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Director Taika Waititi Reveals How Challenging It is to Make a Thor Follow-Up

Photo: Mashable

To follow up on one of Marvel’s all-time favorites is challenging. But in Taika Waititi’s hands, the challenge has become even more ambitious and wild.

Following 2017’s Hammer Hero reboot, Thor: Ragnarok, Waititi returns with Thor: Love and Thunder (out July 8). Similar to its predecessor, Love and Thunder chronicles the intergalactic journey of Thor, the god of thunder.

And ahead of the film’s premiere, EW interviewed Waititi and cast members Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson and Christian Bale for a spoiler-free take on the Around the Table series.

Waititi said the biggest challenge was designing a story in line with Ragnarok and opening up a new path for the hero. More precisely, in a romantic way.

“I was thinking, what would freak the fans out – and not in a good way?” the writer-director elaborates. 

“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.” 

Hemsworth has been playing the character for over a decade, starting with the original Thor movie in 2011 and as the character in many other Marvel films.

Read Also: Christian Bale Divulges He had Not Known What the MCU Was Until Cast in Thor: Love and Thunder

In recent years, poor Thor has endured the death of his entire family, the destruction of his home by Thanos and other life-changing trauma – says Hemsworth; he was thrilled to see the Thunderlord break new ground. 

“We’ve kind of broken the character down and rebuilt him a number of times,” Hemsworth says. “What we hadn’t sort of explored was the romantic comedy set in space.” 

Waititi then adds: “Mixed with a mid-life crisis.” 

Besides Waititi and Hemsworth, Love and Thunder also bring Thompson’s Valkyrie and Portman’s Jane Foster back. The latter currently takes up Thor’s old hammer, Mjolnir and handles her own powers. 

However, the movie presents Bale’s wicked Gorr the God Butcher, whom Waititi described as “probably one of the best villains that Marvel’s had in their films.” 

On top of giving out the movie’s best and most thrilling fight scenes, the cast also talks about stunt training and secretly watching Russell Crowe rehearse his lightning bolt spins. 

“He would sometimes stand outside of my trailer, practicing,” Thompson says. “He’d be in his tennis skirts with his little tendrils… It was the cutest thing.” 

The cast also complimented Waititi for always making the mood great on set – by always, even when he was holding push-up competitions or deciding on the perfect playlist.

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