Thor’s solo trilogy is possibly the least consistent in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but at least it went out on a high note. Each installment drastically changed the style and tone of the franchise. Kenneth Branagh directed the first one as a Shakespearean tragedy, but it failed to grip audiences. Game of Thrones’ Alan Taylor helmed The Dark World as a work of medieval fantasy, and it was panned as perhaps the MCU’s worst entry.
10 Stan Lee wanted to play Odin
Stan Lee mentioned that he’d wanted to play Odin in a movie ever since he adapted the character from Norse mythology for the pages of Marvel comic books. In the lead up to Kenneth Branagh’s Thor, Lee joked in interviews that he was disappointed that the director refused to even consider him for the part.
All joking aside, Lee always maintained that he was happy with the casting of Anthony Hopkins and felt that he did a great job with the character. It would’ve been fun to see Lee as a real character beyond his standard cameo appearance in one of these movies.
9 Ragnarok was influenced by Flash Gordon
Taika Waititi has said that the tone and genre he was going for with Thor: Ragnarok was in the realm of sci-fi films of the ‘70s and ‘80s, but the one movie in particular that inspired the look and feel of Ragnarok the most was Flash Gordon. Based on the old ‘30s adventure serials of the same name, Flash Gordon was an intergalactic adventure with heart and humor and irreverent characters and surreal visuals, just like Ragnarok.
Funnily enough, George Lucas tried to get a Flash Gordon movie made and only created his own space opera – which became Star Wars – when that project fell through, and as soon as Star Wars hit, studios were eager to make a Flash Gordon movie.
8 Chris Hemsworth spent a year growing out his hair for The Dark World
If Thor’s luscious hair looks more authentic in The Dark World than it did in his first solo outing, that’s because it is. In the first movie, Chris Hemsworth wore a wig to portray the God of Thunder, but he found it to be both irritating and fake-looking, so he decided to actually grow his hair out for the sequel.
This took over a year to do (and was probably a nightmare – he would later describe his haircut in Ragnarok as liberating), but it undeniably looks a lot better to actually have long hair than to wear a long-haired wig.
7 Zachary Levi was the first choice to play Fandral in Thor
Zachary Levi would eventually give a memorable turn as a comic book character in DC’s Shazam!, but years before that, he was underserved as a member of the Warriors Three, Fandral, in the MCU’s Thor trilogy. Levi only appeared as Fandral from The Dark World onwards, and the character was played by Josh Dallas in Thor.
Apparently, Levi was the first choice for Fandral in the first place, but he wasn’t available due to scheduling issues, so Dallas was brought on. When Dallas was unavailable for The Dark World, the producers reverted to their original choice and brought in Levi.
6 The “friend from work” line was suggested by a Make-A-Wish kid
One of the most memorable lines in Thor: Ragnarok comes when the God of Thunder is made to face the Grandmaster’s champion in a fight, and is relieved to discover that it’s the Hulk. Thor ecstatically says, “He’s a friend from work!” Apparently, this line was suggested by a child from the Make-A-Wish Foundation during a set visit.
The child was speaking to Chris Hemsworth about the scene, and told Hemsworth that Thor would recognize the Hulk as a “friend from work.” Hemsworth liked that turn of phrase so much that he asked Taika Waititi to put it in the movie.
5 Natalie Portman needed to stand on a box to kiss Chris Hemsworth
Because Chris Hemsworth is just that much taller than Natalie Portman, whenever they were required to kiss in a closeup scene, Portman needed to stand on a box to even reach Hemsworth’s lips. At one point in the production, the crew had to create a ramp for Portman to run up and give Hemsworth a theatrical, passionate kiss.
Fans complained that Thor and Jane Foster didn’t have much on-screen chemistry, but this can probably be attributed to the fact that the crew had to stop shooting to give Portman a box to stand on in all of their romantic scenes.
4 Taika Waititi’s vision for Ragnarok convinced Anthony Hopkins to come back
After Thor: The Dark World, Anthony Hopkins had decided against ever playing Odin again. He thought that the character had run his course, and after playing him a handful of times, he felt like moving on to other roles.
However, he was convinced to return (albeit briefly, with just one scene in the first act and then a third-act vision that takes place in the same setting as that one first-act scene) for Thor: Ragnarok when he saw a script and learned that Taika Waititi’s vision for the film was drastically different than how the previous Thor movies had been made.
3 Loki wasn’t supposed to be in The Dark World
Loki originally wasn’t featured in The Dark World at all. Early script drafts didn’t include Thor’s adopted brother as a character and put a greater focus on Malekith and the Dark Elves (which no one would’ve appreciated, since they turned out to be possibly the blandest villains in MCU history).
However, after The Avengers was released and The Dark World was about to go into production, Loki suddenly became one of Marvel’s most popular characters, having made for a charismatic villain in Joss Whedon’s 2012 ensemble team-up. So, the script for The Dark World was reworked to heavily feature Loki.
2 Marvel cut a scene from Ragnarok that confirmed Valkyrie’s bisexuality
During the making of Thor: Ragnarok, Tessa Thompson suggested confirming Valkyrie’s bisexuality to director Taika Waititi, so they included a scene where a woman is seen leaving Valkyrie’s room. They fought tooth and nail to keep it in the movie, but Marvel excised it, claiming that it slowed down the pacing of the film (although fans are skeptical that a two-second shot could really throw a whole feature film off-kilter).
Valkyrie’s bisexuality will finally be confirmed on-screen in Waititi’s upcoming fourth Thor movie, Love and Thunder, which will revolve around Valkyrie’s search for a queen to help her rule over New Asgard.
1 Marvel’s shortlist for the role of Thor came down to two Hemsworth brothers
Marvel Studios’ extensive search to find the perfect actor to portray the God of Thunder in the MCU boiled down to just two choices on their shortlist: Chris Hemsworth and Liam Hemsworth. The brothers found it amusing that they’d both come all the way from Australia to compete with hundreds of actors for the lucrative job as a franchise lead, and the studio narrowed it down to both of them.
In the end, it’s fair to say that they went with the right Hemsworth. Liam is a terrific actor and shares his brother’s natural charms, but he looks too young to rub shoulders with Robert Downey, Jr. and Chris Evans.