Despite the film’s current success, it sounds as if early cuts of Thor: Ragnarok didn’t quite work. It’s hardly surprising for Marvel Studios to land a critical and commercial hit these days. This year alone they’ve already had two such films thanks to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Spider-Man: Homecoming. Few, however, would have suspected early on that Ragnarok would achieve similar heights.
Thanks to an overwhelming critical consensus, Thor: Ragnarok was Certified Fresh last week and sits as the MCU’s best-reviewed film. This past weekend also saw Ragnarok break $100 million at the international box office. With the movie debuting this week in domestic theaters, that strong start will more than double. In turns out, however, that all the praise and financial success was the result of a serious reworking of the early cuts of the film.
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CBR spoke with Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi, and he had some interesting things to say about the evolution of the movie. In addition to revealing why the Thor 3 runtime changed so much, Waititi explained that the process of finalizing the film was a delicate one:
“It was very tricky. We spent a lot of time in post-production, actually, figuring that out. It’s a very hard thing to strike that balance throughout two hours and 30 minutes, however many minutes this thing is, for that much time that you’re engaging in a film.”
As Waititi states, landing the right balance in any film is tough. A blockbuster can present particular challenges, especially one that’s equal part cosmic spectacle and comedy. Of course, Waititi isn’t afraid to say that the early cuts of the film weren’t just weak, but actually somewhat of a disaster:
“So we failed miserably and had a funny first 10 minutes and then a super-boring rest of the movie. But that’s luckily why you have such a long time in post-production, because you can test all these things out and get the very best film that you can.”
Luckily for all involved, the director and his crew were able to assemble a worthy final product. Post-production and reshoots are a big part of finalizing a blockbuster, so it’s really not surprising that Thor: Ragnarok took new shape during these stages. What is interesting, however, is the candor with which Waititi is willing to talk about the process. The director has certainly never been shy about discussing his process, and it seems his idiosyncratic style of filmmaking doesn’t stop when the cameras stop rolling. In the end, that may be just what helped catapult Thor: Ragnarok to its vaunted position.