Fantasy Thor (2011)

Title: Thor

Tagline: Two worlds. One hero.

Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Action

Director: Kenneth Branagh

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgård, Kat Dennings, Clark Gregg, Colm Feore, Idris Elba, Ray Stevenson, Tadanobu Asano, Josh Dallas, Jaimie Alexander, Rene Russo, Adriana Barraza, Maximiliano Hernández, Richard Cetrone, Darren Kendrick, Joshua Cox, Justice Jesse Smith, Joseph Gatt, Luke Massy, Matthew Ducey, Jason Camp, Buddy Sosthand, Blake Silver, Jamie McShane, Dale Godboldo, Patrick O'Brien Demsey, Jim Palmer, Seth Coltan, J. Michael Straczynski, Ryan Schaefer, Matt Battaglia, Stan Lee, Joel McCrary, Isaac Kappy, Juliet Lopez, Rob Mars, Carrie Lazar, Harley Graham, Alexander Wright, Hilary Pingle, Shawn-Caulin Young, Walt Simonson, Kinsey McLean, Kelly Hawthorne, Dakota Goyo, Ted Allpress, Douglas Tait, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson, Vanessa Bednar, Michelle Csitos, Stephen Oyoung

Release: 2011-04-21

Runtime: 115

Plot: Against his father Odin's will, The Mighty Thor - a powerful but arrogant warrior god - recklessly reignites an ancient war. Thor is cast down to Earth and forced to live among humans as punishment. Once here, Thor learns what it takes to be a true hero when the most dangerous villain of his world sends the darkest forces of Asgard to invade Earth.
Thor (2011)

I've learned that Natalie Portman has been cast as the female co-star in Marvel Studios' superhero fanatsy, THOR

The film will be released in the US on May 20, 2011, distributed by Parmount.
Aclaimed actor/director Kenneth Branagh will direct Thor.

Thor is the Norse God of Thunder, the wielder of the Magical war hammer, Mjolnir.

In Marvel comics, Thor has been sent to Earth as punishment for his arrogance. He is given the human identity, Dr. Don Blake, a lame physician to teach him humility. He has no idea of his alternate identity nor that his walking stick that he uses as a cane is Mjolnir in disguise. Once he regains the ability to become Thor, he eventually joins The Avengers in order to protect the world.

No superhero, but super star Natalie Portman will play lead in 'Thor'
Tuesday, July 14th 2009, 1:02 PM

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Natalie Portman has been cast as the female lead in "Thor," Marvel Studios' adaptation of its comic book featuring the Norse god of thunder. Kenneth Branagh is directing.

Portman will play Jane Foster, who in early comic-book lore was a nurse who became Thor's first love. The studio said the character will be updated for the feature adaptation, with Foster a doctor-scientist type. Chris Hemsworth is already cast as Thor. Tom Hiddleston is Loki, the god of mischief who serves as the movie's villain.

"Thor" is Marvel's stab at an epic fantasy adventure, spanning from present-day Earth to the realm of Asgard. The story centers on Thor, a powerful but arrogant warrior whose reckless actions reignite an ancient war. As punishment, Thor is cast down to Earth and forced to live among humans. But once here, he learns what it takes to be a true hero when the most dangerous villain of his world sends the darkest forces of Asgard to invade Earth.

"(Jane) is the human lead, so to speak, who helps ground the film in reality," said Marvel's Kevin Feige, who is producing the movie.

He added: "We wanted to avoid that syndrome of just because the hair is up and they're wearing glasses it means they're smart. ... We wanted somebody that can have the chemistry that the best of our Marvel couples have had, whether it's Tobey (Maguire) and Kirsten (Dunst) or Tony (Stark, played by Robert Downey Jr.) and Pepper (Potts, played by Gwyneth Paltrow)."

The film will be released in the U.S. on May 20, 2011, distributed by Paramount Pictures.

Portman is about to start work on the comedy "Your Highness," directed by David Gordon Green, and in the fall will shoot David Aronofsky's supernatural thriller "Black Swan." Her comic-book and fantasy movie resume includes the recent "Star Wars" trilogy and "V for Vendetta."

I should mention that Marvel Studios are in the process of introducing the individual members of The Avengers through their own movies. At the end of the Iron Man movie, Nick Fury (played by Samuel Jackson) explained to Tony Stark that the government was forming The Avengers Initiative as part of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division (S.H.I.E.L.D.). At the end of 2008's Incredible Hulk, Tony Stark contacts General Ross and tells him that he is forming a team. Marvel fans know that the Hulk is a member of the Avengers.

The next character in line to be introduced after Thor is Captain America.
Here's a good sign, Kenneth Branagh has a sweeping vision of Thor already. Marvel Comics' Joe Quesada talks about being impressed with Branagh.

Joe Quesada Talks About Thor, Iron Man 2
by Joe Quesada
Tue, June 16th, 2009 at 11:28AM (PDT) | Updated: June 16th, 2009 at 11:40AM

Welcome to the latest edition of CUP O' JOE, the online home of Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada, exclusively on CBR.

