Taika Waititi has risen from indie darling to superstar over the past few years, breaking out with Thor: Ragnarok before winning an Oscar this year for Jojo Rabbit. The writer/director is a uniquely talented mind who brings a fresh perspective and quirky sensibility to every project he’s involved in, making him a fan favorite for many Marvel fans for his writing/directing effort and scene-stealing role as the humorous Korg. Fresh off his Oscar win, Waititi is currently gearing up for production on Thor: Love and Thunder.
After the Academy Awards ceremony ended Sunday, Variety caught up with the writer/director to discuss several topics, including the role of Valkyrie in Love and Thunder. When asked about Valkyrie’s sexuality and if he supports the character being “explicitly queer”, Waititi expressed his desire to embrace the character’s LGBTQ background.
“I think so. The IP is not mine. But with the actors, I feel whatever makes them comfortable — whether they feel like there’s a natural choice, or a natural way for that character to go — then I’m pretty supportive. If Tessa wanted to do that, I’m in.”
While the character’s queer roots were hinted at in Ragnarok, scenes that explicitly showed this ended up on the cutting room floor, disappointing many fans and those who seek greater representation in film. Personally, I am ecstatic to see Waititi on board for embracing the character’s identity, as film today still has very unequal representation for the LGBTQ community.
While there are strong dramas like Call Me By Your Name, Tangerine, and Moonlight that feature thoughtful portrayals of LGBTQ life, rarely do big tentpoles feature any sort of representation, and when they do, it’s typically done without much thought or care. I trust in Waititi and star Tessa Thompson to do justice to the character while portraying her identity with assured hands.
Are you excited for Thor: Love and Thunder? Let us know in the comments!