Marvel Comics Thor
based on Norse Mythology, where he is a hammer-wielding
god associated with thunder, lightning, storms, oak trees, strength,
destruction, fertility, healing, and the protection of mankind. To see
what Marvel comics has made of this great mythology keep on reading
by: Kenneth Branagh
Ashley Miller (screenplay)
Zack Stentz (screenplay)
J. Michael Straczynski (story)
Mark Protosevich (story)
Stan Lee (comic book)
Larry Lieber (comic book)
Jack Kirby (comic book) Starring: Chris Hemsworth
Natalie Portman - Jane Foster
Tom Hiddleston - Loki
Anthony Hopkins - Odin
Stellan Skarsgård - Erik Selvig
Kat Dennings - Darcy Lewis
Clark Gregg - Agent Coulson
Idris Elba - Heimdall
Colm Feore - King Laufey
Ray Stevenson - Volstagg
Tadanobu Asano - Hogun
Josh Dallas - Fandral
Jaimie Alexander - Sif
Rene Russo - Frigga
Adriana Barraza - Isabel Alvarez
Maximiliano Hernández - Agent Sitwell Buddy
Sosthand - Agent Delancey
Blake Silver - Techie
Jamie McShane - Agent Jackson
Dale Godboldo - Agent Garrett
Patrick O'Brien Demsey - Agent Cale
Jim Palmer - SHIELD Guard
Dakota Goyo - Young Thor
Ted Allpress - Young Loki
For the role of Thor,
these are the actors that were considered:
Liam Hemsworth - who is Chris Hemsworth brother, tested for
Joel Kinnaman - tested for the role
WWE wrestler Paul Levesque (aka Triple H)
Director Kenneth Branagh and Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige chose
Hemsworth after a back-and-forth process in which the 27-year-old actor
was initially dropped from consideration and then given a second chance
to read for the part.
final choice for the role of Thor came down to brothers Chris Hemsworth
and Liam Hemsworth. Chris said he found it funny,
explaining; "We both came all the way over here from
and ended up battling against each other." He claimed that he bore no
ill-will towards his brother, Liam, and he was actually rooting for him
to get the role.
prepare for the role of Thor, Chris Hemsworth gained a massive amount
of muscle build and weight by undergoing a six month regime of
trips to the gym and indulging in a massive diet of eggs, chicken,
sandwiches, vegetables, brown rice, steak and protein drinks.
Hemsworth stated that he gained 20 pounds for
the role by eating non-stop and revealed that "It wasn't until Thor
that I started lifting weights, it was all pretty new to me".
Regarding his take on the character of Thor, Hemsworth said, "We just
trying to humanize it all, and keep it very real. Look into all the
research about the comic books that we could, but also bring it back to
'Who is this guy as a person, and what's his relationship with people
in the individual scenes?'"
Chris Hemsworth has had prior experience with wielding a hammer, having
worked as a builder in Australia for a few years.
to Chris Hemsworth, the action coordinators experimented with different
combat styles. They ultimately settled on an
original fighting technique for Thor to utilize, which
was based based on boxing; stance low to the ground,
powerful hip movements. Hemsworth commented; "First, we looked at the
comic books and the
posturing, the way Thor moves and fights, and a lot of his power
seems to be drawn up through the ground. We talked about boxers, you
know, Mike Tyson, very low to the ground and big open chest and big
shoulder swings and very sort of brutal but graceful at the same time,
and then as we shot stuff things became easier."
For the character of Loki, Thor's brother, Jim Carrey was a long-time
favorite to take on this role. Josh Hartnett was
also rumored at one
point for the role.
Tom Hiddleston, who plays the character Loki, initially auditioned for
the role of Thor.
However, director, Kenneth Branagh felt he would make a better
antagonist and cast him as Loki. Tom Hiddleston had also previously
collaborated with Kenneth Branagh on the theatrical play 'Ivanov' and
the TV series Wallander
character of Loki was described by actor Tom Hiddleston as;
comic-book, but nastier version, of King Lear's Edmund." In the William
Shakespeare play, Edmund was a prince who was jealous of his brother
Edgar and tricked his father into banishing him into exile.
prepare for the role of Loki, Tom Hiddleston went on a strict
before and throughout filming, so that Loki would have a lean and
hungry looking visage. He also
trained in the Brazilian martial art of capoeira. He stated; "Ken
(Branagh) wants Loki to have a lean and hungry look, like Cassius
in Julius Caesar. Physically, he can't be posing as Thor".
