Māori god in Thor about 'inclusiveness' on screen - Waititi

Source: 1News

A reference to the Māori god of war in Taika Waititi's latest Marvel outing is all about normalising Māori language on screen, the director says.

Thor: Love and Thunder sees Thor's quest for a sense of purpose following the events of Avengers: Endgame (2019) disrupted when Gorr the God Butcher attempts to wipe out all the gods from existence.

In one scene, the god of thunder makes reference to the Māori god of war, Tūmatauenga.

“I just thought it was real funny to have Thor knowing about Tū," Waititi told Marae.

“You know, like he was really enthusiastic about it. ‘oh yeah, Hercules, we’ll get Tūmatauenga.' It also just really gives me a kick seeing a pākehā god who knows about him and I just thought that was awesome."

He expressed the importance of hearing the Māori language in film and television, having grown up in the '80s where comedian Billy T. James and the television series Mark II was the only representation on screen.

“As a kid I barely ever heard Māori in a movie, definitely not in a big movie from overseas or anything and never saw ourselves, really," he said.

"To be able to see that stuff today and that level of inclusiveness and representation to be on screen. For rangatahi to see that now is pretty awesome.

"Even to just be able to inspire them now is really awesome and to hear the language – small little bits here and there – it just normalises it.”

Thor: Love and Thunder is in cinemas from July 7.

Watch the full episode of Marae on TVNZ+.