Thor (film)

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Thor
Thor poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Kenneth Branagh
Produced by Kevin Feige
Screenplay by
Story by
Based on
Starring
Music by Patrick Doyle
Cinematography Haris Zambarloukos [1]
Edited by Paul Rubell [1]
Production
company
Distributed by Paramount Pictures [N 1]
Release date
  • April 17, 2011 (2011-04-17)(Sydney)
  • May 6, 2011 (2011-05-06)(United States)
Running time
114 minutes [5]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$150 million [6]
Box office$449.3 million [7]

Thor is a 2011 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Paramount Pictures, [N 1] it is the fourth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film was directed by Kenneth Branagh, written by the writing team of Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz along with Don Payne, and stars Chris Hemsworth as the title character, alongside Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård, Colm Feore, Ray Stevenson, Idris Elba, Kat Dennings, Rene Russo, and Anthony Hopkins. The film sees Thor banished to Earth from Asgard, stripped of his powers and his hammer Mjölnir, after reigniting a dormant war. As his brother Loki plots to take the Asgardian throne, Thor must prove himself worthy.

Superhero film Film genre

A superhero film, superhero movie or superhero motion picture is a film that is focused on the actions of one or more superheroes: individuals who usually possess superhuman abilities relative to a normal person and are dedicated to protecting the public. These films typically feature action, adventure, fantasy or science fiction elements, with the first film of a particular character often including a focus on the origin of their special powers and their first confrontation with their most famous supervillain or archenemy.

Marvel Comics Company that publishes comic books and related media

Marvel Comics is the brand name and primary imprint of Marvel Worldwide Inc., formerly Marvel Publishing, Inc. and Marvel Comics Group, a publisher of American comic books and related media. In 2009, The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel Entertainment, Marvel Worldwide's parent company.

Thor (Marvel Comics) Marvel comic book character

Thor Odinson is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character, which is based on the Norse deity of the same name, is the Asgardian god of thunder who possesses the enchanted hammer, Mjolnir, which grants him the ability to fly and manipulate weather amongst his other superhuman attributes.

Contents

Sam Raimi first developed the concept of a film adaptation based on Thor in 1991, but soon abandoned the project, leaving it in "development hell" for several years. During this time, the rights were picked up by various film studios until Marvel signed Mark Protosevich to develop the project in 2006, and planned to finance it and release it through Paramount. Matthew Vaughn was originally assigned to direct the film for a tentative 2010 release. However, after Vaughn was released from his holding deal in 2008, Branagh was approached and the film's release was rescheduled to 2011. The main characters were cast in 2009, and principal photography took place in California and New Mexico from January to May 2010. The film was converted to 3D in post-production.

Sam Raimi American film director, producer, writer and actor

Samuel M. Raimi is an American filmmaker, actor, and producer, primarily known for creating the cult horror Evil Dead series, and directing the Spider-Man trilogy (2002–2007). He also directed the 1990 superhero film Darkman, the 1998 neo-noir crime-thriller A Simple Plan, the 2000 supernatural thriller film The Gift, the 2009 supernatural horror film Drag Me to Hell, and the 2013 Disney fantasy film Oz the Great and Powerful. Raimi has also produced several successful television series, including Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and its spin-off Xena: Warrior Princess. He founded the production company Renaissance Pictures in 1979.

Development hell, development limbo, or production hell is a media industry jargon for a film, video game, album, television program, screenplay, software application, concept, or idea that remains in development for an especially long time before it progresses to production, if it ever does. Projects in development hell are not officially cancelled, but work on them slows down or stops.

Mark David Protosevich is an American screenwriter. He wrote the screenplays for the films Poseidon and I Am Legend.

Thor premiered in Sydney, Australia, on April 17, 2011, and was released in the United States on May 6, 2011. The film was a financial success, earning $449.3 million worldwide, and was positively reviewed for its performances, although the Earth-based elements of the film received some criticism. Two sequels, Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok , were released on November 8, 2013, and November 3, 2017, respectively. A third sequel, Thor: Love and Thunder, is in development.

<i>Thor: The Dark World</i> 2013 superhero film produced by Marvel Studios

Thor: The Dark World is a 2013 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Thor, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the sequel to 2011's Thor and the eighth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film was directed by Alan Taylor, with a screenplay by Christopher Yost and the writing team of Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. It stars Chris Hemsworth as Thor, alongside Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgård, Idris Elba, Christopher Eccleston, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kat Dennings, Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi, Tadanobu Asano, Jaimie Alexander, and Rene Russo. In Thor: The Dark World, Thor teams up with Loki to save the Nine Realms from the Dark Elves led by the vengeful Malekith, who intends to plunge the universe into darkness.

