1. The movie isn't only for fans familiar with the 600+ issues of the comic.
Marvel president and producer Kevin Feige
said they worked hard to make sure no one was left out of understanding the movie.
We always go into these movies saying, "there'll be a segment of the audience that'll know everything, and there'll be a larger segment of the audience that doesn't know anything." And in this case [of Thor] it's more than just an introduction of the character — and frankly Captain America is more of that, is more of a linear origin story. This movie, you're not only introducing the characters, you're introducing the world and all the ensemble, so it was maybe the hardest — you know, in post-production, movies are broken up into about six or seven reels — the first reel in the film was the hardest.
2. When it comes to power-stripped superheroes, Thor beats Superman.
Once Thor is cast down to Earth, he no longer has his powers. But that doesn't mean he can't handle himself in a fight, explained co-screenwriter Ashley Edward Miller.
When you think of the man who is cast down to Earth and he's got the powers of a god the first place you go to is Superman. But you take away Superman's powers and you've got a guy who gets his ass kicked in Superman II — which is a super awesome scene. But Thor, you take away Thor's powers and stick him in a cave with 50 other guys — Thor walks out alive. Those guys walk out, or maybe they don't. He's still cool, even if you take away his powers, that's what's awesome about [Thor].
3. Loki isn't a villain as much as he is a hero.
While it seems Thor's brother Loki serves as the movie's main antagonist, Hiddleston doesn't see it that way.
Well, I think there are no villains in this world — there are just misunderstood heroes. And — Loki definitely — I think Loki thinks he is the hero. There's an aspect of Loki that is, essentially, that if you boil this film down to its barest elements, it's about a father and two sons. And both those sons are two brothers competing for the love and affection and pride of their father, Odin, played by Tony [Hopkins] here. And I think there's just sort of a deeply misguided intention within Loki. And he has a kind of a damage within him. And he just goes about getting that pride in the wrong way.
Hiddleston isn't alone. Screenwriter Zack Stentz also sees Loki as a heroic character.
What I love about Loki, too, as a character is just that if you asked him, he would say that he is the hero of that movie and it's interesting putting yourself in the mindset of someone who from his perspective is completely right in what he's doing. And that's kind of the gold standard of a villain, a great villain in some ways.
Though Loki will ultimately be the movie's villain, Hiddleston says that he won't be portrayed as he often was in the early years of the comic books.
In the comic, [Loki] mostly starts out as a very archetypal villain, the horns are on, he's on top of a roof in New York, cackling at the sky. And then, the comics evolve and the mythology deepens, you see that there is a psychological complexity to him. He has a damage somewhere in his past and I thought that was a really good hook to hang on the credentials of a bad guy. I just tried to fill it with as much human truth as I possibly could.
4. Working out is exhausting, even for the god of thunder.
As evident in the movie's many trailers, Hemsworth had to get himself into optimum shape to play Thor, and his workout regimen was a constant topic of interest.
I read the comic books and noticed that the character was about 10 times bigger than I was. That certainly lit some fire in me to get in the gym and force-feed myself buckets of protein. It was probably more exhausting than the shooting of the film. I heard quite a few people in the beginning say, "oh, he's too skinny, he'll never do this." So that was more motivation.
His hard work panned out, as Branagh revealed that Hemsworth impressed Marvel with his physique.
As Louis D'Esposito, co-president of Marvel, said when we looked at it a few weeks ago when we were finishing it off he said, "My god, he looks good in 3-D!"
5. Anthony Hopkins doesn't "phone in" his performance.
Anthony Hopkins would seem to be the last actor accused of "phoning in" a performance, but that's precisely what the Academy Award–winning actor admitted to being guilty of in the past. While discussing the scene where Hopkins has to cast Thor out of Asgard and send him to Earth, Hopkins praised Branagh for his direction and revealed that it kept him from being "lazy."
A really great director will push the actors. Actors need directors. I've gotten lazy over the years — I've begun sort of phoning it in, thinking, "Ah, to Hell with it." But I loved working with Ken, and I love to work very much. But that's the case in point where you have a great director — because of his background being a great actor, a really great actor. He's fearless, he's just fearless. And that's what he did to me. And I said to him, "You gave me my chops back. You gave me my confidence back." And that was a great thing. That's what Ken did, to get me to go over the edge. It's like jumping out of a plane, I guess, not that I've ever done that, but you get caught in nerves or laziness, and he says, "Go on, Boom!" And gets you to push over. So, I'll never forget that, it was a great, great moment. And he's responsible. Because, given my own devices, I'd have gone to lunch.
Branagh may have helped Hopkins "get his chops back," but Hopkins also revealed that he let his costume do most of the work.
My time was so brief. I think I was only on it about three weeks, on those great sets and everything. And then, you know, no acting required. I wrote in my script, "NAR" — no acting required, let the armor act for me, you know, on the sets. So I let the armor do it for it, and the beard, and that was about it, you know.
