Before he took over directorial duties on Marvel’s upcoming film Thor: Ragnarok, many comic book film fans may recognize Taika Waititi when he acted in Martin Campbell’s Green Lantern movie starring alongside Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan. Taika Waititi played Thomas Kalmaku, an engineer at Ferris Aircraft.
Unfortunately, Green Lantern was universally panned by critics and audiences alike, but thankfully it looks like both Reynolds and Waititi have redeemed their credibility within the comic book genre of films with their transitions to both Deadpool and Thor: Ragnarok respectively.
Looking back at Green Lantern, Waititi learned some important lessons about the process of working on big superhero movies with a major studio. Despite the finished product of that film, Waititi still had some warm regards for Campbell:
“I mean, when I was in [Green Lantern] I was just determined to try and do a good job with the job I was doing there. I spent a long time just sitting around on set, as you do, and so I’d watch a lot of how Martin [Campbell] would run things. And he’s a great– he runs a set very, very well, and very efficient. But again, very different to the way I do things, and I think I probably learned more watching a lot of other super hero movies, and a lot of big studio films, you know. I started realizing, ‘Oh I think I know what’s going wrong with these films.’”
Waititi’s comments reflect his style in the filmmaking process. Before Thor: Ragnarok, he made smaller indie releases with ultimate creative control. Given his sensibilities, the third installment of the Thor series will certainly stand out in comparison to both Kenneth Branagh and Alan Taylor’s takes on the God of Thunder.
Waititi also expressed that telling a great story is key in making superhero movies work:
Usually it comes down to story, and the fact that they… I don’t know. I don’t want to speak out too much [laughs]. But story is still king in my mind, and we worked a lot on the script. We stopped for an hour to just keep working a scene to make sure we got it right, and to make sure that it made sense. There’s one way you can do it, [which] is just bust on through and try and make your day, and you get stuff in the can, but it’s basically worthless when you come to edit.
So we just want to take the time to make sure we get stuff right. And all these actors are great at that. Chris [Hemsworth] especially is very smart and very savvy when it comes to story. I think he’s learned on a lot of the films he’s done, you’ve got to discuss it and make sure you get it right the first time. So we spend a long time doing that.
Based off of these comments, it seems that Waititi is able to run wild with his sensibilities within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. His directorial vision would definitely flow better with this franchise rather than another Disney-owned franchise that he recently joked that he “would be fired within a week” from.
Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok opens in theaters on November 3, 2017.