Taika Waititi Talks Script Changes, Valkyrie and Marvel’s Relentlessness

Posted 2020/02/12 1 0

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Filmmaker Taika Waititi’s star has never been higher. His gutsy take on Jojo Rabbit as a World War 2 dramedy featuring a kid with Hitler as his imaginary friend won the Oscar for best adapted screenplay. The filmmaker sat down for a post-win interview, during which he expounded upon what audiences can expect with the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder under his direction, including whether or not Jane Foster’s character will have cancer like in the ‘Female Thor’ storyline from the comics.

“We don’t know. That comics run was a big inspiration, and was an influence on the first few drafts. But at Marvel, we always change everything. I could say one thing right now, and in two years, it will be the complete opposite – or that thing won’t exist. We continue writing even in post-production.”

In the comics, Jane wields the hammer of Thor for a period of four years after the original owner of the magical weapon is deemed unworthy of Mjolnir. What makes the storyline particularly poignant is that Jane is shown to be battling cancer with chemotherapy in her normal human persona. Every time she transforms into Thor, she is granted the power of the gods, but in doing so also has the chemotherapy drugs fighting her illness purged from her body, ultimately worsening her condition.

It is a very bleak take on the character, especially by MCU standards, which is usually careful to avoid any plot themes which might feel too real, like Cancer. Even the PTSD aspect of Tony Starks’ journey as Iron Man was only hinted at in his solo film.

According to Taika Waititi, while the ‘Jane Foster as Thor’ storyline from the comics was the basis of the initial draft for the upcoming movie, it will unlikely be a direct adaptation. The filmmaker further revealed what forms the basis of the multiple rewrites that Marvel films frequently go through.

“Based on what the audience wants. We test the film. We shot for two weeks on “Thor” with our pickups. There were huge, huge character changes, huge story changes. We reshot entire scenes. I think that’s why they do good work. They’re relentless in their pursuit of just a good movie.”

Clearly, Waititi sees the reshoots as an important aspect of how Marvel manages to make such consistently crowd-pleasing films. While some fans routinely criticize the MCU for playing it too safe with their storylines and arcs, it must be remembered that Marvel makes among the most expensive movies in the history of cinema. With such giant investments, it makes sense that the producers would want to minimize the risk of bad returns by making a film that tests well with as wide an audience sample as possible.

RELATED: Thor Writer Knows Who Christian Bale Should Play in Love and Thunder

Finally, Waititi was asked about the possibility of the upcoming movie delving deeper into Valkyrie’s queer sexuality, something the actress behind the character has repeatedly expressed a desire to explore.

“The IP is not mine. But with the actors, I feel whatever makes them comfortable – whether they feel like there’s a natural choice, or a natural way for that character to go – then I’m pretty supportive. If Tessa wanted to do that, I’m in.”

Clearly, Waititi has a very clear idea of the direction he wants to take Thor in with the new film, even if he is unwilling to commit himself to specifics at this point. Who knows, the next Oscar for writing or direction he wins may be for Thor, finally giving Marvel fans something to crow about against DC fans with their double Oscar win thanks to Joker.

This news comes from Variety.

Neeraj Chand


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