Thor gets laughs because he’s a lovable “fish out of water” when he comes to Earth, but the God of Thunder isn’t exactly known for wisecracks and zingers. But things will be different in Thor: Ragnarok, and Thor has one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s funniest superheroes to thank for this change.

Speaking with Collider for an interview published on Monday, director Taika Waititi discussed why Thor is such a jokester in the film. “Yeah, Thor spent two years on Earth hanging out with Robert Downey, Jr. [who plays Iron Man]. So he’s got some sass,” Waititi said. “He knows a little bit more about irony and sarcasm now. He’s got a little bit of Earth humor. He’s like a rich kid from outer space that’s spent some time slumming it for a bit, you know? So he’s instantly become a bit more interesting. But because he’s in different parts of the cosmos, he’s still learning as he goes.”

Waititi also admitted that Kurt Russell’s jaded, witty character from the fantasy comedy romp Big Trouble in Little China, who had to deal with a stolen truck and his friend’s kidnapped fiancée, played some part in inspiring Ragnarok’s version of Thor. “We haven’t modeled it completely on this, but in my mind, I imagined a great Thor being a bit like Jack Burton. What’s the version of Thor just wanting to get his truck back?” Waititi said.

One of Thor: Ragnarok’s biggest selling points has been how much the film has embraced comedy. While it’s unlikely that we’ll be seeing Thor explicitly reference being around Iron Man as the reason he’s got a bit more humor this time around, it’s cool that there’s an in-universe reason for Thor growing as a character in this way.


Thor: Ragnarok will open in the US on November 3.