When Tom Hiddleston researched his character Loki in Marvel Comics,
he found him to be a multi-dimensional character and he
decided to base his performance as Loki on three different
actors; Peter O'Toole to bring out his enigmatic reckless persona, Jack
Nicholson to bring out his edgy and near-insane persona, and Clint
Eastwood to bring out the simmering anger of the persona.
When Hiddleston looked at Peter O'Toole as inspiration for Loki he
explained; "Interestingly enough, Kenneth Branagh said to look
Peter O'Toole in two specific films, The Lion in Winter and Lawrence of
Arabia. What’s interesting about The Lion in Winter
is, O'Toole plays
Prince Henry, and what’s beautiful about his performance is you see how
damaged he is. There's a rawness to his performance, it's
if he's living with a layer of skin peeled away. He's grandiose and
teary and, in a moment, by turns hilarious and then terrifying. What we
wanted was that emotional volatility. It’s a different acting style,
it's not quite the same thing, but it’s fascinating to go back and
watch an actor as great as O'Toole head for those great high hills".
Tom Hiddleston found Loki's helmet very uncomfortable, as it was heavy
to wear and he couldn't see properly out of it. He claimed he channeled
this discomfort into Loki's battle scenes.
Portman took the role of Jane Foster because she couldn't resist the
opportunity of being in a comic-book movie directed by acclaimed
director Kenneth Branagh. She explained; "I was just like
Branagh doing Thor
is super-weird, I've gotta do it." Portman also stated that she really
wanted to do a big effects movie
that emphasized character, and getting to do it with Branagh was a new
way of approaching it, relative to Star Wars.
According to screenplay writer Don Payne, the character of Jane Foster
was more of a stereotypical scientist, dry and skeptical.
However, Natalie Portman wanted to revise the character to
make her more poetic. He explained; "She thought Jane could be someone
who thinks outside of the box, someone whose theories are considered
outlandish and are frowned upon by the scientific community. But it's
the kind of thinking that leads to great discoveries. When Thor
arrives, she's willing to take a leap of faith, and she has to pay the
consequences for it."
For preparation for the role of Jane Foster, Portman remarked; "I
signed on to do it before there was a script. And Ken, who's amazing,
who is so incredible, was like, 'You can really help create this
character'. I got to read all of these biographies of female scientists
like Rosalind Franklin who actually discovered the DNA double helix but
didn't get the credit for it. The struggles they had and the way that
they thought, I was like, ‘What a great opportunity, in a very big
movie that is going to be seen by a lot of people, to have a woman as a
scientist'. She's a very serious scientist. Because in the comic she's
a nurse and now they made her an astrophysicist. Really, I know it
sounds silly, but it is those little things that makes girls think it's
possible. It doesn't give them a role model of 'Oh, I just have to
dress cute in movies.'"
Actor Brian Blessed was rumored to have been considered for the role of
Anthony Hopkins signed on to play the role of Odin despite never
reading any Thor comics or knowing anything about the Thor
mythology. Apparently it was the concept of the father and son
relationship that intrigued him about the role.
In an interview Hopkins stated; "It's a superhero movie, but with a bit
of Shakespeare thrown in". He continued; "I'm very interested in that
relationship between fathers and sons", and that, "My father's
relationship with me was cold. He was a hot-blood character but to me,
cold. When I was young, he expressed his disappointment because I was
bad in school and all of that. He didn't mean any harm, but I felt I
could never meet up to his expectations."
