‘Thor: Ragnarok’ director says up to 80 percent of the film was improvised

Despite the fact that dozens of directors have helmed Marvel films, the MCU has retained a relatively consistent look and feel. That said, we’re beginning to wonder if Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok is ready to break the mold in a major way.

With a penchant for comedy and a habit of appearing in his own films, The Hunt for the Wilderpeople helmer seemed an intriguing-yet-curious choice from the start. While some wondered how the director would handle a major Hollywood franchise, most of those folks’ fears were allayed by the awesome teaser and then the even awesome-er Comic-Con trailer. Colorful, fun, and epically retro, both spots piqued our interest by teasing a fresh, fearless approach to a genre that may just be getting the slightest bit stale.

As excited as we are for Waititi’s film, however, we can’t help but be a bit concerned about what he told MTV about its use of improv, not typically a convention of superhero films. The director admitted that “about 80 percent” of the film was off-the-cuff and expressed surprise at the amount of latitude he was given to innovate.

“Mark Ruffalo would be finished shooting for the day,” said the director, “and he’d come up to me and he’d be like, ‘Why have we not been fired yet? We are doing the most insane stuff in this film, so where’s the phone call?'”

The director went on to detail his irreverent, shoot-from-the-hip style, saying, “I’ll often be behind the camera, or right next to the camera yelling words at people, like, ‘Say this, say this! Say it this way!’ I’ll straight-up give Anthony Hopkins a line reading. I don’t care.’”

For the uninitiated, a line reading is when an actor or actresses is directed to deliver a line in a specific way. While it’s relatively rare for legends like Sir Anthony Hopkins to be micro-managed to that degree, it sounds like Waititi sought to establish an informal, anything-goes environment in which such a move wouldn’t be a sign of disrespect.

There’s a thin line between off-the-wall (often a good thing) and off-the-rails (almost always a bad thing), but everything we’ve seen so far suggests that Waititi will stay on the right side of it.

We’ll find out for sure on November 3, 2017, when Thor: Ragnarok hits theaters. The film stars Chris Hemsworth, Idris Elba, Cate Blanchett, and Mark Ruffalo, among others.


Stream UFC Fight Night St. Petersburg: Overeem vs. Oleynik with ESPN Plus

This Saturday, veteran UFC heavyweights Alistair Overeem and Alexey Oleynik are going toe to toe in the octagon for UFC Fight Night 149. If you’re looking for a way to watch it online, then ESPN Plus is where you’ll find it.

How to save yourself money by buying a refurbished iPhone

There’s a lot to consider when you’re looking for a new iPhone, and it can be very expensive. Save yourself some heartache and some money with our guide on how to buy a refurbished iPhone.

You're not a true fan without these Nintendo Switch exclusives

Who doesn't love a good Nintendo game? If you're looking for great first-party titles for your Nintendo Switch, take a look at our list of the very best exclusives available right now.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in March, from Buster Scruggs to Roma

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.

How to deliver the R.I.P. to Goopy Le Grande the blue blob in Cuphead

Cuphead is punishing from the very beginning, starting with the early boss Goopy Le Grande. Our guide will help you wallop Goopy throughout all three of the blue blob's perilous phases.
Movies & TV

Netflix vs. Hulu: Which streaming service is right for you?

Netflix and Hulu are two of the biggest names in streaming entertainment. Our guide will help you decide which streaming service has the content you want and the best value for your limited budget.

How to watch the Top Rank Boxing: Terence Crawford vs. Amir Khan PPV with ESPN Plus

This Saturday, welterweight champion Terence Crawford will defend his title against former junior welterweight champion Amir Khan at Madison Square Garden. Here's how you can watch this highly anticipated pay-per-view event.

No cable? No problem: Here’s how you can watch UFC fights online

Cord cutting is a great way to save money, but watching sports online can be tricky due to restrictions. If you want to stream UFC, the world’s biggest MMA promoter has joined with ESPN to bring the action online. Here's how to watch.
Movies & TV

Best new podcasts: The Ballad of Billy Balls, Decomposed, and more

Feel like you’re drowning in podcasts? In this weekly series, we’ll help you pick out the best of the new and returning shows. This week’s picks include a punk love story, disappearing referees, gun court, and intriguing tales from…
Movies & TV

Skip the flowers and sunshine this spring and watch the best shows on Hulu

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

These are the best movies on Hulu right now (April 2019)

From dramas to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: Avengers: Endgame, Child’s Play, and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. We round up the best ones for you. This week, it's Avengers: Endgame, a Child's Play reboot, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, and a terrifying gothic mystery.
Movies & TV

An Obi-Wan TV series? 10 things we’d love to see on Disney’s streaming service

While we know the upcoming Disney Plus streaming service will have tons of great content, we put together a wish list of projects from across Disney's properties we'd like to see on the service in the near future.
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: Mid90s, BlacKkKlansman, and more

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: Jonah Hill's Mid90s, vampire action movie Blade, and more.