Since Taika Waititi is 80 percent troll and 20 percent pure chaos demon, it’s best to take everything he says with a large wheelbarrow of salt, but the director of Thor: Ragnarok appeared to reveal a few real tidbits about the upcoming sequel, Thor: Love and Thunder – and some very fake script pages teasing the return of Tony Stark – during an Instagram Live watch party of Ragnarok on his personal Instagram account on April 9.
Kicking things off by offering fans an exclusive look at what Waititi described as new concept art for the character of Miek and a look at New Asgard from Love and Thunder, Waititi also “accidentally” “leaked” a page of the “script” for Love and Thunder in the process. The fake script sees Tony Stark returning because of “science” to assemble a new team to face a similarly resurrected Thanos: The Avengererers. Oh, and the Iron Man suit has apparently had an upgrade, emblazoned with decals of “all the flags of every nation on Earth,” obviously. (Why has no one let Waititi write an Avengers movie?)
Take a look at the concept art and script page below:
[widget path=”global/article/imagegallery” parameters=”albumSlug=thor-love-and-thunder-preview-art-from-taika-waititi&captions=true”]
Waititi then answered (or dodged) a number of fan questions, including whether Loki might appear in Love and Thunder (“can’t say,” said Waititi), who Christian Bale is playing (Waititi faked his mic cutting out while he was answering), if we’d see the Silver Surfer in the film (nah), or whether we might see Beta Ray Bill in the sequel, following an Easter egg nod to the character in Ragnarok. The Beta Ray Bill question came the closest to getting a straight answer: “Not sure how to answer that; I don’t want to tease and I don’t want to give anything away… It would be awesome to have him in the film but I just don’t know right now, it’s up in the air,” Waititi said, after expressing his love for the character.
[widget path=”global/article/imagegallery” parameters=”albumSlug=thor-love-and-thunder-6-characters-christian-bale-could-play&captions=true”]
Ragnarok star Tessa Thompson later made an appearance on the stream (as did Mark Ruffalo) and prompted further discussion of the upcoming sequel – which Waititi said is currently on its fourth or fifth draft, noting that he “can’t wait to do it,” because it’s become “so over the top now, in the very best way.” For her part, Thompson said she had read a recent draft, though she hadn’t read the most recent iteration.
In a tease that could have no basis in reality, or could be entirely accurate (it’s impossible to tell with Waititi), the director revealed: “it makes Ragnarok seem really run of the mill, a very safe film … There’s a lot in it, a lot of set pieces. This new film feels like we asked a bunch of 10-year-olds what should be in the movie, and just said yes to every single thing,” he laughed. “The combination of things as well, and some of the stuff from the comics… space sharks; if you look up space sharks, you’ll get a good idea of what this is.”
Waititi was likely referring to the Starsharks, sometimes referred to as Space Sharks, which are often used for transportation in the comics since they can live and move in space. They were first created by Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum for Uncanny X-Men, but also appeared in Jason Aaron’s Mighty Thor and Thor: God of Thunder runs. Aaron’s work is believed to be a major influence on the direction of the new movie, which will see Jane Foster return and take on the mantle of Thor, as she did in Aaron’s run. Aaron’s God of Thunder arc also introduces Gorr the God Butcher as an antagonist, and the character is rumored to be the villain in Love and Thunder.
To be fair, Waititi has previously described Love and Thunder as “doubling down on how nuts Ragnarok was,” so Space Sharks seem like a believable escalation.
Dodging questions about whether we’ll see a love interest for Valkyrie, Thompson also asked about the status of Waititi’s on-screen character, Korg, in the sequel. “We do touch on Korg’s culture, where he’s from, the cultural specificities of Kronans, if you will,” Waititi said. “If you look in the comics about Kronans, there’s some interesting things about where they come from and how they procreate.”
As for whether Thor will have regained his chiseled physique in Love and Thunder after the events of Avengers: Endgame, Waititi seemed to confirm the transformation by noting that he doesn’t want to repeat the same beats of a previous film: “I feel like that’s done for him – I feel like we’ve seen that, haven’t we?”
Things fully got off the rails by the time Ruffalo joined the Instagram Live, with conversation veering from telling knock-knock jokes with Waititi’s daughter to revealing fake “treatments” for the coronavirus pandemic. For much of the end of the watch-along stream, Thor: Ragnarok was not even on screen, nor was the focus on discussing the movie. But like Thor: Ragnarok (and, presumably, Thor: Love and Thunder), the overall experience was well-worth having, if a bit insane, and it was a nice breath of fresh air to see Waititi, Thompson, and Ruffalo catching up with each other while cooking and caring for their families while stuck inside, just like the rest of us.
Thor: Love and Thunder was scheduled to start filming in Sydney, Australia this summer, but production has since been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. Waititi confirmed that he’s still working hard on the film and hopes to begin production as soon as they can, but noted, “I think this little break that we’re taking is going to be good for all films, all scripts, all art.”
Thor: Love and Thunder was initially scheduled for release on Nov. 5, 2021, but the recent release date changes for Marvel’s Phase 4 have pushed it back to Feb. 28, 2022.