In his inaugural entry, Quesada opined on the promotion of Marvel's latest Captain America projects, the increasing popularity of Deadpool, the renumbering trend and fan concerns about comic book price hikes. Joe followed up with an in-depth discussion of "Captain America: Reborn." Of course, Quesada got his start in the business as a popular illustrator, and shared a step-by-step guide to his creation of a Spider-Man cover.

In this edition of CUP O' JOE, Quesada speaks with CBR's Jonah Weiland and Kiel Phegley about the Hollywood operations of Marvel, specifically with respect to Jon Favreau's "Iron Man 2" and Kenneth Branagh's "Thor."


Jonah Weiland: Joe, we've spent the last couple of days talking Marvel's publishing plans, so let's move to the world of Hollywood, an area Marvel has been staking a claim in pretty dramatically over the past few years. Let's talk about the day you spent with "Thor" director Kenneth Branagh. You went on a creative retreat with him, did you not?

Joe Quesada: It's funny that you're bringing this up as I'm leaving for LA on Monday for the week. I'll be immersed in Marvel Hollywood business. Someone tell Scarlett I'm on my way! [laughs]

But yes, I sure did. We had one big creative meeting with the Marvel Creative Committee, which now works on all of our movies and I have the honor to be a part of. We sat with Kenneth and discussed the "Thor" movie and the overarching story of what that's going to be, just to give our input before anything was put down to paper by screenwriters.

And it was one of the highlights of my time here at Marvel because not only did Branagh sit there and give you the story beat for beat, he and [Marvel Studios head] Kevin Feige formed a great team. It was performance art. Kevin would give us the establishment of the shot and the situation: "Here we are. We're in (take your pick of location). And here's Odin and he's coming up to (pick a character)." And then Kenneth would come in and give you the color commentary. "Odin has an air of majesty to him" and he'd act out the Odin part or the Thor part. So we sat there and literally got a three-hour one-man show from Kenneth Branagh. It was fantastic. People pay a lot of money for that kind of performance by one of the world's greatest living actors.

And of course, he's got that great, charming British accent, so it makes it all go down easy too. [laughs] He could have said anything, and we would have said, "Yeah. Make that." He has such a passion for the material, and he's sitting there describing things from the Kirby run and things from the Simonson run, citing places where the mythology conflicted in Marvel history and how we're going to streamline it. It was just fascinating to watch.

As much as this may sadden Kenneth, he reminded me a lot of Mark Millar. He has a very charming, yet mischievous manner about him that makes him instantly likable.

After that, I was lucky enough about a month ago to see Kenneth here in New York City. We had no idea he was in town until we got a call from some of our guys at Marvel West saying, "Hey, Kenneth is in town, and he just wanted to stop by the office and see what it was like." He came up here and literally charmed the pants off of everyone. The people in the bullpen were literally out of their minds sitting there and talking with him. And then he came into my office, we closed my door and started talking casting.

Jonah Weiland: Do you have a recording of that conversation you'd mind sharing?

Joe Quesada: Well, you know at least one piece of the casting. They announced Loki. But we talked about possible Odins and other characters. What Kenneth has in mind is pretty cool. We'll see. People have to be talked to, and we'll see who we end up with.

Jonah Weiland: We've heard about a lot of these early creative presentations, that some directors are very animated – jumping up on chairs while they're talking. What kind of director is Kenneth Branagh? Was he really animated or more reserved?

Joe Quesada: Kenneth sat in his chair. I'll give him that. But of course he's very Shakespearean in his delivery. He'd sit there and give us the emotions between the characters as they are in scenes – what the character's motivation is in that particular moment and how it relates to the overarching story of the movie. He's definitely about character, which is the quintessential trait you have to have to understand the Marvel characters. It's not just big hammers and capes and things like that. It's about what makes the character tick. There's definitely a reason for Thor, a reason for him being and a very deep family relationship and story in the movie that I think is going to be very cool. Oh yeah, and there's reasons and motivations for him to hit people with his hammer... hard!

Jonah Weiland: Is "Thor" going to be a tougher sell than any other Marvel Studios movie to date?

Joe Quesada: I think it's going to be on the surface. We had the same conversation in internally about "Iron Man." We knew Iron Man wasn't as recognizable to most people not into comics. He's not Spider-Man. He's certainly becoming that, but we worked very hard here at Marvel and started doing things like the Iron Man digital animation shorts, I worked on those with Blur Studios and Craig Kyle over at Marvel West. Those did really, really well for us online. They were basically designed to introduce Iron Man to kids by showing him in the Marvel Universe interacting with our characters, and I think we have the same work ahead of us with Thor. We'll be getting out there. We've got plans already to get Thor's name out within a younger group of kids. I think the upcoming "Super Hero Squad" and "Avengers Animated" shows are going to do wonders to get that across, and then we're working on a couple of ancillary things here and there to boost the desire for kids in particular to know more about Thor and the general public as well. Let me add that the portrayal of Thor in Super Hero Squad is my absolute favorite.

Kiel Phegley: On the other side of the Marvel Studios coin, "Iron Man 2" is filming right now. Director Jon Favreau seems like a Hollywood guy who's really been brought into the Marvel fold. You and other creators had a lot of input on how "Iron Man" turned out. How has that relationship changed, if at all, going into the second movie?