<i>Thor: Ragnarok</i> 2017 superhero film produced by Marvel Studios

Thor: Ragnarok is a 2017 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Thor, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the sequel to 2011's Thor and 2013's Thor: The Dark World, and the seventeenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is directed by Taika Waititi from a screenplay by Eric Pearson and the writing team of Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost, and stars Chris Hemsworth as Thor alongside Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo, and Anthony Hopkins. In Thor: Ragnarok, Thor must escape the alien planet Sakaar in time to save Asgard from Hela and the impending Ragnarök.

Plot

In 965 AD, Odin, king of Asgard, wages war against the Frost Giants of Jotunheim and their leader Laufey, to prevent them from conquering the nine realms, starting with Earth. The Asgardian warriors defeat the Frost Giants in Tønsberg, Norway, and seize the source of their power, the Casket of Ancient Winters.

Asgard (comics) fictional realm in the Marvel Comics universe

Asgard is a fictional realm and its capital city appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Based on the realm of the same name from Norse mythology, Asgard is home to the Asgardians and other beings adapted from Norse mythology. Asgard first appeared in Journey into Mystery #83 by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby, and features prominently in stories that follow the Marvel Comics superhero Thor.

Laufey (comics) comic book character

Laufey is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character is depicted usually as an enemy of the Asgardian king Odin, father of Thor. He is the King of the Frost Giants, the biological father of Thor's adopted brother and archenemy, Loki. Created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby, he first appeared in Journey into Mystery #112, and was based on the frost giantess of the same name who in Norse mythology was actually the mother of Loki.

Tønsberg Municipality in Vestfold, Norway

Tønsberg[²tœnsbær(ɡ)](listen), historically Tunsberg, is a city and municipality in Vestfold county, southern Norway, located around 102 kilometres south-southwest of Oslo on the western coast of the Oslofjord near its mouth onto the Skagerrak. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Tønsberg. The municipality has a population of 41,239 and covers an area of 107 square kilometres.

In the present, [N 2] Odin's son Thor prepares to ascend to the throne of Asgard, but is interrupted when Frost Giants attempt to retrieve the Casket. Against Odin's order, Thor travels to Jotunheim to confront Laufey, accompanied by his brother Loki, childhood friend Sif and the Warriors Three: Volstagg, Fandral, and Hogun. A battle ensues until Odin intervenes to save the Asgardians, destroying the fragile truce between the two races. For Thor's arrogance, Odin strips his son of his godly power and exiles him to Earth as a mortal, accompanied by his hammer Mjölnir, now protected by an enchantment that allows only the worthy to wield it.

Thor (Marvel Cinematic Universe) fictional character from the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Thor Odinson is a character portrayed by Chris Hemsworth in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film franchise, based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. In the films, Thor is known as the "God of Thunder", and is one of the most powerful of the Asgardians, an alien civilization with long ties to Earth, who are therefore considered by some on Earth to be gods.

Loki (comics) comic book character

Loki is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by writer Stan Lee, scripter Larry Lieber and penciller Jack Kirby, a version of the character first appeared in Venus #6. The modern day incarnation of Loki first appeared in Journey into Mystery #85. The character, which is based on the Norse deity of the same name, is the Asgardian god of mischief. He is the adopted brother and often enemy of the superhero Thor, however over the years the character has been depicted as an antihero.

Sif (comics) comic book character

Sif is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character is depicted commonly in association with the superhero Thor. Based on the Norse goddess Sif, she was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and first appeared in Journey Into Mystery #102. As an Asgardian warrior and lover of Thor, Sif often accompanies Thor into battle. She has also battled alongside Balder, who has developed an unrequited attraction to her, as she never shows affection for anyone but Thor and certain individuals who have proved worthy to wield his hammer, Mjolnir, such as the noble alien warrior Beta Ray Bill and the mortal Eric Masterson.

Thor lands in New Mexico, where astrophysicist Dr. Jane Foster, her assistant Darcy Lewis, and mentor Dr. Erik Selvig find him. The local populace finds Mjolnir, which S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson soon commandeers before forcibly acquiring Foster's data about the wormhole that delivered Thor to Earth. Thor, having discovered Mjolnir's nearby location, seeks to retrieve it from the facility that S.H.I.E.L.D. has constructed, but he finds himself unable to lift it and is captured. With Selvig's help, he is freed and resigns himself to exile on Earth as he develops a romance with Foster.

