Taika Waititi says he directed ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ because he was ‘poor’ at the time

Taika Waititi doesn’t mind getting super candid about why he joined the Marvel Universe with 2017’s “Thor: Ragnarok.”

On Monday’s episode of the “Smartless” podcast, the Oscar-winning director admitted that even though the Marvel Cinematic Universe is massively popular, he still initially “had no interest in doing one of those films.”

“It wasn’t on my sort of whole plan on my career as an auteur but I was poor and I’d just had a second child,” Waititi said. “And I thought, you know what? This would be a great opportunity to feed these children.”

He also jokingly noted that at the time, he felt that members of the Marvel fandom “hated” the fact that he was tapped for the film. Prior to that film, Waititi was known for co-writing, co-directing and acting in 2014’s “What We Do in the Shadows” and “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” in 2016.

“Ragnarok” ended up being one of the most popular films in the cinematic “Thor” franchise and earned over $800 million at the worldwide box office.

There are four total films in the “Thor” franchise, led by Chris Hemsworth. The debut movie premiered in 2011 and was followed by three sequels: “Thor: Dark World” in 2013, “Thor: Ragnarok” in 2017 and 2022’s “Thor: Love and Thunder,” for which Waititi returned as director.

Outside of his work with Marvel, Waititi is best known for starring in and directing 2020’s “Jojo Rabbit,” which earned him an Oscar for best adapted screenplay.

For more CNN news and newsletters create an account at CNN.com