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With Waititi in charge, can Thor be funny?

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 4/04/2016

With Waititi in charge, can Thor be funny?

We've come to expect a lot more from our superheroes, as proven with success of the darker and dirtier Deadpool, so perhaps it's time Thor got witty too.

By Danielle McGrane

SYDNEY, April 4 AAP - Indie film director Taika Waititi seems like a left-of-centre choice to take on the third instalment in the Marvel movie franchise, Thor.

The Kiwi director's vampire mockumentary What We Do In The Shadows - written with Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords) - and cult hit, Boy, don't exactly hit you between the eyes with their special effects or digital, green-screen creations.

Even Waititi seems somewhat bemused by the casting.

"I have no idea really why I'm doing this or how this happened. I think, you know when you get to the bottom of the barrel and then there's nothing left and you have to look underneath? Maybe that's what happened," Waititi told AAP at the recent Sydney premiere of The Jungle Book.

His answer is witty and self-deprecating, not surprising for a man whose films show great humour and pathos. He's a director who knows how to highlight the darkness of the human condition with a lightness of touch.

While following Waititi's vampires as they live out their lives in a Wellington suburb through some farcical scenes in What We In The Shadows, Waititi makes a subtle commentary on diversity and acceptance.

"They (Marvel) watched What We Do In The Shadows and some of my other films, Boy, and you know what the great thing about Marvel is? That they tend to make very out of the box, kind of odd decisions. They don't tend to go with the obvious choice. I think that's what makes their films really interesting again and again," he said.

At a time where Marvel's Deadpool and Iron Man have shaken up the superhero sphere with their darker humour, perhaps Waititi is the perfect choice to revamp Thor - one of Marvel's most earnest characters. Considering Deadpool has just overtaken X-Men: Days Of Future Past to become the biggest movie in the franchise with a $US752 million ($NZ1.09 billion) in global box office takings, it could prove wise to get witty.

Waititi and his crew have just landed in Australia to start pre-production on the project which will begin filming on the Gold Coast from July.

It's early days, and the director isn't ready to say whether Thor is about to turn full-on maverick, but he hints that he will be bringing some of his trademark humour to the mix.

"At the moment I don't know exactly tonally where we'll be with the film, but if anyone has seen my work before you know it's a decent mix of drama and I wouldn't say weird comedy, but I like to add a nice mix between light and dark," he said.

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