Ragnarok is coming. The name may sound foreboding, but we couldn’t be more excited for the God of Thunder’s return to the big screen. For one, we finally get to see some of the other Avengers in SPAAAAACE! Not to mention, watch Thor go up against the Incredible Hulk. Throw in a homeless Odin, a mischievous Loki, the former queen of England, and the spokesperson for Apartments.com, and Marvel has got another bonafide hit in the making with enough heroics to fill the halls of Valhalla.
Thor: Ragnarok is set to release next Fall on November 3, 2017. But because waiting sucks we are compiling a preview to satisfy your Norsian appetite for all things Mjolnir. We’re also dishing out the essentials so you’re not left in the dark once this world shattering date arrives. While Civil War concerned itself with superhero politics, Thor 3 will focus on far grander problems, with some major implications for the galactic road ahead. One thing’s for sure, Chris Hemsworth will at some point take his shirt off.
Here is Everything We Know So Far About Thor: Ragnarok.
17. Thor 3 is a Reboot of the Franchise
During an interview in Entertainment Weekly’s first official public rollout for the film (which we’ll touch more on in a moment), Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi revealed his plans to radically upend the established order on Asgard and the tone set by previous films.
A lot of what we’re doing with the film is, in a way, kind of dismantling and destroying the old idea and rebuilding it in a new way that’s fresh. Everyone’s got a slightly new take on their characters, so in that way, it feels like [this is] the first Thor.
A soft reboot like this could be exactly what the franchise needs. While the series has been linked probably more than any other superhero solo film to Marvel’s shared cinematic universe, it has not been without its faults and as of late has found Thor himself in a bit of a rut, last seen confusedly taking a bath in a grotto. This problematic arc was getting to be so much of a burden it even had star Chris Hemsworth looking to part ways. But Ragnarok’s refresh seems to have reinvigorated the star, character and franchise setting the stage for a bright Asgardian future.
16. Hulk Is a Gladiator
The last time we saw Hulk he had just ditched Scarlett Johansson to go fly off in a jet at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron. Well, that must have been some journey, because he ultimately somehow ends up in another solar system where he will be undoubtedly once again be smashing things he shouldn’t.
While the possibility of our getting a solo Incredible Hulk film anytime soon seems like a long shot, Thor: Ragnarok will be the next best thing as the character is one of its core components. And we’re not talking about getting Mark Ruffalo’s puny Bruce Banner for the majority of it. Apparently, the character’s green alter-ego rage monster will share a good chunk of the screen time, fists and all. Even cooler, he’ll be a gladiator decked out in armor and wielding a ginormous battle ax. (But more on that in a moment.) Overall, some of the MCU’s most memorable interactions have been between Hulk and Thor, so what’s not to love about their teaming up (and fighting one another) in SPAAAACCE!
Speaking of space, check out everything we know so far about Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2, another movie which will, we assume, take place in space.
15. Taika Waititi Will Be Directing
Marvel has made a habit lately of handing over the reigns of their box office shattering mega-blockbusters to relatively obscure, smalltime directors, such as Jon Watts with Spider-Man: Homecoming and Ryan Coogler with Black Panther. While not quite as unseasoned, Taika Waititi isn’t exactly known as a big-budget director either, if he’s known at all. To date his biggest projects have been directing a vampire mockumentary called What We Do in the Shadows, the TV series Flight of the Conchords, and this past year’s Hunt for the Wilderpeople, which has been touted as a hilarious, touching New Zealand odyssey.
The Thor franchise is notable for being the only solo trilogy in the MCU to have a different director for each of its three films. Which makes for a noticeably different tone and style across the board. For his part, Waititi plans on making his installment “one of the most adventurous and out there” of all the Marvel films to date. Considering Doctor Strange saw it’s title character get caught in a continuous time loop being murdered by a giant talking head from an alternate dimension, that’s saying a lot. What’s more Waititi says he’ll be ignoring the other films in the franchise with his movie inspired by 80’s Sci-Fi fantasy art and having a score composed by one of the guys who brought the world Whip It. In the same way James Gunn infused the MCU with a breath of fresh air with Gaurdians of the Galaxy, many are confident Taika Waititi will do the same with his hilarious, touching Asgardian odyssey.
