Taika Waititi Goes Viral After Demeaning ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ VFX Team

Writer/director Taika Waititi brings the humor and the Asgardian action in Thor: Love and Thunder. However, it hasn’t necessarily jibed with many fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Waititi himself came under fire for more than Thor: Love and Thunder itself, as he jokingly poked fun at his own visual effects (VFX) team. As a result, audiences aren’t happy with him treating the hard-working crew as the punchline for his own project.

Taika Waititi directed ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ after his massive success with ‘Ragnarok’

'Thor: Love and Thunder' stars Tessa Thompson, Taika Waititi, and Natalie Portman posing in front of a step and repeat for the movie. Thompson and Portman wear dresses, and Waititi wears a tux.
L-R: Tessa Thompson, Taika Waititi, and Natalie Portman | Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

Thor: Ragnarok was the third solo adventure for the god of thunder (Chris Hemsworth), which earned the most critical praise of the bunch to that point. As a result, audiences jumped for joy at the idea of Waititi returning to direct Thor: Love and Thunder. The movie teased a new intimidating villain in Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale) and a familiar face dishing out justice in Mighty Thor (Natalie Portman).

Many fans still compare the quality of other MCU installments against Thor: Ragnarok. However, not many movies are able to hold up to those expectations of humor, action, and heart. Waititi injects Thor: Love and Thunder with much of the same aesthetic as Ragnarok, but now many are starting to question whether the MCU’s formula is actually starting to get tired.

Taika Waititi comes under fire for demeaning ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ VFX team as a punchline

Vanity Fair invited Waititi and Valkyrie actor Tessa Thompson to break down a scene from Thor: Love and Thunder. However, the interview trended for all of the wrong reasons. Waititi and Thompson started to discuss the VFX and editing of the scene, using their work as a punchline.

Waititi pointed to his character, Korg, and asked, “Does that look real?” Thompson responded, “In that particular shot, no actually (laughs). It doesn’t really look right when you look close.” The director asked whether Korg needed to be more blue and then asked whether Hemsworth, Portman, and Thompson looked real in the same shot. Thompson said “something looks very off about this” and pointed out that Korg changes hues over the film.

Additionally, Thompson singled out an editing decision that Waititi made for Thor: Love and Thunder where her character makes a funny expression. She noted: “It’s because it used to be when he would wake up. That was my reaction, but you just left it there randomly. But I kind of don’t mind it.”

Only Waititi trended on social media for the interview. Many folks found it disrespectful for the filmmaker to make the VFX team a joke.

“Hopefully VFX artists that worked on Taika’s film see this video and this becomes the driving moment that makes them all unionize,” one Twitter user wrote. “Seeing the millionaire director making fun of your work he and producers forced you to change 5 times before deadline with little pay is insane.”

Meanwhile, other Twitter users pointed out that it doesn’t seem right for Hollywood stars, such as Waititi and Thompson, to make fun of the CGI and editing of Thor: Love and Thunder in such a public fashion.

The MCU’s Phase 4 is the most divisive yet

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‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ Movie Review: MCU Delivers on Bigger, Louder ‘Ragnarok’

The post-Avengers: Endgame era of the MCU is extremely divisive. Social media users have battled with their best-to-worst rankings of Phase 4. Spider-Man: No Way Home earned critical praise and an Oscar nomination for Best Visual Effects. However, every other installment has divided both critics and audiences alike, especially Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder.

The remainder of the MCU Phase 4 entries include Black Widow, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Eternals, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

The MCU’s Disney+ shows also perhaps have a part to play in franchise fatigue. There is a never-ending revolving door of superhero content that is wearing on some viewers. In response, Marvel President Kevin Feige is giving directors more autonomy than ever before, which is also impacting how audiences view Phase 4.