its director defines the Marvel movie as Thor’s midlife crisis

The answer turned out to be love. “Love and Thunder” is part superhero extravaganza, part romantic comedy, reuniting Thor with his ex-girlfriend, astrophysicist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman). Since the two parted ways, Jane has proven herself worthy of carrying Mjölnir and has taken on the mantle of the Mighty Thor. She has become a hero in her own right, with the muscles and flowing blonde locks to prove it. (The film itself draws inspiration from the influential comics mighty thor from Jason Aaron Y Russel Dautermanwhich first introduced Jane as the hammer-wielding heroine).

Much of the new tape Marvel is based on Thor’s last appearance in Avengers: Endgame, which found the Asgardian prince dealing with guilt and self-doubt. Ultimately, he and his fellow Avengers triumphed in their battle with Thanos, but some of that uncertainty still remains.

“Ragnarok felt a bit like a party,” explains Waititi. “It was quite festive. This one is still funny and has moments of exaggeration, but thematically, it’s about something a little deeper than the last movie. It’s not a serious movie, and it’s not a drama, but we dealt with ideas that I think that a lot of humans handle: universal themes about love and loss and our place in the world. Everybody asks this question in the movie: What is your purpose? What is the reason you are a hero, and what is your purpose? What do you do when you have these powers?

“It’s actually like a midlife crisis movie”Waititi adds. “That’s the question we ask everyone: are we doing the right thing and are we doing all we can in the world? I think right now, while the world is still recovering from this pandemic, that’s a good question to ask.” It’s like, well, are we doing enough to take care of each other and to take care of ourselves?”

As Thor searches for self-realization, Jane isn’t the only familiar face he encounters. Waititi himself is back as the mild-mannered rock monster Korg, while Valkyrie from Tessa Thompson he has accepted his new role as the King of Asgard, ruling the small kingdom his people founded after the original kingdom was destroyed.

Somehow, Waititi says, Valkyrie is thriving as queen, but moving from the battlefield to the bureaucracy has required some adjustments. “She has to do all the things that you’re never told when you’re supposed to be governing the people, which is dealing with all the infrastructure and figuring out the economy and having delegates from other countries visit,” she explains. “So she goes a long time without fighting,

Love and Thunder also introduces several newcomers, though the director is more discreet about their roles. Christian bale plays the infamous Gorr the God Butcher, and Waititi praises Bale’s performance, calling it “very formidable”. “Personally, I think he’s probably one of the best villains Marvel has ever had in their movies”Waititi adds. “It has many layers.”

Waititi is even more reserved about the role of Russell Crowe as the god Zeus, but says Crowe plays the part “in a way you’ve never seen Russell before.”

“I consider Russell a friend, and I forget that I have some friends who are really amazing at what they do,” Waititi says with a laugh. “When I was on set with Russell, I was like, ‘Oh shit, that’s right! You’re Russell Crowe! You’re a really amazing actor!'”

If “Ragnarok” was a ’70s-inspired space opera, “Love and Thunder” has more of an ’80s adventure vibe. Visually, Waititi says some of his biggest influences were “movie posters for things like Conan or Beastmaster and the fancy art you’d see on vans in Venice Beach.” But ultimately, he says his main goal was to deliver a sequel that was as big, bold and hilarious as “Ragnarok,” if not bigger.

“I guess the biggest difference would be that it was my first time playing in Marvel’s arena pit in Ragnarok,” says Waititi. “In this one, I felt like I had a little more experience and knew how to shoot this much more efficiently.”

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