14. Prepare to Laugh
On top of everything else we just mentioned, Taika Waititi plans on bringing an extra dose of funny to Thor: Ragnarok. Which might come as a relief to anyone that felt Thor’s second cinematic outing was far too grim and serious. Well aware of this Waititi has said, “I’m just going to take the second Thor film and just add some jokes to that.” Apparently Waititi’s penchant for dark comedy and oddball zaniness is exactly why Marvel hired him.
While Kevin Feige has stated the MCU will never go completely dark, it has as of late gotten a lot grayer. Surely the upcoming second installment of Guardians of the Galaxy will rectify the situation. But Chris Hemsworth for one wants Thor 3 to follow suite and inject some of that Baby Groot-sized fun into Asgard. With Waititi behind the camera it looks like the God of Thunder will get his wish. Here’s hoping they somehow find a way to use that hysterical plot from the comics when Thor got turned into a frog.
13. Jeff Goldblum Will Play The Grandmaster
The Grandmaster is one of the oldest living beings in Marvel and a member of the Elders of the Universe. We’ve already met one of the Elders in Benicio Del Toro’s Collector, and it seems now Jeff Goldblum will be bringing a second to the MCU. These immortal beings maintain their longevity thanks to their respective obsessions. In The Collector’s case this means amassing universal rarities, while for the Grandmaster it means amusing himself by playing games. The Strategist Supreme enjoys devising contests that pit super powered beings against one another in high stakes challenges, often times against their will. Notably, like all the Elders, the character has a history in the comics closely tied to the Infinity Gems, and even at one time possessed the Mind Stone.
Also known as En Dwi Gast, the Grandmaster may have found the perfect player in Jeff Goldblum. Best known for making mathematicians look badass in Jurassic Park and making computer scientists look badass in Independence Day, having Goldblum join this already star studded cast (which includes his JP alum Sam Neill) is reason to celebrate. This is the guy after all who makes renting a home seem cool on those Apartments.com commercials and who once described himself as a “yogi who wanders the Earth with a diaper.” Goldblum and his trademark eccentricity have dove head first into his latest character, teasing that he’ll play him as a “hedonist.” In other words, we can expect wild things from Grandmaster Goldblum and the games he’ll be playing with Thor and Co.
12. Odin is Alive and Homeless
When Thor: The Dark World ended it was revealed the perpetual trickster Loki was alive and well, and had somehow overtaken the throne of Asgard disguised as Odin. What was not clear was what had happened to the actual Allfather. Many worried he had been killed and audiences would never have the good fortune of staring at Anthony Hopkins’ illustrious silver maned mullet again. Luckily these concerns were put to rest when some on-set photos surfaced of Odin alive and well.
Turns out he’s been hanging out in New York all along. Because where do you go when your adopted demigod of a son tries to kill you? While we don’t know exactly what he’s doing there or what he’s up to, his clothes make a strong case for crazy street hobo. In case there was any doubt, Odin’s apparent exile to the Big Apple was confirmed in the mid-credit sequence of Doctor Strange. Which brings us nicely to our next entry…
11. Doctor Strange is on the Case
In a film filled with crazy things, maybe the craziest of all from Doctor Strange was when Thor popped up chugging some beer at the home of the Sorcerer Supreme. During a sit down with the good Doctor we learn Loki has fallen on the magic community’s radar. After the trickster shows up again in NYC with the God of Thunder, Strange makes it clear he wants the pair gone from Earth as quick as possible. When Thor informs him they are only there to find their father and will be gone when the deed is done, Doctor Strange promptly decides to help.
