The Marvel Cinematic Universe has only had three rough patches, The Incredible Hulk and the first two Thor films. Don’t get me wrong, they were all box office hits and only deemed mediocre by critics, but when a franchise like this has so many excellent movies under its belt, then the blemishes are easier to spot.
Hulk was right back on course after The Avengers and the terrific recasting of Mark Ruffalo as the green enraged giant, but Thor was still in a weird confined state of existence. Audiences adored Chris Hemsworth’s portrayal of the character, that was never in question. It was Thor’s boring internal wrestle with becoming the King of Asgard, his unbelievable romance with Natalie Portman’s Jane and his overly serious storylines that were in desperate need of comedic energy.
Well, that all changed when Taika Waititi was brought on board to direct Thor: Ragnarok. But his colorful psychedelic imagery and heavy use of improvisational humor initially had Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige a bit nervous. While speaking with the New York Film Academy, Feige confessed he thought Thor: Ragnarok was “crazy” and that the advertising team had a big job ahead of them.
“We have the greatest marketing department in the world at Disney right now, maybe in the history of movies, they’re the greatest. Sometimes, we have a movie like Ragnarok, and we’re like, ‘We’re trying something here and it’s a little crazy, so good luck,’ and then they deliver us the teaser that you see for Ragnarok, which is, ‘He’s a friend from work!’, was essentially one of the first trailers they showed us. It was great, and it was amazing. Taika [Waititi], watching, went, ‘Oh, we’ve got to make that movie!”
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That teaser trailer really was something special, and instantly sold you on an experience that was wildly different than any previous Thor adventure. It’s almost as if Marvel tries even harder when they’re marketing their more off the wall films, because each one delivers such a surprise for viewers.
In any case, Thor: Ragnarok became one of the MCU’s most beloved entries and set the stage for the Asgardian and his new sense of swagger going forward into both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. This trend is sure to continue with Thor: Love and Thunder, too, with Waititi returning as director and a scheduled release set for November 2021. And frankly, we can’t wait to see what comes next for the character.