Fans Ask Marvel Staff To Union In Light Of Director’s Problematic Joke

Taika Waititi, the director of this year’s box office success Thor: Love and Thunder, starring Chris Hemsworth (Thor Odinson), Natalie Portman (Jane Foster/The Mighty Thor) and Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie) has come under fire for supposedly insensitive comments made when he and actress Tessa Thompson exchanged pleasantries over the CGI in a scene – and now some fans are calling on the VFX industry to unionize in response to his comments.

Credit: Marvel Studios

Previously, Inside the Magic covered Marvel fans coming to Waititi’s defense amid much of the initial backlash – and now it looks like fans are calling on VFX artists to unionize, in response to his statements.

Twitter user @Uber_Kryptonian shared his thoughts:

Hopefully the VFX artists who worked on Taika’s film see this video and it becomes the driving moment that gets them all syndicated. To see the millionaire director laughing at your work, him and the producers forcing you to change 5 times before the deadline with a small salary is insane.

But what was it in the video in question, really? Let’s break it down.

In the Vanity Fair videoWaititi and Thompson themselves break down a scene apparently called “Taste the Rainbow”, according to Waititi himself.

The scene takes place in the town hall of New Asgard, the new home of the remaining displaced Asgardians, who moved to the Norwegian coast on Earth after their home planet and home kingdom, Asgard, was destroyed in Thor: Ragnarok (2017). Thompson’s character, the newly crowned monarch King Valkyrie of New Asgard, has a conversation with Thor and the Mighty Thor as they decide how to deal with the ever-looming threat of Gorr the Butcher God (Christian Bale).

Christian Bale as Gorr
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: As Bans Continue, Disney Pulls Nationwide ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ Release Completely

Waititi himself appears to be self-deprecating in the video, asking Thompson about his own character (in which he starred the movie), the rocky alien Korg in the scene, “Okay, does that look real?”, to which Thompson replies, “In this particular shot, no, actually (laughs).”

Waititi then looks sheepish, and Thompson adds, “That’s not really the case, is it? When do you look closely? – and Waititi ponders, again talking about his Korg persona, “hmm, do I need to be more blue?”

The two start pointing at the (clearly very real) actors in the scene, namely Hemsworth as Thor and Portman as Jane Foster, wondering if they “look real”, Thompson even points to himself. fingered in the scene as Valkyrie, before concluding that “none of them seem real.”

Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie
Credit: Marvel Studios

In light of these comments, fans are reacting to Waititi’s “jokes” in a myriad of ways – some with more jokes of their own:

[text in image, of a Subway sandwich]

(Taika) to be like

(“TL&T VFX”) sucks

(Brother in Christ) you made the (movie)

Other fans like @NotBoogey weighed in:

That’s crazy. Taika this week tries very hard to make everyone dislike her and it works. Well, maybe if you paid your artists more and didn’t rush them, the CGI would be better and neater. They must return to 2 films per year.

This perhaps confuses the Marvel director a bit with Marvel Studios itself, as user @LukasAndArt1 notes. They attempt to bring some nuance to the discussion by pointing out that certain aspects of the production may have escaped Waititi, speaking to a larger problem within the visual effects industry:

It sucks, but did he even have control over the visual effects? With the number of people controlling these things, I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the first time he’d seen it.

Which doesn’t mean I’m defending anyone. But it seems that VFX is a systemic problem.

However, a more comprehensive review by Gordon B. White offers:

I think Taika Waititi’s recent promo bits where he doesn’t work the visual effects on the new Thor or says the directors’ cuts suck is a good example of where self-mockery *not* works – it i.e. when the obsolete product was a team effort. Then it just sounds a bit jerky.

Related: ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ Defies Critics, MCU Movie Posts Stunning $302 Million Opening Weekend

With recent reports that Marvel Studios likely deliberately restricted the runtime of Thor: Love and Thunder — perhaps all of the recent criticism leveled at Waititi might be partially unfounded, as it seems Marvel Studios is pulling a lot of the strings behind the end result of these Marvel Cinematic Universe movies.

Waititi’s flippant tone, however, is definitely all about him.

Thor Valkyrie
Credit: StudioMarvel

Considering how much Marvel Studios seems to love setting unrealistic deadlines for its creators, it’s possible their current relationship with VFX artists is the result of something more systemic – as Marvel Studios decides on salary, gives directors and actors guides, and also handles delays – this would result in tighter visual effects.

Ultimately, we’ll just have to see if Marvel Studios or Taika Waititi will issue an apology, or choose to talk about this uproar.

What do you think of Taika Waititi’s comments? Is the anger justified? What do you think of the unionization of the VFX industry? Share your thoughts below!

Part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thor: Love and Thunder premiered in theaters on July 8, 2022.

It stars Chris Hemsworth (Thor Odinson), Natalie Portman (Jane Foster aka Mighty Thor), Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie King)Christian Bale (Gorr the Butcher God), Chris Pratt (Peter Quill), Dave Bautista (Drax the Destroyer), Karen Gillan (Nebula), Pom Klementieff (Mantis), Jaimie Alexander (Lady Sif) and Russell Crowe (Zeus).

The fourth installment in the Thor franchise, Thor: Love and Thunder is directed by Taika Waititi and features Thor Odinson teaming up with the new reigning monarch of New Asgard, King Valkyrie, as well as his ex-girlfriend, Dr. Jane Foster, who now wields the reformed hammer Mjolnir, becoming the Mighty Thor. Together they try to defeat Gorr the Butcher God, who seeks to rid the universe of all divine beings, as he believes “all gods must die”.

Other MCU Phase Four movies on the horizon are Black Panther: Wakanda Forever premiering on November 11, 2022, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania on February 17, 2023, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 on May 5, 2023. The Disney+ streaming service also offers critically acclaimed MCU Phase Four TV shows such as Ms. Marvel (2022) and Moon Knight (2022).

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