Hopkins was quoted as saying he relates to his role of Odin,
claiming; "I'm a little like Odin myself. He's a stern man.
man with purpose. I play the God who banishes his son from Asgard
because he screwed up. He's a hot-headed, temperamental young man,
probably a chip off of the old block, but I decide he's not
really ready to rule the future kingdom, so I banish him. I'm harsh and
my wife complains and I say 'That is why I'm king.' He's ruthless,
take-it-or-leave-it. Women are much more forgiving; men are not so
forgiving. I know in my
life, my karma is, 'If you don't like it, tough, move on.' And I move
on. I'm a little like Odin myself."
to Hopkins, when Chris Hemsworth and Hopkins saw each other in
full costume armors for the first time, Hopkins exclaimed; "God,
there's no acting required here, is there?"
Comics writer, Stan Lee, who created Thor in 1962, claims he'd always
wanted to play Odin, but was happy with Anthony Hopkins's casting and
performance in the role. Instead he had a cameo appearance as
the truck driver who attempts to tow Mjolnir out of the crater it
landed in and fails miserably.
For preparation for his the role as Heimdall,
Idris Elba read
the Thor comics
where Heimdall featured prominently. Idris commented; "He's a very
central character and I wanted to reflect him as he is in the comic
Elba stated Branagh's involvement was a major incentive to take the
role; "Branagh called me up personally and said, 'I know this isn’t a
big role, but I would really love to see you play it.' It's Kenneth
Branagh. I was like, 'Definitely'".
Regarding his role Elba remarked; "I did green screen for the first
time! I wouldn’t like to do a whole movie of green screen, though. You
kind of forget the plot a little—like being in a Broadway play and
doing it over and over and forgetting your line halfway through".
Elba stated he has made a four-picture commitment with Marvel Studios.
Elba's casting prompted a planned boycott by the Council of
Conservative Citizens and a debate amongst comic book fans, some
insisting it was wrong for a black man to play a Nordic god. In
response Elba called the debate "ridiculous".
For the role of Fandral, Zachary Levi was approached but he had to turn
it down due to scheduling conflicts.
Cooper was rumored to be considered for the role of Fandral. Instead
actor Stuart Townsend was cast in the role,
before filming began he left the role due to creative differences with
the filmmakers. Josh Dallas finally took the role.
To prepare of the role of Fandral, Josh Dallas drew inspiration from
renowned swashbuckling actor, Errol Flynn and his movies. Josh
explained; "Flynn had a lot of that boyish charm that Fandral's got all
that in him." The comics' characterization of Fandral was also based on
Errol Flynn. Josh Dallas stated; " Fandral would like to think
of himself a philanderer. He would like to think of himself, I was
saying, as the R. Kelly of Asgard. He’s a lover, not a fighter".
It was rumored that Jesicca Biel and Diora Baird auditioned For the
role of Sif.
his role as the warrior Volstagg, actor Ray Stevenson wore a specially
designed fat suit that gave him a round but tough appearance. Stevenson
explained; "What we've done is kind of sex Volstagg up, he's got every
bit of that Falstaffian verve and vigor, and a bit of a beergut to
suggest an enormous appetite, but he's not the Weeble-shaped figure in
the comics. He's Falstaff with muscles!. I've got this amazing
foam-injected undersuit that flexes with me."
Actor, Colm Feore described his role of King Laufey as "the Napoleon of
Frost Giants", and drew inspiration from Anthony Hopkins, Max von Sydow
and Paul Scofield. Apparently he intended for it all
to be based on Hopkins, but Kenneth Branagh said they didn't need two
Hopkins in the film.
Colm Feore's makeup as King Laufey the Frost Giant apparently took five
hours to apply.
Kat Dennings who plays Darcy Lewis, described her character as
Foster's "little helper gnome". Dennings also stated that her role was
expanded during the rehearsal process. Dennings explained; "She’s kind
of like a cute, clueless, little puppy or maybe a hamster. There wasn't
much on the page for the Darcy role to begin with and I didn't even see
a script before I took the job so I didn't really know who Darcy was at
first. But she really evolved, she’s so much fun now even. She's very
Scooby-Doo if that makes sense. She’s always three steps behind and
reacting to what's happening with these great expressions. She gets
things wrong and doesn’t care."
