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Taika Waititi, who co-wrote and co-directed the vampire spoof What We Do In the Shadows, is in negotiations to direct the third installment of Marvel’s Thor movies, titled Thor: Ragnarok.
Chris Hemsworth is reprising his role of the Norse god of thunder.
Waititi’s emergence as the choice caps off a round of intense meetings that took place over the last month. Ruben Fleischer, Rob Letterman and Rawson Marshall Thurber were the other directors that were finalists for the gig.
Waititi is the latest head-scratcher from Marvel for their pick to direct a big-budget extravaganza, especially one steeped in the Norse mythology and an Apocalypse myth.
Waititi is best known for his comedic work — co-starring with Jemaine Clement in What We Do In the Shadows, the well-regarded vampire parody that debuted at Sundance.
He wrote and directed episodes of Flight of the Conchords and is a writer on Disney’s upcoming animated feature Moana, which will star Dwayne Johnson.
(Fun fact: he appeared with Ryan Reynolds in Green Lantern, the 2011 adventure movie from Marvel’s superhero movie rival, Warner Bros.)
While Waititi may not be the obvious choice for a movie such as a Thor installment, the kind of outside-of-the-box thinking behind hires like Waititi’s has served Marvel well. The studio tapped comedy directors Joe and Anthony Russo for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, a move that turned out so well that the brothers not only directed the third Captain America movie, they are now working on the new Avengers outings.
Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn is another example of someone from the fringes that Marvel brought into the majors.
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