New Mexico State in the United States

New Mexico is a state in the Southwestern region of the United States of America; its capital and cultural center is Santa Fe, which was founded in 1610 as capital of Nuevo México, while its largest city is Albuquerque with its accompanying metropolitan area. It is one of the Mountain States and shares the Four Corners region with Utah, Colorado, and Arizona; its other neighboring states are is bordered by the state of Texas to the east-southeast, Oklahoma to the northeast, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua to the south and Sonora to the southwest. With a population around two million, New Mexico is the 36th state by population. With a total area of 121,592 sq mi (314,920 km2), it is the fifth-largest and sixth-least densely populated of the 50 states. Due to their geographic locations, northern and eastern New Mexico exhibit a colder, alpine climate, while western and southern New Mexico exhibit a warmer, arid climate.

Jane Foster (comics) Comic book character

Jane Foster is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics, most commonly depicted as a supporting character of the superhero Thor Odinson. Created by writers Stan Lee and Larry Lieber, and artist Jack Kirby, the character first appeared in Journey into Mystery #84. For many years, Foster was a nurse, employed by Dr. Donald Blake, Thor's first mortal host, before becoming a doctor herself. In a 1978 and 2014 storyline, Foster is revealed to be deemed worthy to wield Thor's hammer Mjolnir when the former is no longer able. During this period, she adopts the name Thor, the Goddess of Thunder, and joins the Avengers. This storyline ends with the character sacrificing her life to defeat a dangerous adversary, and the reverting of the mantle Thor to its original bearer. After Brunnhilde and the rest of the Valkyrior are killed in The War of the Realms, during which Foster briefly acts as another Thor, Jane Foster takes up the mantle of Valkyrie.

Erik Selvig fictional character in Marvel Cinematic Universe

Erik Selvig is a character portrayed by Stellan Skarsgård in Marvel Cinematic Universe films Thor (2011), The Avengers (2012), Thor: The Dark World (2013), and Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) as an astrophysicist who becomes involved with the Asgardian Thor and the government organization S.H.I.E.L.D. To tie into these appearances, the character is seen in several MCU tie-in comics. The character also appears in other media, including non-MCU comics published by Marvel Comics.

Loki discovers that he is Laufey's biological son, adopted by Odin after the war ended. After he confronts Odin, a weary Odin falls into the deep "Odinsleep" to recover his strength. Loki takes the throne in Odin's stead and offers Laufey the chance to kill Odin and retrieve the Casket. Sif and the Warriors Three, unhappy with Loki's rule, attempt to return Thor from exile, convincing Heimdall, gatekeeper of the Bifröst—the means of traveling between worlds—to allow them passage to Earth. Aware of their plan, Loki sends the Destroyer, a seemingly indestructible automaton, to pursue them and kill Thor. The warriors find Thor, but the Destroyer attacks and defeats them, prompting Thor to offer himself instead. Struck by the Destroyer and near death, Thor proves himself worthy by his sacrifice to wield Mjölnir. The hammer returns to him, restoring his powers and enabling him to defeat the Destroyer. Kissing Foster goodbye and vowing to return, he leaves with his fellow Asgardians to confront Loki.

In Asgard, Loki betrays and kills Laufey, revealing his true plan to use Laufey's attempt on Odin's life as an excuse to destroy Jotunheim with the Bifröst Bridge, thus proving himself worthy to his adoptive father. Thor arrives and fights Loki before destroying the Bifröst Bridge to stop Loki's plan, stranding himself in Asgard. Odin awakens and prevents the brothers from falling into the abyss created in the wake of the bridge's destruction, but Loki apparently commits suicide by allowing himself to fall when Odin rejects his pleas for approval. Thor makes amends with Odin, admitting he is not ready to be king; meanwhile, on Earth, Foster and her team search for a way to open a portal to Asgard.

In a post-credits scene, Selvig is taken to a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility, where Nick Fury opens a briefcase and asks him to study a mysterious cube-shaped object, [N 3] which Fury says may hold untold power. An invisible Loki prompts Selvig to agree, and he does.

Cast

Hemsworth promoting the film in London in April 2011 ChrisHemsworthApr2011.jpg
Hemsworth promoting the film in London in April 2011
Hiddleston promoting the film in London in April 2011 TomHiddlestonApr2011.jpg
Hiddleston promoting the film in London in April 2011

Additionally, Clark Gregg reprises his role as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson from the Iron Man films. [53] Adriana Barraza plays diner owner Isabella Alvarez and Maximiliano Hernández plays S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Jasper Sitwell. Joseph Gatt, Joshua Cox, and Douglas Tait portray Frost Giants. [54] [55] Stan Lee and J. Michael Straczynski have cameo appearances as pick-up truck drivers, [56] [57] Walter Simonson has a cameo appearance as one of the guests at a large Asgardian banquet, [58] and Samuel L. Jackson and Jeremy Renner have uncredited cameos as Nick Fury and Clint Barton, respectively. [59] [60]

