Mark Ruffalo thought the different direction of Thor and Hulk in Thor: Ragnarok would possibly break the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With Thor: Ragnarok finally hitting theaters domestically this week, fans stateside will finally get a full look at the exciting new direction the God of Thunder is taking under the direction of The Hunt for the Wilderpeople helmer Taika Waititi.
One look at the high-energy teaser trailer for Thor: Ragnarok six months ago was enough to tell fans that the third solo Thor movie was not only going to be the most unique Thor adventure yet, but perhaps the biggest departure ever taken from the MCU formula. Quirky and playful, the teaser was merely the introduction to a much funnier and lighthearted MCU film than fans have seen since The Avengers first assembled in 2012, resembling a tone akin the the irreverence displayed by the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. The biggest difference, of course, was that the Guardians were their own entities, as opposed to Thor and Hulk, who were introduced in the MCU in a much different way.
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In a recent interview with Collider, Ruffalo admits that he thought the changes in both his Hulk and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) might not only be stretching the boundaries previously laid out for the respective characters, it could possibly break them. He says:
“Do you know how many times I was like, ‘Are we breaking the Marvel universe? We threw everything out. We started all over again with this. We threw the Thor franchise out. We threw everyone’s perception of Banner out. We threw everyone’s perception of Hulk out. We threw everyone’s perception of Thor out. And, yes, we knew what we were doing. At the same time we were like, ‘Let’s just do it, and let’s go for it, and let’s do it the best and most honest and fun way that we can.’ Taika did that, and he wasn’t afraid of that … so we improvised a lot and we played … and that playfulness is really appealing on-screen.”
There’s no question that the leap of faith worked for all parties involved, especially judging the initial reactions to the film. In addition to winning raves in early reviews of the film and a ringing endorsement from former MCU helmer Joss Whedon – saying “Taika Waiti has made a modern masterpiece” – the film is not only projected to gross more than $100 million domestically during its opening weekend. On top of that, the film is already a blockbuster overseas, taking in more than $100 million in foreign territories in its opening frame.
It’s hard to say whether Waititi’s new direction actually helped Thor: Raganarok‘s bottom line, but it’s pretty safe to say it didn’t hurt. The next big question, though, is whether the changes Thor and Hulk have undergone remain permanent, which is something fans will find out for certain when Avengers: Infinity War comes out on May 4, 2018.