Just how much of a Taika Waititi movie is Thor: Ragnarok? Well, it will have a cameo from the director. ”It’s not like a thing that I’ve ever planned, but now I’m in all of my movies in a small role or a larger role,” he told The A.V. Club at a Rooftop Films gala honoring him Tuesday night in New York. “I’ll probably just keep doing that. It’s like a dumb thing I do now.”
Sitting in St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church on Manhattan’s east side, we quizzed Waititi about the Marvel project he’s taking on—a divergence from the lovable, but smaller pieces he’s made in the past. Waititi had previously said that his Thor will have a “Taika-esque tone,” so we wondered what the most Taika element of it is: “I think the overall sense that I’m trying to give to the audience and what I want the audience to leave the cinema carrying with them is a sense of joy really,” he explained.
Waititi is currently in the early stages of post-production on the film, which is due out in November. It features Chris Hemsworth as the Asgardian alongside Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner and Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange. New faces to the universe include Cate Blanchett and Sam Neill, the latter of whom starred in Waititi’s latest, Hunt For The Wilderpeople. “He blabbed on the internet, didn’t he?” Waititi said of Neill’s appearance. “I don’t want to say too much about it, because it’s a really cool little thing that he’s doing.”
Waititi appreciates the out-of-this-world nature of the characters in his Marvel sandbox. “Sometimes I would stop and think, I’m doing a movie that’s got Thor and Doctor Strange and The Incredible Hulk and Loki and every character is so strange and different,” he said. “Civil War it’s just humans, humans with human problems. Ours is creatures and beings and all these sorts of really different characters. Again displaying human problems, but in outer space or in other worlds.”
That’s not entirely unlike his vampire mockumentary What We Do In the Shadows. Waititi and Jemaine Clement still have plans for a spin-off that focuses on werewolves, but currently that’s taken a backseat to their other pursuits. One of those is yet another offshoot of Shadows—a mockumentary TV show based on the movie’s cop characters who Waititi described as like a “New Zealand Mulder and Scully.” The series, he said, has a Cops vibe. ”We’re creating a Taika and Jemaine universe. You’ve got your Marvel Universe, your DC universe, and we’re competing against both of those guys with the T and J universe.”