Warning: possible spoilers ahead for Thor: Ragnarok! Read ahead at your own risk! Or, you know, take a look at one of our other excellent articles.
Making a superhero blockbuster is a collaborative process. It takes an army of people, and sometimes decisions are made that result in hilarious moments ending up on the cutting room floor. In that regard, Thor: Ragnarok was no different. In fact, I recently sat down with Ragnarok editor Zene Baker to talk about scenes that he fought to keep in the film, and he explained that one of his favorite cut scenes was a brief moment of pettiness from Thor when Valkyrie denies his request for help in the gladiator pits. Baker said:
There was one thing that [Joel Negron] and I really loved, and it worked its way out and we tried to get it back in and it just never happened. Can I spoil it? So there’s that scene where he sees Valkyrie in the gladiator pits and she’s having the drink and he confronts her and says ‘Odin! You’re nothing but a traitor!’ and he’s like ‘please help me.’ So they’re dragging him away, and there was a take where as they’re dragging him away Thor’s like ‘I hate you! I hate you so much!’ and we thought it was hilarious! And it somehow ended up out, and we tried to put it back in. We were like, ‘Oh man I miss that so much.’ It was a good little moment.
Personally, I have to say that I think that would’ve been a fantastic moment for Chris Hemsworth to play because it’s so unexpected for Thor. That said, it’s not necessarily hard to understand why some people behind the film wouldn’t want it in the final cut. As Zene Baker pointed out in our conversation: that moment could’ve potentially pushed Thor over the edge in terms of likeability. He has always been petulant and childish, but as funny as that moment was, it might’ve gone too far.
This was just one of many moments that had to end up on the cutting room floor. As for why the moment didn’t make, Zene Baker has his own theory, although he doesn’t necessarily agree it should have been left out.
I don’t know if some people were worried that it might make Thor seem a little too unlikeable but I think it was the opposite. I think it made him charming because he’s like, ‘Oh I hate you. I hate you so much.’ It was a good moment. Just a moment. It wasn’t necessarily a joke, but a good little character moment.
Elsewhere in our conversation, Zene Baker (an editor with a well-established history working in the comedies like The Interview and Neighbors) talked about the importance of picking the right moments from a mountain of raw footage to keep the flow of a scene going. We have known for quite some time that Taika Waititi pushed for an insane amount of improv in the film (to the point that it even shocked Mark Ruffalo), but it turns out that these little comedic moments actually resulted in hours of raw footage for every couple of minutes that made it to the big screen. With so much content to work with, plenty of stuff had to get cut along the way.
Would you have wanted to see Thor pout after Valkyrie refuses to help him?
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