Production

Development

"Thor's powers are godly, yes ... But at the end of the day, he's a man ... Odin sends him to Earth because he's not perfect. He's brash, arrogant. Even over-confident ... he also bleeds. He struggles. Life kicks him where it hurts the most ... You want to feel Thor's rage when he rages. You want to see him fight like hell, and take as much as he dishes out -- maybe more. You want to have a visceral reaction to the guy, and what happens to him. You don't want his adventures to be clean and antiseptic. You want to see the dirt, and grime and blood. You want to feel every bone crunching moment of every fight. And when he unleashes the storm, you want to feel like you're seeing the power of a GOD at work."

—Ashley Miller, co-writer of Thor, about the project [61]

Sam Raimi originally envisioned the idea for Thor after making Darkman (1990); he met Stan Lee and pitched the concept to 20th Century Fox, but they did not understand it. [62] Thor was abandoned until April 1997, when Marvel Studios was beginning to expand rapidly. [63] The film gained momentum after the success of X-Men (2000). The plan was for Thor to be made for television. UPN was in talks for airing it; excited by the prospect, they pushed for a script and approached Tyler Mane to play Thor. [64] In May 2000, Marvel Studios brought Artisan Entertainment to help finance it as a film, but by June 2004 the project still had yet to be patronized by a studio. [65] [66] [67] Sony Pictures Entertainment finally purchased the film rights, and in December 2004 David S. Goyer was in negotiations to write and direct. [68] By 2005, though there were talks between Goyer and Marvel, Goyer was no longer interested, though at this point the film was still set to be distributed through Sony Pictures. [69]

Mark Protosevich, a fan of the Thor comic book, agreed to write the script in April 2006, and the project moved to Paramount Pictures, after it acquired the rights from Sony. [70] That year the film was announced to be a Marvel Studios production. [71] In December 2007, Protosevich described his plans for it "to be like a superhero origin story, but not one about a human gaining super powers, but of a god realizing his true potential. It's the story of an Old Testament god who becomes a New Testament god". [72] In August 2007 Marvel Studios signed Matthew Vaughn to direct the film. [73] Vaughn then rewrote Protosevich's script in order to bring down the budget to $150 million, as Protosevich's first draft would have cost $300 million to produce. [6] He intended to start filming in late 2008 [74] and after the success of Iron Man , Marvel Studios announced that they intended to release Thor on June 4, 2010, with Iron Man 2 being used to introduce the character of Thor. [75]

Pre-production

"Thor, at his best, has always had a classic bent in terms of his history, the way he speaks and the often Shakespearean dramas that surround him. That kind of dialogue and character needs someone who comes from a classically trained background in order for it not to sound forced or artificial. Branagh is the perfect choice."

—J Michael Straczynski, co-writer of Thor, on Kenneth Branagh [76]

Vaughn was released when his holding deal expired in May 2008, at which point Marvel set Protosevich to work on a new draft and began searching for a new director. [77] Guillermo del Toro entered talks to direct the film. Del Toro was a fan of Jack Kirby's work on the comics, and said that he loved the character of Loki, but wished to incorporate more of the original Norse mythology into the film, [78] including a "really dingy Valhalla, [with] Vikings and mud". [79] However, del Toro ultimately turned down Thor to direct The Hobbit . By September 2008 D. J. Caruso had been discussing taking on the project, though he did not read the script. [80] Later that month, Kenneth Branagh entered into negotiations to direct, [81] and by December 2008, Branagh confirmed that he had been hired. He described it as "a human story right in the center of a big epic scenario." [82] Branagh stated that he hoped to begin filming in January 2010 [83] and Marvel Studios set back the release date of the film from its scheduled July 16, 2010 date to June 17, 2011, almost a full year later. [84] They later moved the release date to May 20, 2011, to distance the film's release from that of Captain America: The First Avenger , another Marvel Studios film that was scheduled to be released on July 22, 2011. [85] In October 2008, Daniel Craig was offered the role, but ultimately turned it down, citing his commitments to the James Bond franchise. [86]

In February 2009, Samuel L. Jackson, who had briefly portrayed Nick Fury at the end of the film Iron Man, signed on to reprise the role in Thor as part of an unprecedented nine-picture deal with Marvel Studios. [59] However, in an April 2010 interview, Jackson stated that he would not be appearing in Thor. When asked why not Jackson explained, "I have no idea. I'm not in charge of making those kinds of decisions. I thought I was; they said I was in the trades, and I was like, 'Ooh! I got a job!' I called my agent he said, 'Naw, you're not in it.' I was like, 'Well shit, they need to pay me if they're gonna put my name in it.'" [87] Later in the month, Jackson revealed that he would be filming a scene for Thor to serve as "connective tissue" for The Avengers . [88] Also in February, a casting call went out looking for actors with certain physical attributes to audition for the role of Thor. [89]

