Exclusive: Taika Waititi Not Returning For Thor 5

According to our trusted and proven sources, Academy Award-winning director Taika Waititi is not down for Thor 5.

By Nathan Kamal | Updated

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Taika Waititi’s first major studio film was Thor: Ragnarok, a movie that successfully took the two most boring (and more importantly, lowest-grossing) Avengers and revitalized them with a broadly comedic touch and more than a bit of sci-fi imagery. It quickly became one of the most acclaimed Marvel Cinematic Universe films and an enormous hit, even by the standards of the biggest franchise in the world. Despite his track record, our trusted and proven sources are telling us that Taika Waititi will not be returning to direct the still-in-development Thor 5. The reason? The mixed reception to the recent Thor: Love and Thunder

Thor: Love and Thunder was Taika Waititi’s second major film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it seems that it has soured him on the idea of a Thor 5. While Thor: Love and Thunder was by no means a bomb (grossing $746 million at the box office, making it one of the top ten highest-earning films of the year so far), it did not receive the same overjoyed and astonished acclaim as Ragnarok. In many ways, this was inevitable. A large part of what people loved about Ragnarok was Taika Waititi’s abrupt tonal change from the sweatily lofty, dry earlier Thor movies to a largely light-hearted, frequently jokey cartoon world. It made people realize that Chris Hemsworth’s comedic performance in the 2016 Ghostbusters was not a fluke, and also that maybe there is something kind of goofy about the idea of a blonde space god fighting a green anger monster for Jeff Goldblum’s amusement. However, the second time around, people were not as much into it. 

Judging by the largely lukewarm reception of Thor: Love and Thunder (which largely negatively compared it to Ragnarok), Taika Waititi feels he cannot pull out the same bag of tricks for Thor 5. Honestly, it is very understandable that he would not want to go back to the same Asgardian well another time. After breaking through to the mainstream in a big way with the third Thor movie, he won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for the dark World War II comedy Jojo Rabbit, directed an acclaimed episode of and performed in the hit Star Wars show The Mandalorian, co-created the universally praised FX series Reservation Dogs, and starred as the legendary pirate Blackbeard in the HBO series Our Flag Means Death. In other words, Taika Waititi has a lot on his plate without worrying about returning to diminishing returns for Thor 5.

It also seems that Taika Waititi is pretty well-ensconced in the Disney machine without Thor 5. The status of his announced Star Wars is in doubt, but both the Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm arms of the company seem to like having an acclaimed director around to direct an episode or two of various shows for critical clout. That Taika Waititi is also very enthusiastic to do some voice work and motion capture just makes him that much more enticing for Disney, but it sounds like we should not be expecting a Thor 5 to repeat his tricks.

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