Add in an official sounding announcement and a few coy remarks from Tom Hiddleston, and we’re pretty sure all things point to Doctor Strange being in Thor: Ragnarok. Though in what capacity and how big a part he will play aside from a mystical Sherlockian PI for hire, is anyone’s guess. Most likely it will be a small one since he’ll probably only appear for events happening on Earth. Since Marvel Studio head Kevin Feige has stated the vast majority of the film takes place in the cosmos, we expect to catch only a passing glimpse of Stephen Strange. Though at the very least he should be good for providing the trio with a quick ride home.
10. Cate Blanchett Is Playing Hela
Who will be the big bad in Thor: Ragnarok? That honor goes to Hela, the Norse Goddess of Death, ruler over Hel and Niffleheim and habitual wearer of gravity defying headdresses. In the comics most of her time is spent trying to expand her domain by stealing the souls of other realms. Also, starting the end of the world. As a near immortal with the strength of Thor and magical prowess of
David Copperfield Doctor Strange, the powers of Hela are feared all across the nine realms. Espeically since she has the ability to kill any Asgardian, human or otherwise with a single touch.
If anyone can help Marvel overcome it’s villain problem and convincingly bring to life the MCU’s first major villainess, it’s Cate Blanchett. Seriously, she currently stars in a movie in which she plays 13 different roles. We’d say she’s got the chops to make a mythological death goddess compelling. Having memorably played the likes of Queen Elizabeth I and the elfin high priestess Galadriel in the Lord of the Rings, this two-time Oscar winner is right at home wearing ridiculous outfits and exerting power over lesser beings. All the while having a blast doing it.
9. Dr. McCoy Will Be Skurge
We’re all familiar with Karl Urban through his spot on portrayal of a young Dr. Leonard McCoy in the latest bout of Star Trek movies. Though, as we saw during his turn as Judge Dredd in the 2012 film, he also possesses a mean streak and is not above kicking ass. Which makes his casting as the ruthless, battle ax-wielding, Asgardian warrior Skurge awesome news.
Better known as The Executioner, Skurge has been one of Thor’s most dangerous enemies since first appearing back in 1964. More often then not he’s subjected to doing the dirty work of others, like Amora the Enchantress, which ultimately gets him banished from his home world. In the comics, Skurge eventually redeems himself by helping Thor fight Hela and her armies to free a group of trapped souls that she was keeping prisoner in Niflheim. The ensuing battle culminated in the an honorable death, which despite his past was enough to earn Skurge a worthy place in Valhallah. We’ll just have to wait and see if Urban’s version can find a similar exaltation in the pantheons of the MCU.
8. There’s a New Female Superhero in Town
We’re not quit sure what’s going on with Lady Sif. It’s been stated she won’t appear in Thor: Ragnarok but Jaime Alexander has hinted there may be more in store for her character than meets the headlines. Though even if Sif is absent there won’t be a lack of a strong female presence on Asgard. Enter the MCU’s newest superhero.
Valkyrie is an Asgardian goddess and one of her people’s mightiest fighters. In the comics she is the leader of a group of female warriors that transports brave souls who have died in combat to Valhalla. She has also been a member of both the Defenders and the Avengers. Her real name is Brunnhilde and is loosely based on the character of the same name from Norse mythology, whose tale you might recall having heard in Django Unchained.
Bringing some much needed diversity to the MCU, Valkyrie will be played by Creed’s Tessa Thompson. We’ve already gotten a first look at Tessa in character and expect her valiant shield maiden to have a large part in stoping the end of the world. Not to mention she might even catch the eye of Thor, who in the comics was an occasional love interest. Especially given Sif’s unknown status and his other leading lady haven taken a trip on the ole rainbow bridge to oblivion.
7. Thor Cuts His Hair
When you think of Thor two things come to mind: Hammer and Hair. Well it looks like in Ragnarok he’s not going to have either. We don’t know how long the God of Thunder will be separated from his trusty Mjolnir (he may be without it going into Infinity War), his long flowing golden locks we can say for certain will not make it out alive. This is thanks to the March 2017 issue of Entertainment Weekly featuring the first official look at Thor 3.