In May 2009, Chris Hemsworth was in negotiations to portray the title role after a back-and-forth process in which the 25-year-old actor was refused early on, then given a second chance to read for the part. Hemsworth's brother, Liam also auditioned for the role, but was passed on by Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige. [11] The next day, Marvel announced that Tom Hiddleston, who had worked with Branagh before and had initially been considered to portray the lead role, had been cast as Loki. [19] In June 2009, Feige confirmed that both Hemsworth and Hiddleston had signed on. [90] Feige mentioned that the film would take place on both modern day Earth and Asgard but Thor's human host, Dr. Donald Blake, would not be included. [90] In July 2009, Marvel announced that Natalie Portman would portray Jane Foster. [15] Jaimie Alexander and Colm Feore were reported to have joined the cast in September, with Alexander portraying Sif and Feore's role unrevealed, though it was thought to be a villain. [49] In an interview with Swedish news site Ystads Allehanda, Stellan Skarsgård stated that he had joined the cast, though he did not specify his role. [22] By late October Anthony Hopkins had been cast as Odin in the film. [42] The following month, Marvel announced that they had cast the Warriors Three; Fandral was to be played by Stuart Townsend, Hogun was to be played by Tadanobu Asano and Volstagg was to be played by Ray Stevenson. [28] Idris Elba was announced to have joined the cast, portraying Heimdall. [30] Natalie Portman revealed that Kat Dennings would be involved in the project, portraying Darcy, a coworker of Portman's Jane Foster. [37] [91]

In December 2009, Rene Russo was cast as Frigga, Thor's stepmother and Odin's wife. [40] Later that month, actors Joseph Gatt, Troy Brenna, and Joshua Cox had been cast in the film, though none of their roles were revealed. [54] In January 2010, Adriana Barraza had joined the film's cast, in a supporting capacity. [92] Only days before filming began, Stuart Townsend was replaced by Joshua Dallas as Fandral, citing "creative differences". [48] When Spider-Man 4 's production stalled, Paramount and Marvel Entertainment pushed up the release of Thor by two weeks to May 6, 2011. [93]

The Science & Entertainment Exchange introduced Marvel Entertainment, Kenneth Branagh, "the screenwriter, and a few people on the design and production side of things" to three physicists (Sean Carroll, Kevin Hand, and Jim Hartle), as well as physics student Kevin Hickerson, to provide a realistic science background for the Thor universe. The consultation resulted in a change in Jane Foster's profession, from nurse to particle physicist, and the terminology (Einstein-Rosen bridge) to describe the Bifrost Bridge. [94]

Filming

Director Kenneth Branagh promoting the film in London in April 2011 KennethBranaghApr2011.jpg
Director Kenneth Branagh promoting the film in London in April 2011

In October 2008, Marvel Studios signed a long-term lease agreement with Raleigh Studios to photograph their next four films—Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger and The Avengers —at Raleigh's Manhattan Beach, California facility. [95] Production Weekly reported that filming on Marvel's Thor was scheduled to begin in Los Angeles mid-January, then move to Santa Fe, New Mexico from March until late-April. [96] Principal photography began on January 11, 2010. [97] A few days after filming began, Clark Gregg signed on to reprise his role from Iron Man and Iron Man 2 as Agent Coulson. [53] In February, Paramount Pictures entered negotiations with Del Mar, California to use a 300-yard stretch of beach to film a scene for Thor involving six horses running down the terrain. Paramount said this coastline was ideal because its gradual slope of sand down to the waterline creates excellent reflective opportunities on film. [98] On March 15, 2010, production of Thor moved to Galisteo, New Mexico where Cerro Pelon Ranch, [99] an old-fashioned Western film town, was extensively modified for the shoot. [100] [101]

Branagh, a fan of the comic book since childhood, commented on the challenge of bridging Asgard and the modern world: "Inspired by the comic book world both pictorially and compositionally at once, we've tried to find a way to make a virtue and a celebration of the distinction between the worlds that exist in the film but absolutely make them live in the same world. It's about finding the framing style, the color palette, finding the texture and the amount of camera movement that helps celebrate and express the differences and the distinctions in those worlds. If it succeeds, it will mark this film as different.... The combination of the primitive and the sophisticated, the ancient and the modern, I think that potentially is the exciting fusion, the exciting tension in the film". [102]

By April, the prospect for filming parts of Thor in Del Mar, California had fallen through. Paramount Pictures sent a letter informing the city that it has instead chosen an undisclosed Northern California location to film a beachfront scene for the film. The letter cited cost concerns with moving production too far away from its headquarters. [103] Filming wrapped on May 6, 2010. [13]

Post-production

Thor - Bifrost sequence.jpg
HubblePAO.jpg
The film's Bifröst travel sequences (top) were inspired by Hubble photography (bottom).

