The upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder is, in many ways, a very fresh-looking film, with a compelling (and highly acclaimed) new villain and a distinctive Taika Waititi camp level even beyond that seen in Ragnarok.
One of the more interesting returns is Natalie Portman, returning to the MCU after a 9-year of absence. Portman’s role in this sequel is greatly expanded, with Thor’s ex-lover, Jane Foster, leveling up to become Thor himself.
A Perspective On Taika Waititi’s Directing Style
Among the more prominent elements of the sequel is the behind-the-scenes talent, with Taika Waititi returning as writer-director after his work on Thor: Ragnarok. Waititi, who was branded by Chris Pratt of Guardians of the Galaxy as “crazy” and “genius,” clearly enjoys his position, and admits to actively making fun of fans about Love and Thunder. Although Waititi’s future with Marvel is still unclear, his presence is certainly interesting.
Along with Waititi’s signature style, which is evident in what fans have seen from Thor: Love and Thunder, comes his unconventional filmmaking style, something that recent commentary has helped to explain.
Portman and Waititi Experience Made Thor 4
Speaking with Variety about her impending return to the MCU in Thor: Love and Thunder, Natalie Portman opened up about her experience working on the film, offering praise for director Taiki Waititi’s unique process, calling it “a really baller’s way of working on a film like this.” .”
Portman’s comments about the Waititi process are certainly insightful, helping to explain how much of the film is spontaneous. This approach works wonders for Ragnarok, giving the film a fresh and free feel, which, alongside its more candy-colored visuals, helps it stand out from the rest of the MCU.
Even so, these comments raise the question: how much of the film’s script was improvised? The clip from Love and Thunder seems to have had a bit of improvisation, with absurd dialogue and a more relaxed shooting style that seem to suggest such an approach.
Certain sequences, however, like with Christian Bale’s terrifying Gorr the God Butcher, tend to be less loose, having more to do with plot and characters than off-the-wall humor.
In sharing his experience working on the film, Portman also helps to explain something that makes this project unique. Few modern blockbusters have starred in multiple female leads, especially in such prominent roles. This holds true for the MCU as well, even as films like The Marvels work to rebalance things, though.
Waititi’s insights, while interesting, shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to fans who continue to follow the MCU film’s post-production process. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which recently launched to streaming platforms, underwent major changes, from the removal of nearly a dozen cameos to the deep cuts made to the film’s first edit.
Several MCU projects have even been revised post-release, with WandaVision recently making minor changes to the episode’s intro, one of several post-launch changes made to the series.
Fans worried about the more eclectic style or improv approach being taken with Thor: Love and Thunder won’t have to wait long to confirm their fears or be appeased, as the critical reaction will soon drop, right after the film’s upcoming premiere in June. 23.