Director Taika Waititi had a specific vision for Thor: Ragnarok, and while it did draw on comic books for inspiration, Waititi says he took more visual cues from his source material than story beats.
"None. I didn’t really read any. I started reading a few but I got too overwhelmed," Waititi told The Hollywood Reporter when asked about which comic book stories he had drawn from for the plot of Ragnarok.
"We looked at Planet Hulk and then the other one was God of Thunder. But we mostly took the visual stuff from comics, going through saying 'That looks cool. That looks cool.' I wasn’t taking storyline or characters, because my strength is tone and character and dialogue."
"I also wanted some ownership over the franchise, in a way that I couldn’t get on the other Marvel franchises," the director continued. "[Thor] is the franchise that has the least amount of identity. Like, it sort of doesn’t know what it is yet. So I came in saying, 'Well it could be THIS.' So, I ignored the source material and even the first two films and tried to do my own thing."
Waititi did have one other specific comic book influence - Thor's co-creator, Jack Kirby.
"Basically, I just asked myself what a six-year-old would use to make a movie and then did that," he joked. "I just did every color we could think of and then tried to balance them. The hard thing was, because we were using Jack Kirby's designs, which are so crazy and eclectic, it was hard to make sure the characters stood out from the background. The eye doesn’t know where to look."
According to Waititi, Marvel was fully on board with his vision for the film.
"They wanted it to be a departure from what they had done before. And Chris had wanted to do something that felt less familiar. The secret weapon to all of this was letting Chris be more himself, because he is very funny and that was the part of Thor was not exploited in the right ways. I know he wanted to do more in the other movies but there are just so many characters. And the other ones, like Iron Man, have already been established a bit stronger."
Thor: Ragnarok is in theaters now.