In October 2010, casting calls revealed the film would be undergoing an undisclosed number of reshoots. [104] In March 2011, scenes involving Adriana Barraza were removed from the theatrical cut of the film during the editing process. Branagh sent a letter of apology explaining the reasons for the cut and desire to work with Barraza again in the future. In response Barraza stated, "It saddens me because the movie is great and because I was acting alongside some tremendous actors that I admire very much, but I understand the nature of films, and it's not the first or last time that scenes will be cut". [105] Barraza appears in only one scene in the film's theatrical cut. In that same month, Douglas Tait revealed that he performed for motion capture of the Frost Giants. [106] On his hiring, Tait said "I am 6'5" and have a lean, athletic build, and they hired guys who were 6'7" and taller, and weighed over 250 pounds (110 kg). When the film was being edited, they wanted to make them even bigger and move faster. They auditioned people again and Kenneth Branagh chose me to perform the motion capture movements of the Frost Giants". [106] In April 2011, the IMAX Corporation, Paramount Pictures and Marvel Entertainment announced that they have finalized an agreement to release the film in IMAX 3D, continuing the partnership which began on Iron Man 2. [107] Branagh stated that the 3-D process initially made him cringe but said "We came to feel that in our case 3-D could be the very good friend of story and character for a different kind of experience". Although the film was shot in 2D, Feige stated that the "special effects for the film were conceived and executed from the beginning in 3D". [108] The post-credits scene that sees Nick Fury approach Erik Selvig to ask him to study the Tesseract, was directed by The Avengers's director, Joss Whedon. [109]

BUF Compagnie served as the lead visual effects vendor working on the film, [110] with Digital Domain also providing work on the film. [111] Branagh stated that BUF, who developed the effects for the race through space, were inspired by Hubble photography and other images of deep space. Branagh stated he sent paintings from classic studies by J. M. W. Turner to Digital Domain when creating Jotunheim. [112] Peter Butterworth, VFX supervisor and co-founder of Fuel VFX, said the most challenging task was interpreting what the Bifröst would look like, "You can't Google what these things look like—they are totally imagined and within the heads of the stakeholders. So to extract that and interpret it for the big screen was an interesting challenge creatively. Technically, probably creating fluid simulations that could be art-directed and used for both the Bifröst and Odin's chamber shots. Part of the difficulty with solving these is that we had to ensure they would work in stereo. [113] In the film, Odin enters what is known as the "Odinsleep" in his chamber to regenerate. Butterworth stated, "For Odin's Chamber, we developed a dome and curtain of light rays that hover over Odin's bed. This dome of light suggests harnessed power and energy that revitalizes him as he sleeps. We took a lot of reference from the natural world such as the corona of the sun and gave the sleep effect plenty of volume and space". [113]

Music

The film's score was written by composer Patrick Doyle, a frequent collaborator of Branagh. Doyle described Thor as "the most commercially high profile film I have done since Frankenstein ", [114] adding that the composing process had the challenge of trying to find a tone that fit the duality of Asgard and Earth. Thus Doyle and Branagh had frequent discussions on the musical direction, [115] with the director suggesting a contemporary feel and having a balance between the music and "grand images [that] were not in any way hyperbolized", and the composer in turn implementing "a strong sense of melody, which he responds to in my work". As Doyle declared that his own Celtic background made him familiar with Norse mythology, an old Celtic folk song also provided the inspiration for Thor's leitmotif. [114] A soundtrack album was released by Buena Vista Records in April 2011. [116]

The film also features a song by the Foo Fighters, "Walk", in both a scene where a powerless Thor shares some boilermakers with Selvig in a roadhouse, and the film's closing credits. Marvel president Kevin Feige stated that "Walk" was a last minute addition, that the crew felt had "these eerie appropriate lyrics and themes" upon hearing it. Branagh in particular thought that "these lyrics about learning to walk again" were appropriate "of [a] movie about redemption, learning to be a hero." [117]

Marketing

Hemsworth, Portman, Dennings and Hiddleston at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con Thor Comic-Con Panel.jpg
Hemsworth, Portman, Dennings and Hiddleston at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con

