Taika Waititi Explains the Taylor Swift Screaming Goats Meme in ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’

Writer/director Waititi had a secret ode to Grammy winner Swift's "Trouble" with the scene-stealing goats.
Taika Waititi, Taylor Swift
Taika Waititi, Taylor Swift

Is there a Taylor’s Version of “Thor: Love and Thunder” yet?

Writer/director Taika Waititi revealed the genesis of the unexpected nod to Taylor Swift in the latest MCU installment, now in theaters. The scene-stealing screaming goats that act as sidekicks to the titular Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Jane Foster aka newest hero Mighty Thor (Natalie Portman), and Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) had a special connection to none other than Emmy winner Swift.

“The goats were always going to be in there because they are in the comics, but we didn’t know how they would sound,” Waititi told Insider. “They were never meant to be screaming. Then someone in post-production found this meme of a Taylor Swift song that has screaming goats in it. I didn’t even know that existed. So I hear the screaming goats and I just felt it was awesome.”

Waititi clarified, “A lot of people think it’s me screaming. It’s not.”

He continued, “I think one of the vendors that was making the CG goats, they just added the Taylor Swift song ‘Trouble,’ but the fan-made one with the goat sounds, and we just thought it was so funny. So it was just a shot of how the CG creatures were coming along, it wasn’t meant for the film or anything, it was just an update. And the screams were freakin’ awesome.”

IndieWire’s David Ehlrich noted in his review of the film that the goats, which pull Thor’s space boat, have shrieks “so frequent, they become part of the soundtrack.”

Waititi previously told IndieWire that (seemingly, other than the goats reference) he opted to not become inundated with piecing together all of the Marvel IP threads from the comic books.

“I don’t do any research into all of the threads and storylines of Marvel because there’s too many and I don’t know half the characters,” Waititi said. “I don’t want to read any of the comics. I just want to do my film, just put the things in, then have them say, ‘You can’t do that, because that messes with this whole storyline.’ There are so many iterations of this film. I would want to take a character and put it in the film, or kill off a character, but it affects all these different things I have no idea about.”

When penning “Love and Thunder,” Waititi shared that he “knew better than to get too comfortable or think that I could get away with whatever I wanted.”

“We had already talked with Kevin Feige about a few ideas for this film, but you can never be sure, because once you get comfortable, that whole section of the film you love so much gets cut out and you have to go in a different direction,” Waititi said. “That’s the best thing about working with Marvel. They’re always challenging you in that way.”

One of the other pop song-specific sequences that ultimately got the ax? Baddie Gorr the God Butcher, played by Christian Bale, getting down to a Kate Bush track.

“Taika and I wanted to do a whole dance, which we didn’t get to do, but we had all this sort of Kate Bush stuff that we worked at,” Bale explained to Total Film. “But I think he just realized he was never going to be allowed to put that in the final film. I would say that the most common thing I was staring at was the Aphex Twin video of ‘Come To Daddy’. But I don’t even know if that will be in the final film.”

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