25. Valkyrie’s method of opening the alcohol bottle with a knife at 49:49 is an homage to Once Were Warriors which features a character opening beer bottles with a fish slicer.
26. The Beerbot 5000 is a motion capture performance.
27. The wall mural in the box where Loki and the Grandmaster watch the Thor vs Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) fight is an actual piece of Kirby art.
28. There’s what looks like an N and a Z shaved into opposite sides of Thor’s head after the haircut, and Waititi points out that it stands for New Zealand. “It’s like Chris did a little homage to me. That’s how much he loves me.”
29. The alien with three heads who’s glimpsed a few times on Sakaar features Waititi’s face on head #3.
30. Thor’s line that Hulk is “a friend from work” came from a child visiting the set during production.
31. Waititi’s second daughter, Matewa Kiritapu, joins the commentary during the Thor vs Hulk fight. “Uh oh. Oh my gosh.” She quickly loses interest and decides to go see something else.
32. Two of the four women nursing Thor back to health in Hulk’s pad are played by Waititi’s and Hemsworth’s wives Chelsea and Elsa, respectively.
33. Hemsworth had no plans for a shirtless scene in the film, but Waititi, “as a representative of the audience” said he had to do one. “I would like to acknowledge myself and Chris’ body for those extra ticket sales.”
34. In preparing for the film Waititi had talks with Marvel about how Thor needed something of an overhaul. “He needed to be that kind of fun hero that we wanted to follow on the journey, and you can’t do that when your hero is super earnest and serious.”
35. He wanted a Withnail & I vibe between Thor and Banner, and he’s thrilled that Hemsworth and Ruffalo delivered.
36. The reflective walking shot starting at 1:17:30 is “obviously the greatest shot in the history of cinema” and was designed by storyboard artist Todd Harris.
37. The lighting effect used for the first time ever during Valkyrie’s flashback was designed by two of Waititi’s friends — one of whom you may know better as Stu (Rutherford) from What We Do In the Shadows — for Satellite Lab. He compares it The Matrix‘s “bullet time” but with strobe lights encircling the action instead of cameras. The sequence is gorgeous so congrats to Stu and friend.
38. He notices his daughter trying to steal the recording booth technician’s phone and suggests that “someone needs to supervise that child.”
39. Much of the artwork and banners for the Hulk parade were made by interns from the local Aboriginal community. He wanted to offer them the opportunity to experience a film set and possibly find inspiration.
40. The Commodore ship’s color design is based on the Aboriginal flag. “Let’s make the hero’s spaceship in this movie the color of the original people from Australia, the color of their flag.” Valkyrie’s ship is colored after the Maori flag. “You know, nothing political, just cool.”
41. The ships are all named after classic (“70s, 80s, 90s, and 2000s”) cars from New Zealand and Australia including Commodore, Escort, Kingswood, and more.
42. Waititi calls out the obvious flaw in Thor’s nickname as the God of Thunder and suggests that either he should change it to God of Lightning “or should we change it so that he just has the power of some really loud rumbling. I think I’m gonna write to Stan Lee and ask him what he thinks.”
43. They knew they wanted to bring about Ragnarok — the destruction of Asgard — but they weren’t initially sure how to justify destroying an entire planet. Attaching Hela’s power source to Asgard the place and then recognizing that Asgard is where the people are solved that problem.
Best in Context-Free Commentary
“Good lord, it’s Joel Edgerton!”
“For all you people who love fun facts, I’ve got lots of them.”
“I did all of the motion capture for [Chris Hemsworth] in the movie as well, so any time you see him walking around or talking that’s also me. I basically did all of the characters in the film.”
“How are you guys enjoying this director’s commentary by the way?”
“I’m not sure if I’ll watch this movie again after this director’s commentary. I’ve seen it quite a few times.”
“Oh look there’s Keith Urban, famous country singer.”
“No Earth animals were harmed making this movie, but yeah, we did kill a lot of dragons.”
“Matt Damon. I don’t know if you guys recognize him from We Bought a Zoo. That’s him. A little crossover there, a little Marvel/We Bought a Zoo crossover.”
“If you’re a fan of Doctor Strange, which I am not, you’ll know that that is Doctor Strange’s address.”
“Who would have thought we’d make a movie with the devil’s anus in it?”
“I want to watch Moana.”
Buy Thor: Ragnarok on Blu-ray/DVD from Amazon.
This movie is a goddamn blast and exactly the re-imagining that Thor needed, and Waititi’s sense of humor is as evident on the commentary as it is in the film. It’s more of an entertaining track than an informative one — something Waititi warns about early on — but fun is fun.
Read more Commentary Commentary from the archives.