In July 2010 Marvel Studios held a Thor panel at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con International during which Kenneth Branagh, Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Kat Dennings, Tom Hiddleston, and Clark Gregg discussed the film and showed some clips from it. [17] A few days later, this footage was leaked on the internet. [118] The first television advertisement was broadcast during Super Bowl XLV on the Fox network in the United States. The rate for advertising during the game was approximately $3 million per 30-second spot. [119] Marvel Studios and Acura launched a joint viral marketing promotion at the 2011 Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo. [120] Other official promotional partners included Burger King, Dr. Pepper, 7 Eleven, and Visa. [121] In May 2011 Marvel Entertainment's President of Print, Animation and Digital, Dan Buckley, and Marvel Comics Editor-In-Chief, Axel Alonso, rang the NYSE closing bell in celebration of the theatrical release of Thor. [122]

A post-credits scene in the film Iron Man 2 showed Coulson reporting the discovery of a large hammer in the desert. Rick Marshall of MTV News believed it to be the weapon Mjöllnir belonging to Thor, writing, "It continues the grand tradition of connecting the film to another property in development around the Marvel movie universe." [123] In the commentary track of Iron Man 2' home media, Iron Man 2's director, Jon Favreau, stated that "this is a scene from [the set of] Thor ". [124]

Marvel Animation announced a 26-episode animated series in November 2008, to air in late 2010 before the release of Marvel Studios' film. [125] The company released an animated direct-to-video film, Thor: Tales of Asgard , to coincide with the live-action film. [126]

A video game titled Thor: God of Thunder based on the film was developed by Sega using the voices and likenesses of actors Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston and Jaimie Alexander, and was released on May 3, 2011. [127]

Release

Theatrical

Thor held its world premiere at the Event Cinemas theatre in George Street, Sydney on April 17, 2011, [128] with the film opening on April 21, 2011 in Australia. [129] The following weekend it opened in 56 markets, [130] while the premiere at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles, California took place on May 2, 2011. [131] Thor opened on May 6, 2011 in the United States, [129] in 3,955 theaters (of which 214 were IMAX 3D and 2,737 in 3D, a record amount). [132] [133] [134]

Home media

In July 2011, Marvel Studios and Paramount Pictures announced the release of Thor on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray Disc and DVD. The discs were released by Paramount Home Media Distribution on September 13, 2011 in three editions: a single-disc DVD, a 2-disc Blu-ray-DVD combo pack, and a 3-disc Blu-ray/DVD/3D combo pack. All sets come with deleted scenes and a "Road to The Avengers" featurette. The 2-disc and 3-disc packs includes a digital copy, the first in a series of Marvel One-Shots, The Consultant, and 7 behind-the-scenes featurettes. [135]

Branagh said that the DVD includes at least 20 minutes of deleted scenes. Branagh stated the footage contains "things like the Asgardian parents, Odin and Frigga, played by the beautiful Rene Russo, there's some beautiful scenes in there that I think people will enjoy. And certainly Thor and Loki interacting in different ways that just fill in a little bit of a back story, that was part of our rehearsal and research." [136] In its first week of release, Thor took the number one spot on Blu-ray/DVD sales chart and topped Home Media Magazine's rental chart for the week. [137]

The film was also collected in a 10-disc box set titled "Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One – Avengers Assembled" which includes all of the Phase One films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. [138] It was released by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment on April 2, 2013. [139] [140]

Reception

Box office

Thor earned $181 million in North America and $268.3 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $449.3 million. [7] It was the 15th highest-grossing film of 2011. [141]

Thor earned $25.5 million on its opening day in the United States and Canada, including $3.3 million from Thursday previews, [132] for a total weekend gross of $65.7 million. $6.2 million of the gross came from IMAX 3D, while 60% of the gross was from 3D screenings. [133] [134] It became the tenth highest-grossing film of 2011 in the United States and Canada, [142] and the highest-grossing comic-book film from May–August 2011. [143]

Thor's opening in Australia generated $5.8 million and placing second behind Universal Pictures' Fast Five . The film's box office was just 1% more than Iron Man opening in Australia in 2008, Marvel's most popular release at the time. [144] The following week, Thor opened in 56 markets and took in $89.2 million through the weekend. [130] The film's highest grossing markets were the United Kingdom ($22.5 million), Australia ($20.1 million) and Mexico ($19.5 million). [145]

Critical response

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 78% approval rating with an average score of 6.72/10, based on 282 reviews. The website's consensus reads, "A dazzling blockbuster that tempers its sweeping scope with wit, humor, and human drama, Thor is mighty Marvel entertainment." [146] Metacritic assigned a weighted average score of 57 out of 100, based on 40 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". [147] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale. [148]

