Taika Waititi says he directed ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ because he was “poor” and wanted to feed his kids

Filmmaker Taika Waititi has shared new information on why he began working with Marvel to direct two Thor films for the superhero franchise.

Speaking to the Smartless podcast with Jason Bateman, Will Arnett and Sean Hayes, Waititi spoke about being approached by Marvel for the first time, admitting that he had “no interest” in directing a film for the company.

“You know what? I had no interest in doing one of those films,” Waititi said on Smartless. “It wasn’t on my plan for my career as an auteur. But 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 continued: “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. I was still baffled by this character.”

Elsewhere during his chat, Waititi was asked if Marvel had any apprehension in approaching the filmmaker to lead Thor: Ragnarok. Waititi replied: “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.’”

Earlier this month, Waititi said that he “won’t be involved” in a potential fifth Thor film. Speaking to Business Insider, the director – who helmed 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok and 2022’s Thor: Love and Thunder – was asked if he’d once again be in the director’s chair for a possible fifth Thor movie, which hasn’t officially been confirmed at Marvel.

Thor: Love and Thunder, Chris Hemsworth
Natalie Portman and Chris Hemsworth in ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’. CREDIT: Marvel Studios / Disney

Waititi said that he wasn’t sure if a new Thor film was in the works at all, suggesting that rumours of its development were false: “I wouldn’t know if that’s accurate. I know that I won’t be involved.”


He went on to explain that his absence from the project is merely due to a packed schedule that might be too long of a wait for Marvel. Over the next few years, Waitit will be working on an adaptation of the graphic novel The Incal, a movie set in the Star Wars universe, and an adaptation of the Kazuo Ishiguro novel Klara And The Sun.

“I’m going to concentrate on these other films that I’ve signed on for. So that’s six, seven years gone. I’d imagine another Thor would be a lot sooner than that,” Waititi shared.