Has that rascally vibe shift finally come for Marvel? Has their Thanos-like grasp on popular culture finally come to an end? Probably not, but Marvel’s Phase 4 initiative, where the studio did what many critics wanted and allowed auteurs to incorporate their style into the MCU, hasn’t gone over particularly well. Chloe Zhao’s Eternals was too boring and too sexy. Sam Raimi’s Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness was too silly and too scary. Now, Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love And Thunder is facing criticism for being a little too Waititian.
Now, like all of these “divisive” blockbusters, some fans love the movie. The A.V. Club certainly gave it one of the more positive reviews, with our Film Editor Todd Gilchrist writing, “Waititi’s work here marks an important and exciting untethering of MCU films from their obligations to a larger mythology.” Yet, one quick look at social media will reveal many disappointed Marvel fans and others defending the movie by saying, “Hey, it’s a comedy! It doesn’t have to be good,” insisting that audiences turn their brain off and enjoy the jokes regardless of their quality.
But we digress. The movie’s making lots of money, and while the less than stellar Cinemascore, Rotten Tomatoes score, and Metacritic score might signal a drop-off next week, it’s safe to say that director-driven Marvel movies clash with what most audiences want from a Marvel movie. That said, Taika Waititi would love to return to Asgard and make another Thor, assuming Thor is in it.
“I would definitely do one, but only if Chris did it,” Waititi told Insider. “But it would need to be something surprising and unexpected for me to want to do it. Like what would be the new take? The battles and all the fighting is fine, but I would want something that feels unexpected when it comes to the story. Like making just a $5 million movie with no fighting at all, just Thor on a road trip. Like Nebraska.”
Weirdly, this isn’t the first time a Waititi-directed Thor movie was pitched as a road movie. In 2015, early reports on Ragnarok were that it would be Marvel’s darkest movie and be a road movie starring work friends Thor and Hulk. But maybe a $5 million movie would do him some good. At the very least, it would save Disney’s overworked, underpaid digital effects artists from being flagrantly disrespected by their boss online.
Waititi’s already got a full plate at Disney. After all, he does have a Star Wars movie to make and a soccer comedy, Next Goal Wins, in the hopper for next year. Plus, there’s his TV empire, which includes Our Flag Means Death, Reservation Dogs, and What We Do In The Shadows, three shows that have remained mostly impervious to the slow-rolling exhaustion some feel toward Waititi’s work.
In other more exciting Waititi news, the new season of What We Do In The Shadows premieres on FX tomorrow! Thank the Gods. We need Mark Proksch back in our lives.