Team Thor title card, meant to look like a VHS title screen.
|Directed by||Taika Waititi|
|Written by||Taika Waititi|
|Narrated by||Chris Hemsworth|
|Edited by||Joel Negron|
|Distributed by||Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment|
Team Thor (also known as Team Thor: While You Were Fighting: A Thor Mockumentary) is a 2016 mockumentary style comedy short film directed by Taika Waititi and starring Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo as their respective Marvel Cinematic Universe characters, Thor and Bruce Banner / Hulk. The short attempts to humorously examine what the characters were doing during the events of Captain America: Civil War. It was produced as a side project before Waititi began production of his film Thor: Ragnarok for Marvel Studios. The short was met with enthusiasm from fans and spawned two sequels.
While Iron Man and Captain America were fighting, Thor took a short break in Australia. He lives with a local ordinary office worker Darryl Jacobson while trying to figure out what is going on in Asgard. As he does this he is interviewed by a news team and talks about daily life in Australia and shows short segments of events, such as his visit to a kindergarten, an attempt to send an email to Tony Stark concerning his conflict with Captain America with Darryl's help, and drawing a painting about the connections among the Avengers team members, Nick Fury and Thanos, who he describes as "the purple man in the floating chair". Lastly, Thor and Bruce Banner meet at a cafe, where Banner receives a phone call from Tony Stark and does not appear to want to talk to Thor.
The short was produced in Australia and was made with a mockumentary style, the same type of style Taika Waititi had done previously with the film What We Do in the Shadows. Filming of the short began about one month before the shooting of Thor: Ragnarok started and Waititi expressed that it was something that he and the crew of the film simply wanted to do for fun.
Release and reception
The film debuted at a screening on Sunday July 23 at San Diego Comic-Con 2016, three days later it was released online for free viewing and later released as part of Captain America: Civil War's home media releases. The short was very well received by the people seeing it at Comic Con and other fans. Adam Chitwood of Collider also personally agreed that it was very funny, so much so that he felt he didn't want to reveal any of the moments to anyone. Ross A. Lincoln of Deadline enjoyed it as well and hoped that it would serve as a good sign for how Thor: Ragnarok would turn out. Marvel Studios producer Kevin Feige stated that he felt the short and its sequels were good and developed Thor's character. The new character of Darryl Jacobson became well liked by fans.
Influence on Thor series
The Team Thor shorts are not meant to be strictly canonical to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as Waititi made it clear that the film was meant to be "just for fun". In fact, the short is assumed to be, at least partially, non-canonical given that Bruce Banner is portrayed as being on Earth in the short, while Ragnarok reveals that he has been on Sakaar since Age of Ultron, and has been the Hulk for the entirety of that time. Nonetheless, both this short and its sequel have influenced Hemsworth's portrayal of the character in future films. In Thor: Ragnarok, Thor refers to an e-mail as an "electronic letter", as he does when writing to Tony in this short, and Doctor Strange references that he does not have a phone, which Thor mentions to Bruce in the short as well. Waititi has expressed that he was glad he made the short since it showed the fans how irreverent he intended to be with Thor: Ragnarok, and much of Thor's personality in this film carries over to Ragnarok, along with Avengers: Infinity War and the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder.
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