Jill Pantozzi, HitFix, July 19, 2016
Taika Waititi has some really great things to say about how he specifically wanted to diversify the cast of his upcoming Marvel feature, Thor: Ragnarok.
Creed’s Tessa Thompson joined the Thor: Ragnarok cast back in April but we didn’t know who she’d be playing until Marvel announced her as Valkyrie. It was a casting specifically meant to diversify, according to Waititi and thankfully, unlike other similar instances, it wasn’t met with a racist backlash.
Right from the start we wanted to diversify the cast, and it’s hard when you’re working with Vikings. [Laughs.] You want to be more inclusive and provide a broader representation. And at that point, you have to look at the source material as a very loose inspiration. And then take it from there and go with your gut. Say, “You know what? None of that stuff matters. Just because the character was blonde and white in the comic book. That doesn’t matter. That’s not what [that character] is about.”
People forget that. Die-hard fans will say, “That’s not really authentic to the comics,” but as soon as they watch the movie, and they’re involved in the story, and actually what’s happening, everybody forgets. The fact that we even have to keep having this conversation is ridiculous, because we keep forgetting. Unless it’s the topic of the film, it just shouldn’t even be–what do we even care?
I think the story is king, and you want the best person for the job. And Tessa tested against–we cast a very broad net, and Tess was the best person.