Taika Waititi made his MCU debut in 2017's Thor: Ragnarok which he directed and co-starred in the role of Korg. The film was celebrated by fans as it reinvigorated the hero with a fresh new take that is different from the previous solo films.
It was also the director's breakthrough in mainstream Hollywood after years of doing local films in New Zealand that also garnered a lot of acclaim. He went on to helm the follow-up Thor: Love and Thunder which received polarizing reception.
Whatever you may think of Waititi's work in the MCU, there is no doubt that Ragnarok was such a major achievement in the franchise and his signature style and tone were some of the reasons why it became beloved.
Taika Waititi Reflects on His Decision to Join the MCU
The filmmaker admitted that he had no actual interest in doing the film and he wasn't a fan of the character in the comics, but he agreed to sign on due to financial reasons.
"You know what? I had no interest in doing one of those films. It wasn’t on my plan for my career as an auteur. But I was poor and I’d just had a second child, and I thought, ‘You know what, this would be a great opportunity to feed these children,'" Waititi said.
"And Thor, let’s face it — it was probably the least popular franchise. I never read Thor comics as a kid. That was the comic I’d pick up and be like ‘Ugh.’ And then I did some research on it, and I read one Thor comic or 18 pages, or however long they are."
The Oscar winner also theorized that Marvel Studios might have been looking at the "bottom of the barrel" by the time they reached out to him to direct the film.
Waititi added, "I think there was no place left for them to go with that. I thought, 'Well, they’ve called me in, this is really the bottom of the barrel.'"
Fortunately, things worked out with Waititi's hiring since the Thor franchise found a new life again thanks to the third film and he showed that you can still reinvigorate a character after years of appearances.
Now, Waititi's tenure as a director in the MCU has ended (at least temporarily) as he confirmed recently that he won't be returning to helm a fifth Thor movie due to other commitments that he's prioritizing at the moment.
Regardless of what you think of his work in Love and Thunder, we still have to recognize his valuable contribution to the franchise both as a director and as an actor for Korg. What he did in Ragnarok alone was impressive even though he wasn't a huge fan of Thor in the comics.