How Smart Should the Hulk Be in Thor: Ragnarok? Director Taika Waititi Is Figuring That Out
Here’s what we know about Thor: Ragnarok so far: it’ll be a road trip-style buddy movie about two unlikely frenemies, Thor and the Hulk. Cate Blanchett is probably the villain. We also know that the film’s director, Taika Waititi — best-known for comedic projects like What We Do in the Shadows and a few Flight of the Conchords episodes — got brought on to add in some levity (the movie started out with a “darker” plot).
Screenwriter Stephany Folsom has been working with Waititi on what sounds like a still-evolving concept. Their latest debate? Nailing down how smart the Hulk should be. Here’s what Waititi had to say about that, via HitFix:
It’s interesting, because at the moment, there’s a big conversation that’s happening about how far to push that. Whether or not The Hulk should be [verbal/conscious].
I think a lot of those conversations have more to do with what’s going to come up in future movies. So I think a lot of those decisions are larger group decisions, rather than anything to do with just me or the writer. They have a lot of stuff that they have to consider. But I do think that’s the best way to track it. I think we all want that. I think we all want to see that development and the evolution of that character. I also think you can do it in a fun way.
Waititi also doesn’t want the Hulk to steal every scene — especially since the Thor franchise has already had trouble with that sort of thing before, when it came to Tom Hiddleston’s popular performances as Loki. Waititi realizes the challenge he’s up against:
[Loki is] such a big part of it. And he’s such a great part of it. My focus really is making sure that Thor is the best character, though… He’s got to be. And it should be that way.
It’s never been that way before, though! Chris Hemsworth’s Thor often ends up in the back seat of his own movies — and hearing that he’ll be double-billing with the Hulk doesn’t exactly sound like an improvement, especially considering how beloved Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk already is among fans.
Still, Taika Waititi and Stephany Folsom sound like they could be up to the challenge of fixing the Thor franchise with their combined talents. If they’re really hard up for ideas, somebody should send them some copies of those Jane Foster-as-Thor books. Just saying — Chris Hemsworth isn’t the only talented actor who’s been shamefully misused in those movies.
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