Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi has revealed the reason why the pivotal Mjolnir scene in the film was changed from an alleyway in New York to an open field in Norway, citing a poor environment for the emotional nature of the scene.
In an interview with Digital Spy, Waititi expanded on the decision to change the filming location.
"Here's the thing, mate. Here's the thing: Alleyways aren't cool, and fields are cool, all right?" the director said. "Ask anyone. We originally shot some of that stuff in a setting that was set for New York, and what we wanted to do was to have them go down to Earth and they see Doctor Strange, but it felt too convenient that he was suddenly just down the road, in an alley, and also everything up until then had been so fast-paced and all over the place, we wanted to go somewhere peaceful and actually chill out with the characters, and be with Odin and pass this wisdom and stuff, and not have to hear stupid yellow cabs honking out the back."
He continued, "It just felt like a terrible environment to have a scene which could be very emotional for what happens with Odin and the boys, and the first time we've ever seen the three guys all together, and him telling them he loves them, and acknowledging Loki as his son. It was just very important for us to be in a kind of beautiful, peaceful environment."
The changing of the scene's location and the decision to include Loki and Odin amplifies the already high emotional stakes in a momentous scene in which Thor's signature weapon, Mjolnir, is taken from him. It does remain likely that this scene will take place early in the film still, as the promos for this scene continue to show Thor with long hair despite the change to the filming location.
Waititi's response also sheds some light on how Doctor Strange was originally intended to be brought into the film, tying in with the end credits scene of 2016's Doctor Strange.
Thor: Ragnarok opens on November 3rd, 2017. Ragnarok is already earning nearly universal praise from critics and stars Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Cate Blanchett, Tom Hiddleston, Tessa Thompson, Jeff Goldblum, Idris Elba, and Karl Urban.