From Marvel Studios comes “Thor: Ragnarok,” the God of Thunder’s exciting new adventure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, filled with action, humor, drama and spectacle.
The newest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s “Thor” franchise, “Thor: Ragnarok,” continues the lineage of epic adventures chronicled in the franchise’s two prior big screen successes: 2011’s “Thor” and 2013’s “Thor: The Dark World,” which, collectively, earned over $1.1 billion at the worldwide box office.
We recently attended the Thor: Ragnarok Press Conference in Beverly Hills and had the opportunity to listen to the Cast & Crew talk more about the film. In attendance was Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie), Mark Ruffalo (The Hulk), Cate Blanchett (Hela), Jeff Goldblum (Grandmaster), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Taika Waititi (Director & Korg), Karl Urban (Skurge), Rachel House (Topaz) and Kevin Feige (Producer).
Q: We asked Chris Hemsworth who kicked off the Conference, What makes this Thor different from the others?
Taika Waititi, basically. I think we all had a vision, and an idea, and a want to do something vastly different than what we’d done before, and take it to a different place. And that meant kind of doing away with what we knew, and just reinventing it, and it all came from his crazy, wonderful brain, and his inspiration, and him pushing us every day on set, and constantly encouraging us to improvise, and explore, and take risks. And it was one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve ever had on a set, and a film that I feel the most proud of, just because of this-this whole team, and the collaboration, and fun we had.
When producer Feige hired Taika Waititi, a native New Zealander, to guide the third installment of “Thor,” he was looking at Waititi ’s particular style of filmmaking and what that could potentially bring to the franchise. “We were looking for a filmmaker to really help us redefine the tone for what a Thor film could be,” Feige explains.
Last seen rocketing into outer space aboard the auto-piloted Quinjet after the Battle of Sokovia, the Incredible Hulk has been missing without a trace. His whereabouts are finally uncovered when Thor stumbles upon his powerful ally in the unlikeliest of locales, a cosmic gladiatorial arena on the other side of the galaxy.
Q: Are you interested in all in doing a full Hulk movie? This is the first time we’ve seen the Hulk this much.
I would love to do a Hulk movie added Ruffalo, and I think we all would love to do one. But about a year ago, before I even had this part, or were talking about doing this, it was well over a year ago, Kevin had asked me to come over and have a script meeting. And basically he sat me down and he said, ‘What would you like to do if you had a stand-alone Hulk movie?’
Cate Blanchett’s, Hela, one of Thor’s most formidable enemies from the comics, is the first leading female villain in any of the Marvel Studios’ feature films to date. she added it that was it hugely enjoyable for me. And apart from working with these guys, obviously, the chance to finally in my deep middle age, to get fit.
But I worked with Chris’ trainer, Zahki for 20 minutes a day, which doesn’t sound like much, but my god, it was intense. And Zoey Bell who is, I mean, an extraordinary actress in her own right and director, who was also my stunt double.
Another question was asked for Cate, as well, although any of the actors can comment on it, should they choose. We know you’ve had a background in theater, and there’s always been a lot of Shakespeare running through the Thor movies, with scheming families and things along those lines. Have you ever played Gonerall, and if you haven’t, do you think Hela would qualify as that style of character?
Well, yes, that’s quite a good comparison. I didn’t think about Shakespeare very much on this one. No, but it was great to, I think – just on a prosaic level, that the language had shifted, you know, enormously in this. It was just, just texturally, it was a huge departure, and as Jeff was referring to, how much improvisation there was, and I’m really upset that the line ‘Dumbos’ didn’t end up in the film. There was one day when, when we’re on set, and I had, “I’m the Goddess of the Death, and what are you the God of, again?” And Chris had said, “I’m the God of…” and Taika said, “Dumbos” added Blanchett.
Finding the new story to fuel Thor’s next exploits began with a look at the character’s history. As producer Kevin Feige explains, “Thor’s supporting characters, his villain roster and the family drama that comes between Loki and Odin really gives us some of the richest storylines with any of the Marvel characters.”
He adds, “With a third Thor adventure, we wanted to do something very, very different from ‘Thor: The Dark World,’ with new characters, new villains and new locations for this new adventure. We love surprising audiences with how the tone of a franchise can change.”
Feige was asked if there were any Easter eggs that we can look forward to in the trash piles that we see, both when Thor, and then when Jeff Goldblum’s character lands at the end of the movie?
There might be some things in the trash piles. I mean, the biggest Easter eggs are on the side of the Sakaran Palace – right, Taika? There are previous Grandmaster champions that we see, as one for Hulk is being constructed, and those are all sort of Easter eggs for the deeper comic universe that may or may not ever show up in the cinematic universe, but we thought it’d be fun to celebrate commented Feige.
Right at the beginning of the film, the Warriors Three are kind of iced unceremoniously. What was the decision to make that call, or to kind of shelve those characters?
Well, they had noble ends mainly to serve the arrival of Hela, one of the biggest villain into the MCU, who within the first five minutes destroys the hammer, kicks Loki and Thor out of Asgard, and kills almost anyone we’ve ever met before in the other movies said, Feige.
“Part of Marvel’s success is the fact that we lay really strong foundations for our characters and story ideas,” executive producer Brad Winderbaum chimes in. “And ‘Ragnarok’ is precisely that. With the third movie, we wanted it to be the ultimate Thor installment. When we chose Ragnarok, we had to think about what that meant to our story. The end of the universe? The end of the nine realms? The end of Asgard itself? And it led to the idea of the destruction of one’s place of origin.”
The Marvel team recruited the talents of “Thor” veterans Craig Kyle and Christopher L. Yost to kickstart this new adventure on the page and also turned to another of their talented in-house writers, big-screen newcomer Eric Pearson.
“Thor: Ragnarok” thunders into U.S. theaters on November 3, 2017.
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