All told, EW reveals several key players for the first time, including Hela, Valkyrie and Goldblum’s The Grandmaster. But let’s face it, all eyes are on Chris Hemsworth and the absence of his Fabio inspired hairdo. Also, of note are his new armor and weaponry, replacing mighty Mjolnir with two ginormous swords. For Hemsworth the haircut means less time in they stylist’s chair but more importantly, as he told EW, “it felt like a rebirth for me as the actor but also as the character.” While we love Thor just as much as the next groupie, if these changes reinvigorate all those involved in the movie we’re all for it. Because let’s face it, Thor with short hair and no battle ax is still freaking Thor.
6. Say Goodbye to Jane Foster and Co.
By now you’ve probably heard that Natalie Portman will not be returning the MCU. Which means Thor will have to look elsewhere for love. (Darryl perhaps?) What becomes of Jane Foster and the cause of her split from the Beau of Thunder still remains a mystery. Though the same does not go for real life. Reportedly Ms. Portman was upset after Marvel fired Patty Jenkins as director of Dark World and wanted off the film. Due to contractual obligations, she still had to appear, but afterwords made not to be around for the threequel. Of course this may not be how things went down, especially given Portman’s unawares attitude and her ambiguous comments on being open to a return to the MCU. Regardless, Jane Foster is out.
With Foster’s absence it is no surprise her two colleagues, quirky research assistant Darcy Lewis and eccentric astrophysicist Erik Selvig, will be nowhere to be found either. It looks like Thor will just have save the universe without the help of Stellan Skarsgård getting naked and Kat Denning’s red knit hat. All of which makes sense considering 90% of the film reportedly takes place in the cosmos. Meaning the likelihood of a strong non-Hulkian human presence is doubtful. Though maybe we shouldn’t count ourselves out just yet. There’s still always Darryl.
5. Loki is Up to His Usual Tricks, Maybe for the Last Time
It should come as a surprise to no one that Loki will make his fourth appearance in the MCU with Thor: Ragnarok. (After being cut from Age of Ultron.) The end of Dark World seemed tailor made as a set-up for a final showdown (or possible reconciliation) between Thor and his mischievous brother.
Since filming commenced we’ve seen several photos of Tom Hiddleston rocking out on set in full out Asgardian garb as well as some rather dashing Earth threads. While it’s doubtful Loki will be positioned as Hela’s father, as he is in the comics, it wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine they in some way hook up to take down Asgard. But the big question here is whether he’ll be making it out of Thor 3 alive. Hiddleston has inferred that this would be the last time he dons Loki’s horned helmet, only to later backtrack and claim no definite plans have been made yet. Though his absence from the Infinity War cast list is a tad suspicious. It sure would be a shame to lose Loki considering he’s the only super villain the MCU has ever found success with and the only one we would have loved to have seen as president.
4. It is Based on the Ragnarok Storylines from the Comics…
In Norse mythology, Ragnarok is a universe-ending event brought on by the death of the gods. The legend has found its way into several of Thor’s comics over the years, most recently with 2004’s Ragnarok in which the God of Thunder receives the Odinpower after the death of his father, turns into a tyrant, goes back in time to fix the damage he’s done, plucks out his own eyes then hangs himself from the magical tree at the center of the universe so he can save the universe and in the end eventually dies. Amidst all that Loki uses the mold of Mjolnir to arm a powerful army that ultimately destroys Asgard, and both Iron Man and Captain America get involved. Ultimately, the whole thing was part of a much wider Marvel storyline known as “Avengers Disassembled” in which the team breaks up to make way for a new squad.
