The director behind what's arguably the best Thor ever has taken the Marvel movie to comedic heights. Here are 5 things you should know about the Kiwi
1. Led Zeppelin's 'Immigrant Song' was instrumental in Taika Waititi's involvement Taika Waititi submitted a pitch reel to Disney's executives — it's a video audition of sorts which got him the gig. Putting together clips from other music to convey tonality, the 42-year-old Kiwi from Wellington also used Led Zeppelin's 'Immigrant Song' as the soundtrack. The song also appears in the finished film. His vision for Thor: Ragnarok was pretty simple — a story about a lovable hero, Thor, who navigates a crazy world with all these equally crazy characters: Loki (Tom Hiddleston), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Hela (Cate Blanchett), Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) and Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson)
2. Before Thor: Ragnarok, he was a festival favourite What did this half-Maori Kiwi do before this huge Hollywood gig? You might recognise him as one of the vampires in the mockumentary, What We Do In The Shadows — but did you know that he also wrote the screenplay and directed the film? He's also directed a few episodes for Flight of the Conchords, while his films Eagle vs Shark and Boy were nominated for the grand jury prize at the Sundance film festival. Waititi's first ever film Two Cars, One Night — a short story about three kids hanging out in the parking lot — was also nominated for the Oscars in 2005.
3. He's tickled Chris Hemsworth's funny bone While the actor playing the God of Thunder is more known for his strapping good looks and the ability to make both men and women melt, you'd never peg Hemsworth to be a funny dude. But with Waititi's expert hand, he's managed to play up Hemsworth's naturally comedic ways, discovering that he's actually great at making fun of himself. Of course, we have seen hints of hilarity in the actor before from his gigs in SNL and Ghostbusters, but never quite like this.
4. Werewolves are going to be big soon While the director once thought that working on a Marvel movie would be a career-ender, it's clearly not the case after a successful opening week. However, it looks like Waititi's back to making indie hits, starting from a confirmation of the sequel or spin-off to What We Do In The Shadows, We're Wolves. He'll also be involved in a stop-motion animation on Michael Jackson, told through the story of the star's chimp, Bubbles.
5. Sorry folks, he's taken His beau is Chelsea Winstanley, a film producer from New Zealand. She's a producer of What We Do In The Shadows, and has some 15 years of working in the film industry. They have a daughter, Te Hinekāhu.