Taika Waititi On Ignoring THOR: RAGNAROK Source Material In Casting Tessa Thompson As Valkyrie

Taika Waititi On Ignoring THOR: RAGNAROK Source Material In Casting Tessa Thompson As Valkyrie

Taika Waititi On Ignoring THOR: RAGNAROK Source Material In Casting Tessa Thompson As Valkyrie

The director of the third Thor installment talks here about overlooking the comics to fill the role of Valkyrie, and also how he and Marvel landed such a stellar ensemble cast. Check it out!


With two weeks of filming now completed, Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi took a quick hiatus today to discuss his critically acclaimed movie Hunt for the Wilderpeople with Comic Book Resources’ Spinoff. Of course, he also touched on the Marvel threequel, and he addressed why Tessa Thompson was cast as Valkyrie, a traditionally white superheroine.

“Right from the start we wanted to diversify the cast, and it is hard when you are working with Vikings,” explained Taika Waititi. “You want to be more inclusive and provide a broader representation. And at that point, you have to look at the source material as a very loose inspiration. And then take it from there and go with your gut. Say, ‘You know what? None of that stuff matters. Just because the character was blonde and white in the comic book. That doesn’t matter. That’s not what Valkyrie is about.’ People forget that.”

“Die-hard fans will say, ‘That’s not really authentic to the comics,’ but as soon as they watch the movie, and they’re involved in the story, and actually what’s happening, everybody forgets. The fact that we even have to keep having this conversation is ridiculous, because we keep forgetting. Unless it’s the topic of the film, it just shouldn’t even be — what do we even care? I think the story is king, and you want the best person for the job. And Tessa tested against — we cast a very broad net, and Tess was the best person.”
Beyond Tessa Thompson, other big newcomers that Thor: Ragnarok will bring into the ever-growing Marvel Cinematic Universe include Karl Urban, Jeff Goldblum, and Cate Blanchett. Taika Waititi went on to explain how he and Marvel managed to get them all on board.
“I think a lot of them having seen how good the other Marvel films are, they want to be part of that,” said the director. “Superhero movies are seen like really ridiculous, cartoony things anymore. There’s a time and a point where you really wouldn’t want to touch superhero movies, especially in the mid to late ’90s and definitely in the ’80s. There were a lot of very ridiculous and possibly career-ending move to make if you were an actor. But I think that the reputation of Marvel is very high. The things that they do is very high quality and they tell good stories. That’s the main thing. That’s why I got involved with them as well. At the heart of it they want to tell good stories, and that’s what I’m about as well. I’m not about explosions and the like. I like that stuff. I think it’s fun to do, but it’s not why I became a filmmaker. The thing I love is character and story.” Very promising! 

Make the jump over to CBR to see what director Waititi had to say about working with Marvel Studios, and whether or not Green Lantern informed his directing on Ragnarok.

Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok is directed by Taika Waititi, and it stars Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Idris Elba (Heimdall), Sir Anthony Hopkins (Odin), Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie), Karl Urban (Skurge), Mark Ruffalo (Hulk), with Jeff Goldblum (Grandmaster) and Cate Blanchett (Hela). And Thor: Ragnarok is set to open in theaters on November 3, 2017.
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