Previous to this, the concept of Ragnarok was used in a seven issue arc starting with 1978’s Thor #272. On that occasion Loki teams up with his daughter, Hela, to try and incite an Asgardian apocalypse by unleashing a horde of monsters on the city. As part of Walter Simonson’s revisiting of the character in the early 80s, the Surtur Saga features another villain (joined by Loki of course) trying to bring about the end of the world. Suffice to say there’s plenty of source material for the film to draw upon.
3. ….and Planet Hulk
Planet Hulk is routinely cited as the Green Goliath at his best, and remains one his most popular stories. After Hulk levels Las Vegas, the Illuminati banish him from Earth and he ends up on the violent planet of Sakaar. While there Hulk is forced to battle as a gladiator the viewing pleasure of the planet’s ruler. Eventually Hulk rages out, dethrones the king and takes over the planet as its savior. Later on, the ship that transported Hulk to the planet unexpectedly goes nuclear and destroys all life on Sakaar – an event that directly led into the smashing-orgy known as World War Hulk.
We don’t expect all aspects of Planet Hulk to find their way into the script, or for Thor: Ragnarok to in any way resemble a strict adaptation. There’s just too much material. Not mention in it the Hulk is a well-spoken ruler who has a wife and kid, which would be quite a stretch for a character who’s up to this point on film shown barely any signs of self-control other than letting Black Widow pet his hand. But Thor 3 will include several influences from the arc. Like the gladiator contest, the character Miek and, most notably, the planet of Sakaar. The later of which will play a large role in the film, though precisely in what regard remains to be seen.
2. It’s an Apocalyptic Cosmic Buddy Road Trip Movie
The big question on everyone’s minds is what exactly is going to happen in Thor: Ragnarok. As the title implies there are some very bad things in store for Thor’s home. On a far lighter note, Mark Ruffalo has described Thor 3 as both a “buddy flick” and a “universal road trip movie.” So your guess is as good as ours as to how that will play out.
Here’s the official plot synopsis released by Marvel:
In Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok, Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok – the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization – at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first he must survive a deadly gladatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger – the Incredible Hulk!
Given what we know about The Grandmaster, it’s not hard to predict who’s behind the tournament in question, which takes place on Sakaar. Several rumors swirling around have Thor teaming up with Valkyrie, who he finds in the arena along with his old friend the Hulkster. Some reports have Skurge as the Grandmaster’s enforcer, while others place him by the side of Hela. If that’s not enough, Thor is also searching for a mighty weapon, possibly the Soul Gem, to stop Ragnarok and reset the universe. Oh yeah, there’s also a massive fire giant in there somewhere. Suffice to say Thor 3 is shaping up to be one hell of a trip. Despite having a plot that’s harder to get a grasp of than Mjolnir.
1. It Will Play a Significant Role in Setting up Infinity War
As James Gunn’s standalone Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 proves, having a Marvel movie set in space doesn’t need to involve Thanos and his bejeweled power glove. Though it seems the same won’t hold true for the only other Phase 3 film predominantly taking place off Earth prior to Infinity War. From the possible introduction of the final stone to kickstarting the Avengers’ assembling in space, Thor: Ragnarok is almost guaranteed to play a big part in setting the stage for the MCU’s momentous climax.
Much like 2011’s Thor did with introducing a major evil player in Loki to set up the first Avengers film, there’s speculation something similar might happen here. It has been rumored that Hela could be a stand in as the physical embodiment of Death, a character that is the object of all Thanos’ affections and the driving force behind his destructive warpath to annihilate the universe. As the post-credit sequence in 2012’s The Avengers foreshadowed, Death will play a prominent role in whatever wickedness Thanos gets up. Who better to fill the role than the Goddess of Death herself? Regardless if this proves true, in one way or another be rest assured that whatever exciting things transpire during Thor: Ragnarok, it will have a lasting effect on everything that follows. But don’t worry, it won’t keep Chris Hemsworth from still taking his shirt off.
Let us know in the comments what you’re most excited to see in Thor 3, and check back regularly as we’ll be updating this thread with all the latest Thor: Ragnarok news.