Joe Quesada: Favreau is really, really intense and very cerebral. I remember having a dinner at Comic-Con, I want to say three years ago, where he just grabbed me. It was a dinner for CAA, the talent agency. He introduced himself to me, put his hand on my shoulder, sat me down at a table, and we just sat there and talked. We almost skipped dinner. About two hours later, someone tapped Jon on the shoulder, one of his friends who said, "You know you're not being very social. We're all here." [laughs] And we just sat there and talked Iron Man, and he wanted to know who he is and why Tony Stark does what he does. That was really key to Favreau: why put on the suit and try to do good things? It was a much tougher question once he defeats the Iron Monger, gets his tech and his company back...why continue doing this? What does Tony Stark stand for?

In essence, the thing I never revealed about that conversation in the past is that Jon was looking for these answers because he was already thinking ahead, he was thinking about "Iron Man 2."

See, it doesn't quite work on film that he goes and stops a little lady from getting mugged. While that may be an ancillary part of it, when you have that suit of armor, the world's greatest weapon, the story has to be bigger, and your reason for being has to be bigger. But at the same time, it has to be small and streamlined enough that an audience can grab hold of it. Favreau is all about that. And at the same time, where do Tony's allegiances lie? It was almost the same kind of questions we had during "Civil War." So time with Favreau is sort of spent quietly huddling and talking about a character's reason for doing what he does. Again, that's also a part of that Marvel formula.
I am looking forward to catching it via Netflix. Hopefully it is as good as the word-of-mouth feedback for it has been.
Film: Thor (2011)

Film: Thor (2011)

Yet another US superhero film, this time giving a contemporary science-fictional twist to the myths of the Norse gods and acquiring an upmarket gloss by being directed by Kenneth Branagh, the Shakespearean actor/director.

The plot is set on three of the nine Norse "realms" (effectively, planets): Asgard, the abode of the gods; Jotunheim, the home of their traditional enemies the Frost Giants; and Midgard, our very own Earth. Thor (played by Brad Pitt look-alike, the muscular Chris Hemsworth) is the heir to the throne of Asgard, currently occupied by his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins). However, his scheming brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) plots to get Thor into trouble by goading him to attack Jotunheim, for which act of disobedience Odin strips Thor of his magical powers and of his mighty hammer Mjolnir, casting both separately to Midgard.

On present-day Earth, the newly arrived Thor is promptly run over by the vehicle of a scientific research team led by astrophysicist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), leading to some amusing scenes as he tries to work out what is going on and they try to understand who he is. Hearing that Mjolnir has landed not far away and is being researched by a secretive government organisation, Thor sets off to reclaim his hammer, only to find that it isn't quite as simple as that. Further adventures and battles follow (along with a predictable romantic entanglement) before Thor is able to return to Asgard to challenge his brother, who has been getting up to further mischief in his absence.

Thor is an entertaining film, briskly-paced, well-acted and with a good mix of adventure, supernatural battles, humour and romance. Unlike some reviewers, I much preferred the literally down-to-Earth part, when Thor was an ordinary human, over the stylised and over-dramatised scenes on Asgard and Jotunheim which always looked like, well, fantasy film sets. Despite that reservation I wouldn't have minded watching it all again soon afterwards, which is high praise as I rarely feel that way about a film. A couple of sequels are already planned and I can only hope (albeit without much optimism) that they maintain the standard of the first.

(This entry is cross-posted from my science-fiction & fantasy blog.)
Re: Film: Thor (2011)

i think the actor makes the movie. Its obviously a well good movie with good graphics etc. but hes quite funny and fits right into the arrogant but loveable kid learning the ropes.

i have watched this twice now...
Finally caught this on Netflix. Apparently I did not pay much attention to it originally because I did not know before that Natalie Portman was even it! :eek:

As an origins story, I liked it. Had a good mixture of action & story to keep me interested and, of course, it had references to some of the other Marvel characters to serve as a backdrop to The Avengers movie.

The only bad thing about watching it on Netflix is that the scene at the end of credits is not included (which directly sets up the premise of The Avengers). :(
It's a solid action film. Unfortunately, it's also part of a recent Hollywood Magic?-Science?-Can't-it-be-both? trend. Clash of the Titans (the new one), Sorcerer's Apprentice (with Nicholas Cage), Thor, Wrath of the Titans, et al. They try to harmonize what was mythos, magic, & fantasy with what is scientific, empirical, & technological.

Where (in Thor for example) does science quit being a factor & the magic takes over? It's altogether annoying, especially if they,re not going to define what the "magic" component is. Otherwise, it's a cracking summer flick! :cheers:

For me, THOR has come a long way since his debut in comics back in the 1960's, and I waited a long time since his first appearance on the small screen to see him finally up on the big screen. My childhood dream of the mighty THOR in a theatrical film thwarting LOKI and battling the nearly unstoppable DESTROYER has come true.

It was fun to see him with the AVENGERS! And I now look eagerly forward to see THOR again in his new film in 2014. :D

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