Taika Waititi's always been fond of improvisation. His comedies like Hunt for the Wilderpeople, What We Do In The Shadows and Eagle Vs. Shark often make use of spontaneous creativity, and it seems like the New Zealand filmmaker's first Marvel movie's following suit.
Speaking in an interview with Collider during a set visit, Waititi admitted that like his other movies, Thor: Ragnarok relies a lot on improvisation. Though the outcome might be a "bit messy," the director says that "really great spur of the moment stuff" comes right in the process.
"I've always found the script to be a bit more of a skeleton, the template. We improvise most scenes. I'll be next to actors and yell suggestions at them all the time, and that goes for everyone from Tony [Hopkins] to Cate [Blanchett]. It's a bit messy, but from that messiness comes really great spur of the moment stuff. Then the main balance is found in the editing. So with most takes, I would do stuff that's way over the top and then bring it down and get something that's exactly on the page and then something that's a nice sort of middle balance where the tone is believable…"
The cast of the superhero space buddy movie also seemed to enjoy improvising their scenes, especially Anthony Hopkins who plays Thor's (Chris Hemsworth) father, Odin.
"The thing that has surprised me about all the actors is just how far they can push it if they're given permission to not do what everyone knows them for. It's especially true for Hopkins. I think you can tell when actors are, like, ‘Okay, they just want me to do Tony Hopkins.' We said, ‘You've got permission to be funny and to really destroy what's come before and recreate it.' It's something that everyone as an actor wants."
The trailers for Thor: Ragnarok preview the levity brought about by the spontaneity of improvisation, and we're eager to see whether Waititi's style really works on the final film in the Thor trilogy. We're sure it's going to be one hell of a ride.
Thor: Ragnarok hits cinemas November 3, 2017.