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    Thor Vs. Loki In 2011 (Or, Kenneth Branaugh Is Directing Thor?!)

    By | May 19th, 2009
    Posted in News | % Comments

    Ok, that last bit is not news. I knew Kenneth Branaugh had been slated to direct Thor for quite some time. But to those who don’t know, when you say Kenneth Branaugh, those in “the know” will conjure up images of Hamlet and other Shakespearean work. Kenneth Branaugh is not a comic book guy! He’s the guy you call when you want to make a new version of Macbeth and want someone to not only direct it but also star in it as Macbeth. That being said, who better to hire as a director for a movie that is set not on Earth but in Asgard, where talking like you’re from the 1500s is not only encourage, it’s the norm. Marvel has recently decided to absolutely step up their game rather than let “whoever” direct whatever superhero movie they want (how many of you beside me watched Man-Thing?). While certain properties still remain outside of their control, they’re taking very good care of the Avengers. And they better, because if they screw up the Avengers, they’ll have to face me, and you can only imagine how I would find a way to haunt Joe Quesada’s nightmares.

    So who do we have as are hero and villain for the Thor feature film? Well let’s break it down person by person:

    Thor – Chris Hemsworth
    “Who?” you ask politely, in order to not offend. “It’s alternate reality George Kirk!” I reply, calming you and forgiving you for not knowing who this is. It’s perfectly ok that you have not heard of him because to be honest, neither have I. Sure, I saw Star Trek, but have I seen anything else with him in it? No. Because I don’t watch Dance With The Stars and Home and Away. Now, I’m not trying to be rude here. I picked a photograph that I thought looked worth of Thor. At least, Ultimate Thor. Chris Hemsworth certainly has the build for Thor, and based on his acting chops as George Kirk during a 5 minute death sequence, I’m fairly confident he could do well in the role. Not 100%, but I’ve been won over by odder casting choices before (i.e. Taylor Kitsch as Gambit who, while I would’ve prefered someone else like Josh Holloway, did pretty well as Gambit in the context of the film, even if he wasn’t cajun). And everyone seems to love him! He’s been tapped to play Patrick Swayze’s role in a Red Dawn re-make, and Joss Whedon cast Chris in his horror movie, Cabin in the Woods. Besides, if Kenneth Branaugh saw him somewhere and said, “That’s my Thor!”, then I can respect that. Who knows, maybe Thor will have some kind of dance sequence between Thor and Loki, and Chris Hemsworth can finally win a dance competition! (Too tacky?)

    Loki – Tom Hiddleston
    “Who?” you again ask. “Does it matter? LOOK AT HIM!” I reply, excitedly. This is probably one of the most spot on casting choices Marvel has ever made based on looks alone, right up there with Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool (if only because, as I’ve posted, Deadpool has said he looks like Reynolds) or Sam Jackson as Ultimate Nick Fury (which I don’t think is neccesarily fair considering Ultimate Nick Fury was drawn to look like Jackson in the first place). If Tom Hiddleston doesn’t convince you with his looks alone, perhaps some of credits will: not only has he worked with Brannaugh before (on Brannaugh’s show Wallander and a production of Chekhov’s Ivanov), but he has performed in a production of Othello as Cassio with… wait for it… Chiwetel Ejiofor (guess who he played?) and Ewan McGregor. Need I honestly say more? The more I read about this guy, the more psyched I am. He looks the part, he has the credentials, and as far as I’m concerned, he is Loki. Just look at him and then look at the picture of Loki up top. Granted, Loki in the comics is currently a woman (stealing Lady Sif’s body), but as far as classic Loki goes, this is awesome.

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    The more I hear about this movie, the more I get excited for it. We’ve got a great leads, we’ve got an amazing director, and Marvel has decided that they’re not going to make any more Ghost Riders (or have they?) so we can assume that this is part of their Initiative to make good films (pun intended). It’s great to see comic book films that can all tie-in to each other. I mean, we have Fantastic Four films and Spider-Man films, but do we ever see the Baxter Building as Spider-Man swings through NY? Or do we ever see traces of web fluid on the Fantastic Four’s window? Nope. Spider-Man and Daredevil both share a common villain, the Kingpin (who was terribly cast for the feature film), but will Kingpin ever appear as a Spidey villain? Nope. And what about Tyler Mane vs. Schreibertooth? Yet, with The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man, we see that finally, after all this time, Marvel is not ignoring it’s own universe in regards to the feature film. We’ve got three more movies to go before we finally get The Avengers, and it looks to be a good future Marvel has paved for itself.

    Granted, like I said, not all movies properties belong to Marvel. The X-Men universe belongs to FOX, and Sony has Spider-Man by the webshooters. But enough about that. Let’s talk about Kenneth Branaugh’s Thor one last time.

