While it might not be too surprising to hear the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s boldest movie ran into a few troubles on its way to being made, a recently shared story about how director Taika Waititi almost missed out on making Thor: Ragnarok entirely is somehow both shocking and hilariously mundane. In the new book The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, authors Tara Bennett and Paul Terry shared the never-before-heard story about the day Waititi met with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige — and how close that meeting was to being canceled.
According to Bennett and Terry (via SlashFilm), Waititi was part of a small group of directors competing for a shot at directing the third entry in the Thor series back sometime in the mid-2010s. While the film’s producer, Brad Winderbaum, was set on getting Waititi on board to direct, the filmmaker still had to attend a meeting with Feige to go over his pitch ideas and essentially seal the deal. However, the New Zealand native — who was celebrating his birthday in Hawaii the day prior to the meeting — ran into a major problem when trying to leave the island: he didn’t have his passport.
Turns out, Waititi had accidentally mailed his passport back to New Zealand when sending some of his excess luggage home prior to heading out to Los Angeles. The director was then told by Marvel this meeting was the only available time Feige had to meet, meaning they would unfortunately have to pass on him if he couldn’t make it. While digging through his bags trying to find any piece of identification he could procure, Waititi ultimately found a single scrap of evidence: a letter from The Walt Disney Company thanking him for the writing work he did on Moana. While not the most compelling form of identification around, Waititi showed the TSA agents at the gate the letter, explained the situation, and — being such big Moana fans and now able to somewhat corroborate Waititi’s identity — the agents let him on the plane.
While we’ve all forgotten passports or important documents on the days we really needed to not forget them, I can’t personally say I’ve ever had luck this good when it comes to navigating the situation. However, Waititi did have such luck, and ultimately we lucked out too because Thor: Rangarok? That movie slaps, let’s be honest. Bennett and Terry also explained what the pitch Waititi presented to Feige looked like: a series of cut-together scenes from Big Trouble in Little China, Superman: The Movie, Sixteen Candles, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles all set to Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song.” Odd as it sounds, it all makes complete sense, and we’re glad that chaos came together in a really interesting way and forever changed the Thor universe.