How Big Trouble in Little China Influenced Thor: Ragnarok

Waititi has further discussed Big Trouble In Little China's influences on Ragnarok in a new Infinity War digital-exclusive roundtable.

Last year, Taika Waititi spoke about pulling his love for John Carpenter’s 1986 sci-fi action comedy Big Trouble In Little China into his biggest project to date, Thor: Ragnarok. In the interview with EW, (with a hat-tip to Comicbook) the MCU’s most beloved director drew comparisons between the films by remarking that Big Trouble‘s central figure of Jack Burton “is a buffoon but he’s lovable and you’re with him the entire way. I thought Thor has got to be the one you want to be with in every scene.”

In a new digital-exclusive Avengers: Infinity War special feature, The Directors’ Roundtable, Waititi has once again been chatting about the Kurt Russell movie, which was all but buried by some rankled studio execs back in the ’80s, only to become a cult classic further down the road as the home market embraced the story of a man with John Wayne’s bravado who becomes almost a cartoon next to his much-more-capable supporting characters.

“The thing I love about that film is Jack Burton, all he wants, his only thing that he wants, is to get his truck back,” Waititi muses. “Something so simple and all this crazy stuff is going on.”

It’s pretty easy to substitute the loss of Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, as a stand-in for Burton’s truck in Ragnarok, but both characters become clueless avatars for the audience, too.

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“I don’t know if you’ve seen this, someone cobbled together this YouTube video of all the questions that Jack Burton asks,” the director later adds. “It’s five minutes long, but it’s basically every question that the audience is asking: ‘Who’s that? What is this thing? Where are we? Where are we going? Where’s my truck? I want my truck back. That was one of the main focuses on that film. Thor is always on the back foot, asking the questions that we’re asking.”

As huge Big Trouble In Little China fans, this is still all fascinating to us, but honestly the thought of Waititi sitting around watching YouTube videos examining the narrative of his favorite ’80s films is enough to keep us going on this bleary-eyed Monday morning anyway.

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