Richard Kuipers of Variety stated, "Thor delivers the goods so long as butt is being kicked and family conflict is playing out in celestial dimensions, but is less thrilling during the Norse warrior god's rather brief banishment on Earth". [149] Megan Lehmann of The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "The hammer-hurling god of thunder kicks off this superhero summer with a bang". [150] In the Chicago Sun-Times , Richard Roeper liked the film "Thanks in large part to a charming, funny and winning performance from Australian actor Chris Hemsworth in the title role, Thor is the most entertaining superhero debut since the original Spider-Man ". [151]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave it a negative review stating, "Thor is a failure as a movie, but a success as marketing, an illustration of the ancient carnival tactic of telling the rubes anything to get them into the tent". [152] A.O. Scott of The New York Times disliked the film, calling it "an example of the programmed triumph of commercial calculation over imagination". [153] Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times had mixed feelings, describing the film as "an aesthetic stand-off between predictable elements and unexpected ones". Turan praised the performances of Hemsworth, Hopkins, and Elba, but found the special effects inconsistent and the Earth storyline derivative. [154]

Accolades

YearAwardCategoryNomineeResultRef.
2011 Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Breakout: Male Chris Hemsworth Nominated [155]
Scream Awards The Ultimate ScreamThorNominated [156]
Best Fantasy MovieNominated
Best SuperheroChris Hemsworth as ThorNominated
Best Supporting Actress Jaimie Alexander Nominated
Breakout Performance—FemaleJaimie AlexanderNominated
Breakout Performance—MaleChris HemsworthNominated
Tom Hiddleston Nominated
Best F/XThorNominated
Best Comic Book MovieNominated
2012 People's Choice Awards Favorite Action MovieThorNominated [157]
Favorite Movie SuperheroChris HemsworthNominated
Visual Effects Society Awards Outstanding Created Environment in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture"Heimdall's Observatory": Pierre Buffin, Audrey Ferrara, Yoel Godo, Dominique VidalNominated [158]
Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Live Action Feature Motion PictureXavier Allard, Pierre Buffin, Nicolas ChevallierNominated
Empire Awards Best Male Newcomer Tom HiddlestonWon [159]
Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy ThorWon
The Art of 3D Presented by RealDNominated
MTV Movie Awards Best Hero ThorNominated [160]
Saturn Awards Best Fantasy Film ThorNominated [161]
Best Supporting Actor Tom HiddlestonNominated
Best Production Design Bo Welch Nominated
Best Costume Alexandra ByrneWon

Sequels

Thor: The Dark World

A sequel, Thor: The Dark World, directed by Alan Taylor, was released on November 8, 2013. [162] [163] Hemsworth and Hiddleston reprised their roles as Thor and Loki, respectively, along with others from the first film. [164] Zachary Levi replaced Dallas as Fandral, while Christopher Eccleston joined the cast as the Dark Elf Maletkith. [165]

Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok was released on November 3, 2017, [166] directed by Taika Waititi. [167] Eric Pearson and Craig Kyle & Christopher Yost wrote the screenplay, [168] with Kevin Feige again producing. [169] Hemsworth, Hiddleston, Hopkins, Elba, Asano, Levi, and Stevenson reprised their roles as Thor, Loki, Odin, Heimdall, Hogun, Fandral, and Volstagg, respectively, [170] [171] [172] [173] while Mark Ruffalo and Benedict Cumberbatch appeared as Bruce Banner / Hulk and Stephen Strange respectively, reprising their roles from previous MCU films. [174] [175] Cate Blanchett, Tessa Thompson, Jeff Goldblum and Karl Urban joined the cast as Hela, Valkyrie, Grandmaster, and Skurge, respectively. [167]

Thor: Love and Thunder

A third sequel named Thor: Love and Thunder is due to be released on November 5, 2021. Hemsworth and Thompson will both reprise their roles, with Natalie Portman returning after not appearing in Thor: Ragnarok . [176] During Marvel's 2019 San Diego Comic-Con panel it was revealed that Portman would portray her character taking on the mantle of Thor, similar to the comics. [177] Thompson revealed that Valkyrie will be the first LGBT superhero in the MCU, with the character's sexuality being featured in the film. As the new King of Asgard, Valkyrie will be searching for a Queen; her sexuality was previously hinted at in Thor: Ragnarok, while a deleted scene explicitly depicted the character as such. [178]

Notes

  1. 1 2 In July 2013, the film's distribution rights were transferred from Paramount Pictures to Walt Disney Studios. [2] [3] [4]
  2. The events of the film also take place simultaneously with the events of The Incredible Hulk (2008) and Iron Man 2 (2010), [8] the latter of which is set six months after the events of Iron Man (2008). [9]
  3. Identified off-screen as the Cosmic Cube. [10]

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