Clark Gregg reprises his role as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson from Iron Man (2008) and
Iron Man 2
Comic book writer/artist Walter Simonson whose work on Thor was highly
renowned and acclaimed, has a cameo appearance in the banquet scene
near the end of the movie, sitting between Sif and Volstagg.
Actor Jeremy Renner also has an uncredited cameo as Clint Barton.
Samuel L. Jackson has an uncredited cameo as Nick Fury, director of
S.H.I.E.L.D., who as revealed in Iron
Man (2008) is coordinating the "Avenger Initiative".
Samuel L. Jackson describes his Nick Fury post-credits scene as
"connective tissue to The
Sam Raimi had planned to direct this movie in the 1990's after Darkman
(1990). He went onto meet with Thor creator, Stan Lee and
pitching the concept to 20th Century Fox, but they did not understand
it and Thor was abandoned. Raimi instead went on to
direct another Marvel Comics hero,
(2002) and it's sequel.
The movie first gained momentum after the successful release of the
(2000). The plan was for the film to be made for TV. UPN was in talks
for airing it; excited by the prospect, they pushed for a script and
approached Tyler Mane to lead as Thor. In May 2000, Marvel
Studios brought Artisan Entertainment to help finance it as a film, but
Thor was still laboring in development hell by April 2002, and in June
2004 the project still had yet to be optioned by a studio.
Sony Pictures Entertainment purchased the film rights and in December
2004, David S. Goyer was in negotiations to
write and direct the movie. In 2005, though there were talks between
Goyer and Marvel, it was revealed that Goyer was no longer attached,
though at this point the film was still set to be distributed through
Screenwriter, Mark Protosevich wrote a script for Thor
in April 2006, he described it as as "an Old Testament God who becomes
a New Testament God." 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."
Studios signed Matthew Vaughn in August 2007 to direct Thor. Vaughn
rewrote the script and he described the movie as "the birth of a
hero, interweaving Gladiator
(2000) with Norse mythology." He was scheduled to start filming in 2008
and after the success of Iron
Man (2008), Marvel Studios were intending to release Thor
in June 2010, which Iron
(2010) being used to introduce the character of Thor. However, Vaughn
eventually released from his holding contract in May 2008 and went on
to direct superhero films Kick-Ass
and for Marvel X-Men:
First Class (2011).
Mark Protosevich original script was heavily reliant on
VFX-worthy sequences that it required a budget of $300 million
film. When Matthew Vaughn signed on to direct the movie, he rewrote and
trimmed the script to bring the budget down to a more agreeable $150
In September 2008 D.J. Caruso was rumored to be discussing taking on
this movie project.
In September 2008 it was revealed that Kenneth Branagh had entered into
negotiations to direct, and in December 2008, Branagh confirmed that he
has been hired. He described it as "a human story right in the center
of a big epic scenario." Branagh stated that he hoped to begin filming
in January 2010.
In October 2008, Marvel Studios signed a long term lease agreement with
Raleigh Studios to shoot their next four films; Iron Man 2 (2010), Thor (2011), Captain America: The First
Avenger (2011) and The
Avengers (2012) at Raleigh's Manhattan Beach,
Kenneth Branagh concept of this movie is a Norse/comic-book twist on
William Shakespeare's Henry V, which was about a
who underwent trials and tribulations through fighting a war, courting
a girl from another land, and developing his character.
to Kenneth Branagh, the film's biggest challenge was connecting the
worlds of Asgard and 20th century Earth, he went on to
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 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."
The movie's portrayal of Thor
combines the classic Marvel Comics character; in which Thor is cast down
to earth as punishment for his arrogance, along with
the "Ultimate Marvel" character; in which Thor is dismissed
by many on earth as a crazy deluded man.
Director, Kenneth Branagh asked Anthony Hopkins to improvise his
reaction to Thor's yelling at him in the banishment scene. Hopkins
agreed, and when the scene was filmed many of the cast/crew present
were sobbing. Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston later said they had to
struggle to keep their composure during filming that scene. Hiddleston
later complimented Hopkins, to which he said, "Ken's fantastic, isn't
According to producer Kevin Feige, the Bifrost bridge is the movie's
most interesting set. He explained; "In the comics, it's
literally a rainbow that extends out from Asgard and pops down on
Earth. We're not necessarily doing that, we're not having the big hard
solid lines of colors. We're saying it's some sort of energy, almost a
solid quartz bridge that as the light catches it and flows through it,
you get some of that rainbow-esque quality to it."
