‘Thor: Love And Thunder’ Director Taika Waititi Pushes Back Against Film’s Critics: “If You Want It To Be Exactly Like The Comic, Read The Comic”
Apparently still unable to accept that his attempts to subvert audience expectations with the Golden Avenger’s fourth solo film completely missed the mark, director Taika Waititi has attempted to deflect the near universal criticisms Thor: Love & Thunder’s quality by painting those unhappy with his work as comic purists whose only complaints are that the film is not “exactly like the comic”.
The man who hollowed out the God of Thunder’s cinematic incarnation pushed back against his critics while speaking in reflection of the film’s production for the Thor: Love and Thunder – The Official Movie Special Book.
Per a transcript of the relevant section provided by Comicbookmovie.com, Waititi began by admitting that he found it “very difficult” to nail down the film’s tone, as he was torn between his incessant need to add his tired brand of humor to everything and the gravity of Jane Foster’s cancer-based storyline.
“It’s an ongoing battle because I want my films to be entertaining,” said the director. “And I want a lot of humor in them – to poke fun not only at the idea of the Space Viking, but also to poke fun at humans. How we bumble our way through life on this planet.”
“The comic run is very serious, and Jane’s story is especially tense,” he continued. “And so to try to find humor around that stuff, as well as making it an emotional story, was always going to be difficult.”
“And we struggled with that,” he added. “We wrestled with it throughout the edit, right up until we finished the film.”
Waititi explained, “We did funny scenes about cancer, we did way more tragic scenes about having cancer. Some audiences really loved the humor part of it. Some audiences really wanted it to be just like the comics.”
To this end, the upcoming Star Wars director concluded, “But, you know, I always say, if you want it to be exactly like the comics read the comic. You’ve got to change things here and there to make it a film.”
Notably, Waititi’s entire framing of the criticism against his film is disingenuous at best and an outright dodging of accountability at best.
The film’s abysmal reputation was not borne from the fact that it’s not comic book accurate, but rather the fact that it’s just terrible.
As seen in the near universal praise of such MCU entries as Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Spider-Man: No Way Home, and most notably Guardians of the Galaxy, fans are entirely open to diverging takes on their classic characters.
However, the key to doing so is remaining respectful to their original incarnations, not throwing tomatoes at everything that made the respective character in the first place.
Star-Lord may be far more goofy in the MCU than in the comics, but he still retains his natural heroism and leadership abilities, as well as his dislike of any and all authority figures, and thus was still able to endear himself to fans of his original incarnation – including those who had been following the character ever since his debut in1976’s Marvel Preview Vol. 1 #4.
When viewers are gearing up to watch a Thor movie, they want to see a movie about a noble-but-sometimes brash Norse god who is trying his best to both earn his future place as King of Asgard and protect the humans of Midgard.
What they don’t want to see is an eternally immature child continually having his character undermined by a seemingly endless stream of new allies who are better than him at everything that makes him special – Jane is more adept at wielding Mjolnir, Valkyrie is a stronger leader, and New Asgard’s youths need no training when it comes to using the very same powers Thor has spent his entire loving proving himself worthy of.
Further, Waititi’s claim that audiences of the wanted the film to be me more accurate to its source material is, to say the least, absurd.
While it’s true that there was a contingent of more modern comic book fans who were eager to see Jason Aaron’s performatively girl-boss take on Thor’s legacy in live-action, what Waititi fails to mention is that this run is near universally panned by Marvel fans across the board.
If anything, upon learning that this abysmal arc would be adapted to the silver screen, many fans hoped – admittedly, against hope itself – that the MCU would actually improve upon it and turn it into something less-than-embarassing.
Unfortunately, as we now know, that was not the case. In the end, fans were instead left with what may be one of, if not the worst entry in the entire franchise.