Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has pitted Earth’s Mightiest Heroes against one another in an ideological battle (and fistfight) with Captain America: Civil War and introduced the mystical, multidimensional realms of the MCU, courtesy of Doctor Strange’s solo movie. Things are only to get bigger and crazier from hereon out, with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 introducing even more strange extraterrestrial lifeforms – with Ego the Living Planet (Kurt Russell) standing out as particularly odd, even by the Guardians’ standards – and Thor: Ragnarok taking everyone on a wild adventure across the Nine Realms… and beyond.
Doctor Strange is now available on Digital HD and includes a featurette that offers MCU fans a sneak peek at what’s yet to come during Phase 3. That video includes concept art from the upcoming Ragnarok, offering a better look at the visuals that quirky indie filmmaker-turned Marvel blockbuster director Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows, Hunt for the Wilderpeople) has in store for audiences, with his own addition to the world of Marvel Studios films.
The Thor: Ragnarok concept art, which you can check out in the gallery below, offers a better look at the film’s villain Hela (Cate Blanchett), opposite Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) in what is certainly one of the cosmos-trotting adventure’s most unusual locations… New York. On top of that, there is concept art depicting the throw-down between Thor and Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) on a mystery alien planet in the film, as well as art that further showcases Hulk in his Planet Hulk-inspired gladiator getup.
Although Thor: Ragnarok draws some inspiration from the aforementioned Planet Hulk storyline, it’s only borrowing certain elements from that famous comic story and blending it with material from other comic book sources. As such, the movie itself is described as being more of a buddy romp, with Thor and Hulk eventually re-teaming to save both Asgard and the cosmos from the threat poised by Hela. It’s still not entirely clear what the circumstances are for the scenes depicted here of Thor and Hulk battling one another in a coliseum setting, but the popular theory is that both characters have been captured and forced into combat by The Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum), at the point in Ragnarok‘s narrative shown in this concept art.
Both the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel and the third Thor solo movie are not only delving further into the weirder aspects of the MCU’s cosmic mythology (see Ego being Star-Lord’s biological father in the MCU, for case in point), but also mixing things up in the comic book adaptation process even more than MCU films before them have. The hope is that by doing so, these Phase 3 films will turn out genuinely different – in a good way – from the MCU’s Phase 1 and 2 installments and in turn, continue expanding the MCU mythos as the stage is set for the biggest Marvel Studios event yet – next year’s Avengers: Infinity War.