Taika Waititi's Thor: Ragnarok promises to be unlike any Thor movie we've seen to date. The trailers we've seen so far have hint at a scale ever greater than what we saw in Thor: The Dark World, combined with the kind of irreverent humor we associate with a Waititi film. Now, in their latest teaser, Marvel's revealed just how Waititi has redefined the franchise with this movie...
"Ragnarok is a new cycle in the life of the world, all the Realms of the universe. It's the destruction of the old and the rebirth of the new."
Essentially, then, this film brings the first phase of Asgardian movies to a close, but does so by introducing whole new characters and hopefully setting the scene for what will come next. We already know that Tessa Thompson's #Valkyrie is returning in Avengers: Infinity War, so we can presume that the character will play a further role in the future of the #MCU.
In order to tell the tale of Ragnarok, Marvel have stripped the Odinson of many aspects that are usually key to his identity. Thor has spent the last two years traveling the cosmos, serving as a sort of "lone gunslinger" who wades into crisis situations and then moves on. It's been something of a journey of self-discovery, yet you don't get the feeling that it's been a satisfying one. The movie kicks off at the end of that journey, as Thor faces off against Hela. As we saw in the trailer, that initial conflict doesn't go well as Hela shatters Mjolnir!
Bereft of his enchanted hammer, Thor is stranded on the planet Sakaar, where his identity as Prince of Asgard counts for nothing. He's reduced to nothing more than another warrior in the Grandmaster's games, and he embraces that enthusiastically. Although this film is a dark one, Waititi is determined to make it an absolute joy. In one of the clips above, Thor asks Banner what chance they have of survival. Banner tellingly responds, "I think the odds are about a billion to fun."
The movie also promises to continue a powerful narrative arc for Mark Ruffalo's Bruce Banner. At the time the movie begins, the Hulk has refused to revert to the Banner form for a full two years. When he finally does so, Banner is something of a changed man, with the tense and brooding figure consigned to the past. The teaser also gives a subtle hint that he's transformed in other ways; look closely around the 1:07 mark, and you'll notice there's a little green in his hairline. It's a subtle hint that suggests Bruce Banner and the Hulk are beginning to blend, just as they have on occasion in the comics. Ruffalo has long teased that Thor: Ragnarok will set up a Hulk arc that runs through Infinity War and into Avengers 4, and this may well be what he promised.
It may only be a short teaser, but this video promises so much. You can tell the cast and crew have had an absolute blast making Thor: Ragnarok, and are eager for the world to see the movie they've made. The good news for Marvel fans is that we don't have long to wait.
Ragnarok will be released in US cinemas on November 3rd.