    So where do we go with this movie? I have, in the past, mused over the possible directions of both the Deadpool film and Wolverine 2: Electric Boogaloo. But what can Kenneth Branaugh do with Thor? Well, let’s think about it for a minute. Essentially, we have two different universes of Thor as far as popularity goes – there is Earth-616 Thor, crafted by Stan Lee and who has just come back to Earth in the comics, and there is Ultimate Thor, crafted by Mark Millar and who some might argue is “more popular” than the real Thor (although I’d say they’re wrong). Where you go with the film depends on which Thor you take.

    If you take the classic Thor, which I think is more likely guess for a film set in Asgard, you have years and years of comic history to work. Not only that but you have a Norse mythological character, so there’s even more stories to work with. While I think it would be very silly to have what is currently going on in the Thor comics happen in the feature film, I would say that they should have no trouble making a plot: Thor and his God buddies are hanging around in Asgard drinking mead and fighting frost giants. Loki acts like a jerk and tries to bring about Ragnarok, but Thor comes in and saves the day. Done! I think a good cue would be for everyone involved in the film to sit down and watch Hulk Vs. Thor, the animated movie, because it realy is quite accurate to what a movie set in Asgard should be thematically. While the plot is just Hulk being possessed by Loki and smashing things, they got the look down as well as the dialogue, so it’s not a bad reference point if they don’t feel like reading comics. On top of that, using the classic Thor offers a much better list of side characters to choose, such as Balder the Brave, Enchantress, Lady Sif, Odin, and Hela. There really is a great many directions that can be used, and this could shape up to be a very medieval/fantasy looking epic. Plus, I heard a rumor that Donald Blake would make an appearance at the end, and if this is true it makes a 100% easy segue into how Thor gets to the Avengers. For those that do not know, Thor originally came to the Marvel universe because Odin believed Thor needed to be taught some humility and made him share a body with Donald Blake, a medical student, while also erasing his memory of being a god. While this kind of sucks for Donald Blake (considering his persona remained in limbo until Odin thought the lesson was through), it did lead to an eventually friendship and understanding between the two, and they currently co-exist rather peacefully as Donald Blake has taken on the burdens along with Thor.

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    Of course, there is a possibility that they will want to make Thor in relation to his Ultimate self. Ultimate Thor comes without the “pesky” body sharing and is simply a descendant of Odin who is now in Midgard, and he likes to drink. As far as him being a member of the Avengers goes, the Ultimate Thor character is much easier to work with for a “modern” cross-film series, and the costume is easier to work with in a similar right. While both Iron Man and Incredible Hulk held to the 616 rules, you can’t help but acknowledge the fact that Nick Fury is clearly based on his Ultimate counterpart, rather than the David Hasselhoff Nick Fury of the past (it’s ok, David Goyer… we forgive you). Not only that, but I’ve heard rumors that most likely the Avengers movie will be based on the story from Ultimates, in which Nick Fury forms a team who fight both themselves (i.e. the Hulk, who hates Freddie Prince Jr.) and an ancient alien nazi plot. Plus, we’ve had two animated Ultimate Avengers movies already, and both have been really entertaining and featured all Ultimate versions of the characters. If the Avengers movie is anything like Ultimate Avengers but with actors instead of animated characters, it could easily be a smash hit. Besides, in Ultimates 2, Mark Millar wrote an arc in which Loki appeared to convince everyone that Thor was actually a schizophrenic who had stolen valuable technology to gain his god-like power and was just convinced he was Thor, the god from Norse mythology. It was an amazing part of the Ultimates 2 story and I would love to see something similar to that play out on film. In fact, if they made a second Avengers movie, I would love if they made an adaptation of the entire Ultimates 2 story, because it would be freaking phenomenal, especially when Captain America finishes beating up Colonel Abdul al-Rahman and screams in his face, “DO YOU THINK THIS A STANDS FOR FRANCE?” Love it.

    By the way, I’m fully aware Branaugh is not writing the movie. I know there are hired screenwriters who sit down and do this stuff for him. But, at the end of the day, the success of Thor rests in the hands of the director and the producer because all they have to do is say, “Hey, write this in!” and it’s done. So this is why I throw this all on the weight of Branaugh’s very capable shoulders.

    So there you have it. I went much more in depth in this entry than I thought I would, but I hope it gives confidence in our readers that a) I know my stuff and b) I don’t only post about Deadpool.

    Matthew Meylikhov

    Once upon a time, Matthew Meylikhov became the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Multiversity Comics, where he was known for his beard and fondness for cats. Then he became only one of those things. Now, if you listen really carefully at night, you may still hear from whispers on the wind a faint voice saying, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine is not as bad as everyone says it issss."