Why has Marvel's big screen output been finding so much more favor than DC's? Well, a lot of it comes down to the fact that Marvel has a coherent plan for it's films, had that plan before they started, and have stuck to it throughout. And quite a lot more of it is simply that they have far better taste in directors. While DC has opted for dark, dour and shallow with Zack Snyder (as opposed to dark, dour and smart in the Christopher Nolan days), Marvel has opted for directors with much larger personalities and given those directors at least a little bit of room to bring their own quirks to things. It hasn't always worked out - see Edgar Wright's late stage exit from Ant-Man as an example - but at least they try and, seriously, can you imagine a world where DC would have ever allowed a director as idiosyncratic as Wright anywhere near one of their properties? Or James Gunn? Or - on the other end of the spectrum - Kenneth Branagh?
Which brings us to Thor: Ragnarok and director Taika Waititi. While Branagh brought a surprising combination of seriousness and quirky humor to the first Thor film that made it work - and work very well - the second Thor film is arguably the worst film Marvel has ever made by a very large margin. And this is a problem given, you know, that they're not done with The Avengers yet and they can't really write off one of their key players. There's a lot riding on Thor: Ragnarok, not just in terms of rejuvenating Thor himself but also because of the much talked about cross over element with The Incredible Hulk. And for this task Marvel tapped the shoulder of Taika Waititi, the New Zealand based director of quirky indie comedies like What We Do In The Shadows and The Hunt For The Wilderpeople. And, good lord, this might be the best decision Marvel has ever made. It's certainly the best since they handed Guardians of the Galaxy to James Gunn.
The first trailer for the new Thor film has just arrived and it's pretty fantastic. The visuals are broad, the villain is compelling, and Waititi has wisely opted to let Chris Hemsworth be funny. Which is a smart move because Chris Hemsworth IS funny. And, yeah, the Hulk reveal is pretty great. I'm all in.