview with AP News, Waititi revealed his approach to making Thor: Love and Thunder. Instead of making the movie fans thought they wanted, Waititi wanted to challenge them by presenting a version of Thor they would initially dislike. It appears the intent was to make a film with the hope he could tell a story audiences would enjoy even if it was something they didn't think they initially wanted. Waititi said:

"I wanted to show him in a light that most Thor fans wouldn’t really want if you were to tell them. If you were to say them: ‘Yeah, I’m going to make Thor in love,’ it’s probably the last thing that a Thor fan really wants to hear.”

Waititi's interpretation of Thor has been both beloved by some audiences while controversial among others who prefer the more serious version of the character seen in his first two solo films. Waititi's sensibilities might not be what one segment of the audience may want, but the box office success of Thor: Ragnarok compared to Thor and Thor: The Dark World shows his sense of humor and approach to the character were a success. The real challenge now will be creating a sequel that can live up to the expectations of his last hit. Director Patty Jenkins found herself in a similar situation with Wonder Woman 1984, a sequel to a beloved 2017 superhero film where she was given more creative control to tell a story that she wanted. Wonder Woman's 1984 negative critical reaction shows how difficult it is to make a superhero sequel audiences will love.

It will be interesting to see how Waititi’s creative choices land with audiences. Thor: Love and Thunder is currently projected to have a $150 million opening weekend, but early critical response has been somewhat mixed. Marvel Studios has had several films that might not have been the most well-regarded film with critics and audiences upon initial release but grew to be more appreciated over time like Iron Man 3, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and even recently with Eternals. Time will tell if Waititi's take on Thor: Love and Thunder is a gamble that will pay off.