THOR: Exclusive Marvel Secrets From Insiders Part I
Latino Review, 10 March 2010
Though Latino Review has grown into a reliable and formidable entertainment news entity in less than ten years, we're often still considered small fry by the studio system. That doesn't bother us too much, because we're solely devoted to you the readers, but it does help when the studios aid us in doing our job and that's providing information. We often get forwarded your typical news like the release of a movie trailer, casting, or your basic promotional material, but when it comes to getting invited to play in the same sandbox as the big news entities, on more than one occasion we're left out like a neglected stepchild. Case in point, the recent set visit in Manhattan Beach for Marvel Studios and Paramount Pictures "Thor," which is now lensing.
Like I said, being left out doesn't bother us too much and actually we should consider it as a favor. Are our readers really interested in typical set visit Q&A sessions with cast and crew members where you learn little about the movie? Every outlet in attendance will basically run the same boring story anyway. How about something really news worthy, like the fact that several inside sources can give me real answers about where Marvel really wants to take Thor. What is the film's time-line within the growing Marvel movie universe? How will it tie into the other stories? How is Shakespearean director Kenneth Branagh handling the material and is Chris Hemsworth the right fit for Thor? Read on and find out.
We all know that the events in 'Iron Man' (and possibly 'Iron Man 2') take place before The Incredible Hulk. How does Thor fit into this time-line?
In terms of time-line, 'Thor' is set after 'The Incredible Hulk'. In the script we make mention of gamma radiation and one of the scientist characters, I think Stellan Skarsgard's Professor Ford recalls, “There was brilliant scientist (Bruce Banner). He was a genius with gamma radiation and somehow S.H.I.E.L.D. made him disappear.” So Thor's story would take place after The Incredible Hulk.
How does Thor figure into 'The Avengers'? Does he become a full-fledged member of the team?
Basically, at the end of the movie, Thor makes mention to Clark Gregg's character Agent Coulson that his kingdom of Asgard and S.H.I.E.L.D. are on the same side and whenever they need his help, he will be there to assist them in battle. It does leave it open, with Thor basically saying “When you need me and you want to assemble a team, I’m down.” So, this is obviously pre-Avengers, post-Incredible Hulk.
So at this point are the Avengers already “assembled” like when Tony Stark told General Ross (William Hurt) at the Incredible Hulk's conclusion: “We're putting a team together.”?
At this point, Nick Fury and Tony Stark would have already started amassing people.
How is an actor and director as deeply rooted in the world of Shakespeare like Kenneth Branagh handling comic book material like Thor?
Branagh is fantastic. The guy is a passionate director. He makes everything and everyone important, no matter how small their role in the production is. He's keeping the material very close to the comic. The tone is – even the way the stuff looks – is darker. So it’s cool. 'Iron Man' was cool because it was light, but not too light like the Batman movies that Tim Burton made and it was not as heavy as say, Chris Nolan's 'The Dark Knight'. 'Iron Man' was the perfect comic book movie because it was the light and the dark sides sort of mixed together. 'Thor' balances the same things as well. It plays the light side with the stuff on Earth and then the heavier side with what happens up in Asgard and the battle that occurs. Marvel has done a really good job of trying to blend what they need to have a successful movie and what they need to keep all the fan boys happy. They're doing an excellent job.
Chris Hemsworth in the lead role of Thor.
He’s not only f*ing great, but a cool guy and about as normal a guy that you’ll ever meet. I know everyone is saying that. Chris had auditioned for another movie, but failed to win the part, yet he was very open and self-deprecating about it. He even said “Yeah, yeah. I auditioned for that. But apparently I was pretty terrible.” He’ll have that sort of attitude about it and kind of make fun of himself. “Yeah, I pretty much stunk the joint up when I went in and auditioned for that.” He’s got that kind of self deprecating humor. Very, very cool dude. He is a perfect Thor. The guy’s a physical specimen. He’s 6’4"/6’5" and he’s built like a brick house. He looks like he came down off that Rainbow Bridge and was ready to rock.
What about the look of Thor's costume and the iconic hammer?
Surprisingly, the costume looks amazing. We could tell early on from the production sketches of costumes and sets that this was going to be something good. It’s just beautiful and the designers really took it to heart. If you look at some of the more recent Thor comics that are out now, the tone and the costuming is that. It’s basically, the way you read the comics now, they’re updated the way they are now and that’s how the costumes are. I think everyone is going to be very, very happy. Nothing looks cheesy or cheap. Everything looks like it’s real. Everything looks like it came from that period. And everything looks right on all the actors. Nothing looks stupid. I guess that’s the best word. It's just jaw-dropping even to the Marvel executives.
What’s funny is that when you see these Marvel executives you immediately think, “You guys are young. You guys read the comics?” They're involved in everything and they’re the first ones to make a joke. So they would be like, “Yo, that hammer is f*king, wrong”, because they know that they have this fan base and they have to respect them. They know that those comics are their bread and butter. They took a big gamble with Marvel Studios and it’s paying off because they pay attention to detail. And not only that, it’s their movie watching experience. They want to watch it, too and not be distracted by how bad the costumes are. So they really paid attention to it and they made it look flawless. It just looks flawless when you watch it.