One of the most fascinating story arcs in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the Thor movies. Thor’s first Marvel appearance was Journey into Mystery #83 (August 1962). Created for Marvel by editor-plotter Stan Lee, scripter Larry Lieber, and plotter Jack Kirby. In a 1992 interview, Kirby said “I knew the Thor legends very well, but I wanted to modernize them. I felt that might be a new thing for comics, taking the old legends and modernizing them.” That is what we have in Marvel’s version of Thor in the movies. Thor Odinson is bigger than life. His boldness to do what he thinks is right and the powers of the Thunder God make him very formidable to any foe.
There were rumors that Thor: Ragnarok would be a story similar to the Planet Hulk story authored by Greg Pak which began in 2006 in Incredible Hulk. It was later made into an animated movie in 2010 with director Sam Liu. The story was very popular and some people thought there would be some adaptation of the story in Thor: Ragnarok, but that seems not to be the case. News of the movie show us the it will feature Hela, the Asgardian goddess of death. Cate Blanchett was confirmed to have been cast as Hela.
Cate Blanchett you may remember from the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogy as Galadriel a Noldorin princess. As Hela she will no doubt play a fantastic female lead and opposition to Thor and Asgard. Mark Ruffalo talked about Thor and Hulk’s nemesis in the film, Cate Blanchett’s Hela. “She plays the worst of the worst. So evil. She is going to kill us. It’s such a great part she gets to play.” Tessa Thompson was confirmed to be playing Valkyrie, the Asgardian warrior who, in mythology, collects the souls of the dead.
According to Hulk actor Mark Ruffalo, his role in Thor: Ragnarok isn’t a simple cameo: he’s Thor’s full-fledged companion for the sequel. “It’s an intergalactic buddy road movie with [Bruce] Banner and Thor,” Ruffalo told Entertainment Tonight. “I think it will be smashing. You’ll see a lot more Hulk …The Hulk gets Hulk-ier. The Hulk hulks out. Hulk-ier and bigger.”
As for one of the film’s other possible villains, Skurge, actor Karl Urban, who was recently announced in the role, says the Executioner is “fantastic”. “The character is fantastic,” Urban in an interview. “He’s got a great arc to him. Obviously I can’t say too much about it, but I’m really thrilled to be a part of the Marvel universe and to be working on Thor: Ragnarok.” In the comics the Executioner is sometimes companion of the Enchantress but there is no mention of her in the movie yet.
But there’s one more villain in Ragnarok – Tom Hiddleston’s Loki. While it was confirmed that Loki will appear in Ragnarok, the actor is not clear about revealing whether it’s his last run as the fan-favorite villain, or if he’ll have more appearances after the God of Thunder’s story arc is complete.
“Did I say that?” Hiddleston questioned Entertainment Tonight when asked if he was done with Loki after Ragnarok. “Don’t believe everything you read.”
“Here’s the thing. I love movies, myself, and I love going to see stuff,” Hiddleston continued. “And I love to be surprised. So I’m actually not gonna tell you…I just prefer for the audience to be surprised.”
No mention was made of the Warriors Three, Sif, or Thor’s Earthbound supporting cast Erik Selvig or Darcy. Natalie Portman who played Thor’s love interest Jane Foster and who was previously said not to be returning, is also not listed among the cast. Idris Elba is returning as Heimdall, and Anthony Hopkins as Odin. Yes, I know Odin’s position was stolen by Loki in the last movie Thor: The Dark World. That problem would have to be resolved in this movie is my best guess if Anthony Hopkins as Odin is returning.
Jeff Goldblum will join the production as the Grandmaster, another Elder of the Universe and brother of Guardians of the Galaxy’s Collector. He is a cosmic game player whose preferred game is pitting two opposing teams against each other. Perhaps he is behind the conflict between Hela and Thor. We shall see. About the quality of actors involved in this movie project Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige remarked:
“The continuation of the epic Thor franchise will be powerful and unique, and with the additions of Cate, Jeff, Tessa, Karl, and Mark to the cast we have the makings of his most dangerous and heroic adventure yet,” Feige said. “The sheer, raw talent each of these actors brings to the screen can’t be quantified. Having any one of them join the Marvel Cinematic Universe would be an honor, and having all of them is incredible.”
Looks like Marvel has put together something special here even if it is not a reflection of the Planet Hulk story. The Marvel train keeps on trucking and like director Kevin Smith says about good superhero movies, “They have my money”. See you at the movies. Thor: Ragnarok is due out in theaters November 3, 2017.