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Taika Waititi says he only directed Thor: Ragnarok because ‘I was poor’

Taika Waititi has revealed that he decided to direct 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok because: “I was poor and I’d just had a second child”.

The filmmaker, speaking on the SmartLess podcast to hosts Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, and Sean Hayes, added that although he initially “had no interest in doing one of those films” he came to the conclusion that making the Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbuster would be “a great opportunity to feed these children”.

Thor: Ragnarok earned $865 million (£685 million) at the global box office, and Waititi returned to direct the 2022 follow-up Thor: Love and Thunder.

Waititi recently told Business Insider that he now intends to take a break from working with Marvel, saying of the next Thor film: “I know that I won’t be involved... I’m going to concentrate on these other films that I’ve signed on for.”

“So that’s six, seven years gone,” Waititi explained. “I’d imagine another Thor would be a lot sooner than that. But I love Marvel, I love working with them. I love Chris.”

He added: “I would never feel like they are cheating on me. We’re in an open relationship, and it’s like, if they want to see other people, I’m happy for that. I’d still get back into bed with them one day.”

Waititi promoting his sports comedy ‘Next Goal Wins’ (2023 Invision)
Waititi promoting his sports comedy ‘Next Goal Wins’ (2023 Invision)

Elsewhere in the SmartLess interview, Waititi recalled the “list of demands” Donald Trump had for his brief appearance in NBC’s 2012 Brotherhood of Man commercial that aired during the 46th Super Bowl.

The former US President was the host of the US version of The Apprentice at the time. He made a cameo in the network’s musical advertisement alongside other NBC stars including 30 Rock’s Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey, The Office’s Ed Helms and Parenthood’s Lauren Graham.

Waititi, who directed the commercial, remembered that “there was a piece of paper with a list of [Trump’s] demands”, including a specification that: “The height of the camera had to be a certain height to make him look a little thinner.”

“I think it had whatever the Pantone for orange was that he had to appear as on screen,” Waititi joked. “He had a makeup person who was also his ego booster and she would touch him up and say, ‘Oh, Mr Trump, oh Mr Trump.’”

Waititi’s latest film is sports comedy Next Goal Wins, which is in US cinemas now.

The film sees Michael Fassbender play Dutch-American football coach Thomas Rongen, who managed the national team for American Samoa, who infamously once lost 31-0 to Australia.

Next Goal Wins is released in the UK on 26 December.