The filmmakers cite the work/art of Thor comic book
writers Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Walter Simonson and J. Michael
Straczynski as an influence on the look of the film.
In Iron Man 2
(2010), Thor's hammer Mjolnir was first seen lying in a crater in New
Mexico. This was based on the comics, where, in the aftermath of an
apocalyptic event on Asgard, Mjolnir was cast out to land in New
Mexico, where it lay until Thor come to reclaim it.
To serve as a fictional location for this movie, an entire town was
constructed in Galisteo, New Mexico.
it was originally intended that the persona of Dr Donald Blake (Thor's
fake identity) was going to be in the movie, and actor Kevin
McKidd was even considered for the part. However, in the end his idea
was not used and Dr Donal Blake just became the false identity used for
In the movie Thor does a drawing of a crossroads with nine orbs in it.
He does this to show his perception and representation of
Yggdrasil. This in Norse mythology is a great tree, around which the
nine worlds are tethered, making up the universe.
Thor's armor in this movie is an amalgamation of the current Thor costume in
mainstream Marvel continuity and the "Ultimate Marvel" comics universe.
In the scene when the Destroyer attacks, Jane Foster is seen wearing a
special top; on it is a sun partially covered with a thundercloud. This
foreshadows the return of Thor's power.
A model of the Destroyer (the giant metal robot) armour was especially
constructed for the film.
The model of the Infinity Gauntlet, which is an all powerful
capable of controlling aspects of reality (soul, time, space, power
& mind) in the "Marvel Comics" universe, was especially
for this movie. The model is made from bronze and copper, with
made from resin, and weighs 60 pounds. It was built to be
so that animatronics could be built on it.
The Eye of Agamotto, which is a very powerful magical amulet, can be
seen in Odin's treasure room. This was a weapon wielded by a Marvel
hero, Doctor Strange the Sorcerer Supreme.
According to director, Kenneth Branagh, Odin runs the Marvel Universe
and it was Odin who hid away the Cosmic Cube in Captain America: The First
Avenger (2011), and the Infinity Gauntlet in The Avengers (2012).
Chris Hemsworth revealed that the film ended principal photography on
May 6, 2010 and entered post-production. It was reported in February
2010 that France-based BUF Compagnie would be the lead visual effects
house working on the film. Digital Domain also worked on the visual
effects. In June 2010, some concept art surfaced of Chris Hemsworth's
In July 2010, it was reported that the movie would be released in 3-D.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Kenneth Branagh stated that
the 3-D process initially made him cringe but "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 2-D was used for principal
photography, producer Kevin Fiege stated that the "special effects for
the film were conceived and executed from the beginning in 3-D."
In March 2011, Walt Disney Records announced the details for the
soundtrack. The album includes Patrick Doyle’s original score from the
film and it was released in some European territories at the end of
April. Thor marks the tenth collaboration between composer Patrick
Doyle and director Kenneth Branagh.
In April 2011, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige revealed that the
music of the Foo Fighters was added to the film. The song "Walk" plays
during a scene in which Thor, stripped of his powers and marooned on
Earth, retreats to a New Mexico roadhouse to drink away the night with
boilermakers and carouse with Stellan Skarsgård's character. The track
plays again over the closing credits. Feige stated, "It was literally
one of those things that came together in a matter of weeks, and if you
asked two months ago if we would have a Foo Fighters song in this
movie, I would have said I don’t think so, but we heard the song and it
just has these eerie appropriate lyrics and themes. The song wasn’t
written for the movie, obviously, it’s on their new album, but we
almost couldn’t believe it when we heard it. Ken in particular just
loved it with these lyrics about learning to walk again and the way
that fit the themes of the movie about redemption, learning to be a
hero. The song starts off talking about being a million miles away from
home and yearning and being separated by vast distances, and it’s no
secret that Thor and Jane are from different worlds."