Hopkins added: "It's like John Wayne said, 'When you're in the desert, he doesn't have to act; you let the desert do it for you.'"
6. Thor will have plenty for the ladies.
The two representative female cast members — Kat Dennings (who plays Darcy, the movie's comic relief and assistant to Natalie Portman) and Jaimie Alexander (who plays the Asgardian warrior Sif) — were asked what a big comic book movie like Thor has for the ladies. Dennings replied that, while there's "a lot of beefcake to look at," there's plenty for female audiences to enjoy.
I think girls — from my experience, as a human being, I love to watch things blow up, and fighting, and action. I think girls just love that stuff. And there's a love story and there's handsomeness, but there's also incredible acting and directing. It's a really good film. Action. Chicks love action.
"What she said," followed Alexander. "There's something for everybody: There's comedy, romance, action, adventure, sci-fi, and I would say check it out, and if you're that person that's just not into any of that, then Chris Hemsworth is shirtless. That's the back-up plan."
"Not to mention my big sword," quipped Idris Elba.
7. Thor is connected to Shakespeare and the Royal Wedding.
While Thor doesn't make use of the Shakespearean-esque language often found in the comics, Branagh used the recent Royal Wedding to illustrate a connection to the Bard.
You know, we'd just seen about two billion people watch a royal family at work, you know? And so I would say that it is Shakespearean, but just — it's global I suppose. That we're interested in what goes on in the corridors of power whether it's the White House or whether it's Buckingham Palace or.... And so Shakespeare was interested in the lives of, you know, the medieval royal families, but he also raided the Roman myths and the Greek myths for the same purpose. And I think Stan Lee went to the myths that Shakespeare hadn't used. You know, all of them recognizing that they contain, briefly told, very condensed stories of — that I think are very universal in their application.
I think the connection, if there is one, is that the stakes are high. So in something like Henry IV or Henry V where the young prince — how a reckless man falling into bad company, could that prince be the king? Is he the right man for the job, it's that kind of story. Our flawed hero who must earn the right to be king, is in our piece, but I think what's key is the stakes.
8. Thor is two movies in one.
With the movie existing in both the fantastical realm of Asgard and modern-day Earth, Thor is a movie of contrasts — something clear to the cast from the beginning. Hiddleston said that he sat next to Dennings during the cast's first table read and discovered how different the two worlds were.
It was very strange actually. In the read-through of the screenplay, the very first cast table read, some twist of fate had put Kat and me next to each other, and Kenneth said to me, "Go for it, use it as a rehearsal." And we just couldn't believe we were in the same movie.
"It was the most intense, amazing [performance]," added Dennings. "And then I was like, 'Oh my god — muscles.' And then I was like, 'This movie is going to be pretty amazing.'"
9. Loki's wrath in the upcoming The Avengers might originate from a bloody nose suffered in Thor.
Hiddleston was asked about his interview with ComingSoon, where he said of Loki's role in The Avengers: "Loki has big plans ... and it's going to take eight superheroes to stop him this time as opposed to just his chunky brother."
Hiddleston said he meant "chunky" in "a flattering way," while also revealing that he felt the "force of combat" in his nose during filming. Hemsworth then explained the incident.
We were shooting a scene and Tom was wearing his helmet and it was incredibly hot. All I could see was the sweat dripping into his eyes and he was shaking and kept saying, "It so hot, it's so hot." It was the first time I'd seen him like that and I thought, "Watch out, I think he might be losing it." And through the scene, he whacked me with his scepter or whatever it was, so I gave him a little bump in the nose...
"And then my nose bled for two hours," finished Hiddleston, who maintained that the incident was "an accident," which is exactly the kind of placating comment Loki would make while secretly plotting revenge.
10. Each actor has a different wish for the sequel.
Feige recently commented that Thor would get another installment, then later corrected himself, saying that the box office receipts would have to be tallied first before a sequel would become official (though Feige said that Payne was "working on story ideas").
Hiddleston and Hemsworth are already reprising their characters in the upcoming Avengers. But the rest of the cast was asked what they'd like to see for their characters should a Thor sequel get made.
Dennings replied that Darcy would have a "clean slate of absolutely whatever" and, considering the character wasn't from the comics, that's certainly true. However, Dennings revealed later that she thought "it'd be cool to see Darcy become something else, or go up to Asgard, that'd be pretty amazing."
Idris Elba, whose character guards the Bifrost Bridge that links Asgard to Earth, said he wouldn't mind if Heimdall "goes with [Thor] or assists from the Bridge" but ultimately revealed that he'd love to see what happens on Asgard, and "the politics of what happens there."
Alexander admitted to being a big comic book fan and found a storyline she hopes will be explored. "In the comic books, I've read a little bit that Loki takes over Sif's body. I think that would be quite interesting and weird."
Hopkins admitted that he'd "love to do another one" and joked that he was "about to suggest to Ken that I could play Odin's twin brother" in a potential sequel.
The cast may get a chance for another Thor. The movie has already grossed $108 million in foreign box office.