In the last month, we’ve seen some major movement on Marvel’s upcoming Thor movie. Major casting decisions were announced with Chris Hemsworth set to play Thor and Tom Hiddleston to play Loki, and we’ve heard director Kenneth Branagh talk about the cast and nailing down the shooting schedule.
With the big announcements made, we’re starting to finally see some more general news on the movie including these two interviews that I’ll discuss in this article.
CineFOOLS had the opportunity to speak with one of the writers of Thor movie, Ashley Miller (the other being Zack Stentz) and they had a lengthy interesting discussion about the film and their goals in writing it. Miller is a huge fan of the Thor comics (a big plus for the readers of the books) and he actually owns the complete Simonson run of the series among others. You’ll see that those comics in particular are helping inspire aspects of the screenplay.
I’ve selected some of the more interesting and relevant questions and responses for you to see.
To start, CineFOOLS asked how the writers make a character based in another world not only realistic for the viewers, but fit with the other characters in Marvel Studios’ other films.
“Thor's powers are godly, yes. And his zip code is a little different. But at the end of the day, he's a man. In the comics, Odin sends him to Earth because he's not perfect. He's brash, arrogant. Even over-confident. We all know that guy -- some of us have even been that guy. Stan Lee's genius was to give Thor-as-hero an emotional throughline we could all relate to, and knock him down a couple of pegs. So on that level, your question answers itself. The challenge is to dramatize that and make the audience see what the fans have known and believed about the character all along.
As for realism, I have to ask you back: what does that mean? If the standard is, does he throw his back out if he hurls the hammer a little too hard... probably not. He's a god. He's incredibly strong. He can fly. He tosses lightning bolts. There's nothing realistic about any of that. But he also bleeds. He struggles. Life kicks him where it hurts the most. Dramatically speaking, the powers and Asgard are gravy. The meat -- and what makes it a Marvel movie -- is the character.”
Next, they asked if any particular storylines from the comics acted as an inspiration for the film and you can probably guess the answer:
“So many things. Certainly, Walt Simonson's take on the character greatly informs what we brought to the script although I wouldn't say we went to a specific story from his tenure on the book. We saw part of our job as taking all the many approaches to the character over the years (including the myths) and distilling them down into a form that worked for a two-hour movie. There's a tremendous amount of ground to cover, so inspiration has to come from everywhere.”
The next part is exciting. CineFOOLS asked Ashley how he wants Thor should be portrayed what he’d like to bring to the character in his writing. His response:
“Grit. Not in the sense that you'd want to see a generic "dark" take on Thor, but in the sense that you want to feel Thor's rage when he rages. You want to see him fight like hell, and take as much he dishes out -- maybe more. You want to have a visceral reaction to the guy, and what happens to him. You don't want his adventures to be clean and antiseptic. You want to see the dirt, and grime and blood. You want to feel every bone crunching moment of every fight. And when he unleashes the storm, you want to feel like you're seeing the power of a GOD at work.
The best example I can give you is the end of Ultimates 2. When Thor shows up and kicks ass, he shows up and kicks ass. He isn't screwing around. There's a certain brutal, cock-eyed realism to Thor in that moment (and through that book in general) that I really resonate to and want to expand on.”
And that’s exactly how it should be done in my mind – Just thinking about this movie is getting me excited for it.
Continue to Page 2 for more from writer Ashley Miller and actor Tom Hiddleston...