‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ Director Taika Waititi Calls Out ‘Stranger Things’ for ‘Ruining’ Kate Bush

Taika Waititi is on a roll. As the director of the last two Thor movies, including 2022’s Thor: Love and Thunder, the New Zealand director gave star Chris Hemsworth his two best opening weekends. Waititi used music to help tell his story in Love and Thunder, but he called out Stranger Things for doing the same as it “ruined” Kate Bush while introducing her work to a new audience.

Taika Waititi attends the Critics' Choice Awards in Santa Monica, California, in 2020. As a Kate Bush fan, Waititi had to call out 'Stranger Things' for "ruining" her music for him: "I'm really annoyed."
Taika Waititi | Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Critics Choice Association

Taika Waititi included several Guns N’ Roses hits on the ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ soundtrack

Waititi is no stranger to using popular music in his works. After all, he won a golden gramophone for his soundtrack work on Jojo Rabbit, but he threw the Grammys under the bus with a dismissive comment years after his win.

Several Guns N’ Roses songs appear on the Thor: Love and Thunder soundtrack, including the hits “Welcome to the Jungle,” “Sweet Child o’ Mine,” and “Paradise City” from the band’s successful 1987 debut Appetite for Destruction

Waititi frequently uses music to help tell the story or set the tone for a scene. So does Stranger Things. The Netflix series features several 1980s favorites on its soundtrack, including hits by The Police, The Clash, Duran Duran, and more.

Kate Bush and Metallica experienced a massive bump thanks to the show, but Waititi called out Stranger Things for “ruining” Bush even as it introduced her work to a new audience.

Waititi calls out ‘Stranger Things’ for “ruining” Kate Bush: “I’m really annoyed”

Bush’s song “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” features prominently in Season 4 of Stranger Things. The song soundtracks some pivotal moments, and it also boosted Bush’s income. The British songwriter earned more than $2 million from the exposure in Stranger Things.

Some loyal Bush fans aren’t happy about her renewed popularity. Waititi seems to be one of them, based on the way he criticized Stranger Things for putting Bush back in the spotlight.

In an NME interview, Alex Flood asked if Love and Thunder could make Guns N’ Roses popular again like Stranger Things did for Bush.

“You mean how they ruined Kate Bush? I love that show, but as someone who feels a real ownership of Kate Bush music, I’m really annoyed! One of my favorite songs; I’m like, ‘Who are these guys?’ I’ve become one of those old a–holes who’s like: ‘These kids never listened to Kate Bush. They don’t know Kate Bush! I know Kate Bush!’”

Taika Waititi calls out Stranger Things for using Kate Bush music

At least Waititi didn’t use Bush’s music in his own film. He admitted to NME that he enjoys Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” less after using it in Thor: Ragnarok and had second thoughts about loading up the Love and Thunder soundtrack with Guns N’ Roses.

Who was cut from ‘Thor: Love and Thunder,’ how much has it made, and will there be a ‘Thor 5’?

Natalie Portman returns to the franchise as Jane Foster in Love and Thunder, and she said the movie is different from any she’s worked on because of how much shot footage didn’t make the cut. That includes several cameos from notable actors.

Peter Dinklage was rumored to return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Eitri, but if he shot any scenes, they’re not in the movie. A lawsuit against Lena Headey confirmed her Love and Thunder role, but Dinklage’s fellow Game of Thrones alum doesn’t appear. The movie’s IMDb page lists Jeff Goldblum’s hairstylist and makeup artist among the crew, but not the actor. Waititi has no plans for a director’s cut, so their footage will probably remain unseen.

Waititi cut several stars out of Love and Thunder, but it hasn’t affected its box office total. The movie opened with $144.1 million its first weekend and surged past $315.5 million in less than a week, per Box Office Mojo.

Thor: Love and Thunder is another in a long line of Marvel hit movies; will there be a Thor 5? One of the movie’s two post-credits scenes features a surprising cameo that sets up a fifth film, but there’s nothing official yet. If there is, and if Waititi gets the call to direct, don’t expect to lift a page from the Stranger Things playbook and use a Kate Bush song in the soundtrack.

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