Thor: Ragnarok thinks superheroes are ridiculous, and that makes it wonderful

Over the years, Marvel has earned a reputation for perhaps not being the most director-friendly studio in the industry. Edgar Wright left Ant-Man after eight years on the project, due to differences in vision. Joss Whedon walked away from the Avengers franchise after finding the creative compromises on Age of Ultron too difficult. And Patty Jenkins left Thor: The Dark World for similar reasons — and then went on to direct Wonder Woman. Along the way, filmmakers like Ava DuVernay have been invited to direct Marvel movies, and have declined to jump on board in the first place.

But somewhat quietly, Marvel Studios has been evolving. In recent years, some of the company’s most exciting films have stood out precisely because of their…

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