It seems ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ has its director - and, true to form, Marvel have not selected an obvious candidate.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Chris Hemsworth will embark on his third solo adventure as the Norse God of Thunder under the direction of Taiki Waititi, New Zealand actor, writer and director behind ‘Eagle Vs Shark’ and ‘What We Do In the Shadows,’ plus several episodes of TV’s ‘Flight of the Conchords’ and ‘The Inbetweeners.’
Going from a low budget mockumentary about vampires in contemporary New Zealand to an epic and presumably apocalyptic fantasy superhero movie certainly doesn’t seem the most likely progression.
Still, Marvel have quite a track record with taking on directors from low-key indie and comedy backgrounds for their megabudget blockbusters, such as Joe and Anthony Russo (’Captain America: The Winter Solider’ and next year’s ‘Civil War’), James Gunn (’Guardians of the Galaxy’), and most recently Jon Watts (the as-yet untitled ‘Spider-Man’ reboot).
Waititi’s hiring is hardly without precedent either, given that his ‘Flight of the Conchords’ cohort James Bobin (subsequently director of the two most recent ‘Muppets’ movies) has gone on to direct Disney’s upcoming ‘Alice Through The Looking Glass.’
Additionally, Waititi has some superhero heritage, having co-starred in 2011′s ‘Green Lantern.’
Reportedly other contenders for the job included Rob Letterman, Ruben Fleischer and Rawson Marshall Thurber (the latter two having also been in contention to take over from Edgar Wright on this year’s ‘Ant-Man’ before Peyton Reed landed the job).
This makes ‘Thor’ the first Marvel franchise to have hired a different director for each installment, with Kenneth Branagh having directed the 2011 original, and Alan Taylor (replacing first choice Patty Jenkins) coming on board for the 2013 sequel ‘Thor: the Dark World.’
Waititi is currently shooting another comedy ‘Hunt For The Wilderpeople,’ and is also known to have a ‘What We Do In The Shadows’ sequel in the works - though it remains to be seen if he’ll get these done in time to get ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ done for its November 2017 release.
Picture Credit: Marvel, WENN