Image via Marvel Studios
Over the years, we’ve learned something with absolute certainty about Taika Waititi as a filmmaker; Taika does as Taika wants. You’d have more luck trying to control the weather on a filming day than tell Taika what he can and can’t do.
While that’s not to say the Thor: Love and Thunder director doesn’t answer to MCU boss Kevin Feige at the end of the day, you needn’t look any farther than Ragnarok to understand how he goes about fundamentally changing everything you know and love about a character, instead giving you something that you’re going to love even more.
That initiative hasn’t changed with the latest installment in the Thor sub-series, which sees the return of Chris Hemsworth as the titular God of Thunder, this time alongside his female counterpart, Jane Foster’s Mighty Thor. If anything, it seems that Love and Thunder has dialed the eccentricity up to eleven, constantly finding new ways to surprise and befuddle audiences.
According to what Waititi himself recently told Entertainment Weekly, his ultimate goal is to freak out fans, and not in the comfortable, enjoyable sense.
“I was thinking, what would freak the fans out — and not in a good way? You associate Thor [with being a] big hero. The last thing a Thor fan really wants to see is the word ‘love.’ They’re like, ugh, kissing! So I was like, we’ll lean into that. We’ll make them love love and make the fans excited for a romance.”
Natalie Portman’s return as Jane Foster does seem to hint at a rekindling of old passions for the thunderlord, though if the reviews are anything to go by, the movie also features a love triangle between Thor, his old hammer Mjolnir, and his new axe Stormbreaker. Personally, I never thought I’d say those words together in that context, but here we are.
Thor: Love and Thunder arrives in theaters in just two days on July 8.