Taika Waititi criticised for highlighting VFX ‘error’ in new Marvel movie Thor: Love and Thunder

’What was he THINKING?’ one person asked amid complaints Marvel ‘overworks’ VFX employees

Jacob Stolworthy
Tuesday 12 July 2022 10:49 BST
Taika Waititi explains visual effects in Thor: Love and Thunder
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Taika Waititi has come under fire for highlighting, and seemingly mocking, a VFX error in Thor: Love and Thunder.

The new Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film is in cinemas now, and it reunites the director with his Thor: Ragnarok stars, Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson.

Following the film’s release, an interview with Vanity Fair, in which Waititi and Thompson both point out a moment where the VFX could have been improved, circulated online.

The scene in question features Korg, a CGI-character with a rock-like appearance voiced by Waititi.

“OK, does that look real?” Waititi asks, with Thompson responding: “In that particular shot, no, actually.”

Waititi then asks, almost to himself: “Doesn’t he need to be more blue?” He adds while pointing at Hemsworth’s Thor: “Well, does he look real?”

“None of us do,” Thompson replies, stating that “something looks very off” about her character, Valkyrie.

Thompson then defends the VFX of Korg, continuing: “But no, no, no, he changes hues, don’t you think, in the light? Sometimes he’s blue, sometimes he’s a little greyish.”

Taika Waititi questioned the VFX in this shot from ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’

While many have argued that Waititi was joking, his comment regarding the film’s visual effects has generated controversy due to the fact that Marvel Studios has repeatedly been criticised for allegedly not supplying VFX artists with great working conditions.

“That Taika Waititi video with him making fun of the VFX tho... what was he THINKING? like bro, it’s YOUR movie, and you’re the one throwing the VFX team under the bus?” one person responded as the video went viral.

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Another added: “For those defending Taika Waititi mocking the effects in Love and Thunder as ‘just a joke’. VFX artists across the board are overworked, underpaid, and underappreciated. This is especially true with Marvel. They deserve better working conditions and more respect for their work.”

The majority of claims specifically levied against Marvel come from a Reddit thread titled: “I am quite frankly sick and tired of working on Marvel shows!”, which is filled with complaints by former VFX artists who have supposedly worked on MCU projects.

One allegation, by a user named Independent-Ad419, read: “Marvel has probably the worst methodology of production and VFX management out there. They can never fix the look for the show before more than half the allocated time for the show is over. The artists working on Marvel shows are definitely not paid equivalent to the amount of work they put in.”

Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie in ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’

The claims led to an article published by The Gamer titled: “VFX Artists Are Refusing To Work With Marvel Due To Stress And Unrealistic Deadlines.”

Former VFX artist Dhruv Govill, who worked on Guardians of the Galaxy, shared the article on Twitter, writing: “Working on #Marvel shows is what pushed me to leave the VFX industry. They’re a horrible client, and I’ve seen way too many colleagues break down after being overworked, while Marvel tightens the purse strings.”

The Independent has contacted Marvel and Waititi for comment.

Film fans are also criticising Marvel for failing to add a trigger warning to the start of Thor: Love and Thunder due to a certain storyline involving Portman’s charcater, Dr Jane Foster.

The film is in cinemas now. Find The Independent’s verdict on the film here.

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