Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi provided what would certainly get votes as the most entertaining Q&A at Deadline’s annual The Contenders awards-season event last month when he took the stage to talk about the Marvel Studios blockbuster. His Disney/Marvel film that very weekend had opened to a massive $118 million first frame, and Waititi was in a celebratory mood.
He admitted to the SRO crowd of AMPAS and key guild voters that he had a cup of whiskey and coffee in his hand before saying, “It’s my opening weekend — I can say whatever the f*ck I want.” Drawing laughter and cheers from the DGA Theater audience, the director made another confession about why he took the job. “I have children… they cost sh*tloads of money to keep alive, to feed, to house — straight up — money,” he told Deadline moderator Anthony D’Alessandro. “That was it.”
Known for smaller, critically acclaimed indie comedy films like What We Do in the Shadows and Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Waititi joked that Marvel Studios “didn’t care” about their movies anymore because they hired him — but the partnership was ideal considering his storytelling skills. “The only tools I had in my Taika toolbox were tone, character dialogue, and humor,” he said, adding that while Marvel handled all the spectacle, “I’ll focus on what I have done before,” which included a lot of comedic ad-libbing — something not commonplace in Marvel’s past superhero pics.
He said he wondered why anyone wasn’t stopping him, then said, turning to the crowd: “I didn’t get fired because I’m a G.”
Check out the animated conversation above.