In a time where the phrase “gritty reboot” has become an eye-roller of a cliché, Thor: Ragnarok is a movie that wears its comic book origins on its sleeve and isn’t afraid to look a little silly in the process.
While there may always be a place for relatively grounded superhero movies in the Christopher Nolan vein, director Taika Waititi took pride in taking the more colorful route with the God of Thunder’s last standalone movie, pushing his team to create a world that did justice to the cosmic craziness of the story.
In an interview with CBR, Director of Visual Development Andy Park explained how some filmmakers value realistic imagery more than others, and that Waititi in particular was more concerned with recreating the over-the-top visuals of the source material:
“I think the story is the first thing. That’s what we base everything on. And I think it really depends on the director. Some directors lean more into the comic book feel, others are a little more grounded.
For example, designing Hela from Thor: Ragnarok for Taika, I’d do designs that, in my mind, were a little more believable, especially with those antlers. But then Taika was one where he, like, kept on bringing the comic book as reference, “I want this! I want this!” So, I definitely appreciated that because not every director wants exactly the comic book.”
It’s true that just one look at Hela’s antlers makes it all too clear that we’re a long way from the days of 2000’s X-Men, when superhero movies felt that they had to downplay their comic book roots to draw in audiences.
While Cate Blanchett may or may not reprise her villainous role some day, her onscreen brother Chris Hemsworth not only lived to the end of Thor: Ragnarok but even survived the genocidal events of Avengers: Infinity War, though not without considerable loss. Between the deaths of his father and brother, and the loss of his home world, things are looking bad enough for the God of Thunder without people also giving him a hard time for failing to go for the head.
We’ll see if Thor can at least make up for his famous mistake when Avengers 4 comes out on May 3rd, 2019.