This post was originally published on Outer Places.
We all know that the best line from the original Thor: Ragnarok trailer is when an exuberant god of thunder shouts out "We know each other! He's a friend from work!" to a confused crowd of gladiator fans and an equally perplexed Jeff Goldblum.
It's a line that so perfectly encapsulates what Ragnarok seems to be aiming for, as well as feeling right at home with the pompous, simplistic character we've seen in Taika Waititi's mockumentary Team Thor series of shorts. Of course Thor thinks of the Avengers as his day job. It makes the heroic adventures of a group of superheroes feel mundane and ordinary, as if Thor has been picking up lingo from hanging around Daryl while waiting for the Avengers to call him about a new assignment.
As it turns out, this perfect joke is even better than we'd all realized. The quip wasn't created by director Taika Waititi, known for his comedic chops, nor by Chris Hemsworth, who is reported to be improvising some fantastic jokes for this film. Instead, the "he's a friend from work" line came from a Make-A-Wish Foundation kid who was visiting the set, and who suggested it to the movie's star in between takes. According to Hemsworth himself: "We had a young kid, a Make-A-Wish kid on set that day, he goes, 'You know, you should say, 'He's a friend from work!'"
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We don't know who this Make-a-Wish kid is, but he's comedic gold. It's only thanks to Taika Waititi's directorial style, choosing to improvise large sections of the movie, that would ever allow something like this to be possible, and it's clear that this approach has made for a funnier movie.
Most big-budget movies simply can't allow for a lot of improv time to slow things down, so it's nice that Marvel has given Waititi the freedom he needs to make the Thor movie that he has envisioned and allowed him and the actors to experiment a bit.
If there's one thing that should be taken away from all this, it's that more Hollywood movies need children on their writing staff.
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Featured still from "Thor: Ragnarok" via Marvel Studios