What We Know: Thor: Ragnarok
By: Jaclyn Cascio (@jaclynator)
Thor is Marvel’s hammer-wielding Asgardian god with the long blonde locks. But the third stand-alone film about the god of thunder looks like it is going to change everything we know and flip everything on its head! Hammer and hair included. Here’s what we know about Thor: Ragnarok so far.
In January 2014, it was confirmed another Thor movie would be coming our way in Phase 3 of Marvel’s master plan. While the first two solo films were perhaps more underrated than their counterparts in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), director Taika Waititi (replacing Alan Taylor from the second Thor film) is determined to breathe new life into the story. The strong and noble Thor will face some new challenges, and will do so with a sense of humor. In fact, we should be expecting a lighter overall tone from the film. About comedy and Chris Hemsworth, director Waititi said, “He’s so good and underutilized in that department. He’s legitimately one of the funniest things in the film!” Could the often stoic Thor make us laugh while dealing with Ragnarok (which translated means “end of all things”)? Let’s hope so!
In addition to a lighter tone, Thor: Ragnarok, produced by Kevin Feige and written by Erik Pearson, Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost, and Stephany Folsom, promises to take us into the cosmos, far from the Earth-centered stories we are often accustomed to. (In fact, Feige has reported that 80-90% of the film takes place off-Earth.) It looks like the Guardians of the Galaxy aren’t the only characters to have some adventures on other planets, and with luck, Thor will find the same cinematic success off-world as well!
Filming for Thor: Ragnarok began in July 2016 and principal photography wrapped up in October of the same year. Unless you were stalking the actors and filmmakers in Sydney or Queensland, Australia (near Village Roadshow Studios in Oxenford) during filming, you probably didn’t see much about the movie until recently. Marvel, known for playing things close to the chest, has finally started giving us the tidbits we all crave. Information about the movie’s plot has been released, and Entertainment Weekly has put out first-look photos of a newly-shorn Thor sans hammer (plus two gigantic swords), among other anticipated characters.
So Thor has no long locks and no heavy hammer. How could that have happened? Your cries of woe are hitting my ears already! Shhhhh…keep calm and read on. Thanks to Marvel, we have an idea of what to expect from Thor: Ragnarok later this year. After events in Avengers: Age of Ultron, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) heads off to look into his mysterious vision and the Infinity Stones. Trouble in Asgard leads Thor home, and he finds Loki (Tom Hiddleston) impersonating Odin (Anthony Hopkins) and ruling, albeit poorly. In fact, the lax leadership of Loki results in the accidental release of the villainous Hela (Cate Blanchett), who understandably has a chip on her shoulder after an unimaginably long imprisonment. Thor and Hela have a bit of a tiff (tiff is probably the understatement of the year), and Thor finds himself on the losing end, blasted to another world. That world is Sakaar, ruled by Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum). According to Hemsworth, Sakaar is, “basically where every wormhole across the universe dumps out its trash.” Thor takes on the mantle of gladiator on Sakaar for the Grandmaster’s entertainment. He loses his hair and his hammer, and ultimately meets Hulk/Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) in the arena. Thor finally manages to move on from Sakaar, and with the help of Banner (and other friends), they go on a cosmic buddy “road trip,” searching for Odin, and desperate to return to Asgard in time to stop Hela from destroying Asgard and its civilization. It appears that we are even likely to see Thor and Loki team up once again! Hiddleston told IGN in an interview, “They fall back on their brotherhood, fractured though it is, to see what they can do to stop [Hela].”
Comic book fans, if gladiatorial fights (and a giant, green, hulking champion) on Sakaar under the watchful eye of Grandmaster sounds a bit like elements of 2006 comic “Planet Hulk,” you’re absolutely right! Pieces of the story have been integrated into Thor: Ragnarok, and even though we’re all really shipping the Bruce Banner/Tony Stark science bromance, we’re still excited to see Thor and Hulk interact a bit more!
Most people know the big players in the story – Thor, Loki, Hulk, even Odin. But the character roster for Thor: Ragnarok is out of this world! (See what I did there?) And we have the information you seek, right here!
• Thor (Chris Hemsworth) – The god of thunder, son of Odin, wielder of Mjolnir, finds himself imprisoned on another planet and put through the gladiator’s arena while trying to get back home to save Asgard from Hela.
• Loki (Tom Hiddleston) – Known as the trickster god, he replaced and impersonated the king of Asgard and has been causing his fair share of trouble while in power (including accidentally releasing the film’s big bad.
• Odin (Anthony Hopkins) – He is the King of Asgard, father of Thor, and adoptive father of Loki, but he is unfortunately missing and his whereabouts are unknown while Loki holds the throne.
• Hela (Cate Blanchett) – The villain and Marvel’s goddess of death, she is mistakenly released from her prison. Angry and full of treacherous plans, she fights with Thor, sending him to Sakaar, and she ultimately attempts to bring down all of Asgard.
• Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) – He is a scientist exposed to gamma radiation that allows him to turn into a big, nearly invincible, green monster. After events of Avengers: Age of Ultron, he took off and it seems he ended up on Sakaar to fight as a successful and popular gladiator. He eventually goes on a “road trip” with Thor to find Odin.
• Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) – A cosmic being, he is easily bored and finds entertainment in gaming and chance. He manipulates and uses “lesser lifeforms” for his own amusement, such as gladiator matches on Sakaar, the planet he rules.
• Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) – A fierce Asgardian warrior hiding on Sakaar, she works with Thor and becomes a bit of a love interest for the hammer-wielding god.
• Skurge (Karl Urban) – A warrior originally from Asgard, he is also known as Executioner, and a bit of a troublemaker.
Other characters in the movie will include: Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Volstagg (Ray Stevenson), Hogun (Tadanobu Asano), and Miek and Korg (casting unknown at this time). Sam Neill (another Jurassic Park alumni working on the film) has a role, but the character he is set to play is currently undisclosed.
Some folks you won’t see in Thor: Ragnarok include: Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard). However, the cast is quite full and with the introduction of so many new faces, a few missing characters here and there will likely have little impact!
There you have it! That’s what we know about Thor: Ragnarok so far. Keep your eyes open for updates and more information as Marvel continues to tease us through the year!
If you are in the U.K. you’ll be able to see Thor: Ragnarok in theaters (including IMAX) on October 27, 2017. If you’re in the U.S., Thor: Ragnarok will premiere on November 3, 2017.