No matter what you think about Thor: Ragnarok and its follow-up, Thor: Love & Thunder, filmmaker Taika Waititi made sure those Marvel Cinematic Universe entries had their own voice - a voice that, if you've watched some of his other works, is almost 100% him. Regardless, it turns out that he wasn't very enthusiastic about the gig when he first joined Marvel Studios' universe.
During the Smartless podcast, he briefly discussed how and why he joined the MCU. Like many auteur filmmakers, making Marvel movies wasn't on his radar, but there was a good reason to do so: "I was poor and I'd just had a second child, and I thought, ‘You know what, this would be a great opportunity to feed these children,'" he explained.
While some fans might gasp at the idea of a director jumping into a beloved franchise just for the money, this is what happens most of the time whenever an up-and-coming filmmaker is recruited into big studio projects, as living off of indie movies just isn't very profitable.
More surprising is learning that he didn't care that much about Thor, not even about the comics: "And ‘Thor,’ let’s face it — it was probably the least popular franchise. I never read ‘Thor’ comics as a kid. That was the comic I’d pick up and be like ‘Ugh.’ And then I did some research on it, and I read one ‘Thor’ comic or 18 pages, or however long they are." He did, however, absorb a fair amount of Thor comics and iconography when he landed the job, later giving us what many consider to be the best Thor movie by a landslide in Thor: Ragnarok (2017). Before accepting the job, he thought Marvel had exhausted all other possibilities: "I think there was no place left for them to go with that... I thought, ‘Well, they’ve called me in, this is really the bottom of the barrel.’”
Thor: Love & Thunder (2022) wasn't as big of a success. In fact, it caused some division among fans and critics alike. Now, he recently told Insider that he "won't be involved" with a fifth Thor movie, which may be for the best, as the God of Thunder needs a new, maybe darker makeover and Waititi should focus on getting the many other projects he's got lined up done.
The MCU is a bit shaky right now, with some projects facing big reworks and the release calendar changing constantly. If you want to stay on top of things, regularly check our guide to the upcoming Marvel movies and TV shows (MCU and Sony-verse).