Fresh off saving the Nine Realms from the Dark Elves, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is probably ready to take a break. However, the hero definitely won’t be catching any hammock time, as Marvel recently began Phase 3 of their multi-story Cinematic Universe. But before Ragnarok ensues, Marvel has hired a new scripter to lighten up Thor 3’s story.
Recently, Marvel chose actor/director Taika Waititi to helm the next chapter in Thor’s saga. Waititi was the co-writer and co-director of What We Do In the Shadows, a satirical take on the vampire genre. His hiring was seen as a move by the studio to infuse the film with more humor. The studio’s choice to hire Stephany Folsom only confirms their desire for a lighter-hearted sequel.
Folsom, the writer behind 1969: A Space Odyssey or How Kubrick Learned to Stop Worrying and Land on the Moon, will now bring her vision to Thor: Ragnarok according to THR. Her speculative drama about Stanley Kubrick faking the moon landing earned her a place in Marvel’s coveted screenwriter pool. Folsom will add her satirical edge and dramatic chops to Christopher Yost and Craig Kyle’s script -- which was reportedly too dark for the studio.
Thor: Ragnarok was also recently confirmed to be a buddy pic, with Mark Ruffalo’s green machine teaming up with Mr. Odinson to face down the latest multiversal threat. Thus far, Tom Hiddleston (who plays Loki) is also slated to return, with Stellan Skarsgård (Erik Selvig), Natalie Portman (Jane Foster), and Anthony Hopkins (Odin) hopefully reprising their roles as well. There have also been rumors that Valkyrie warrior Brunnhilde and her kin will make an appearance, although it’s unclear what role they’ll play.
Although it’s always unnerving when studios bring in additional writers, it’s far from uncommon. With a satirical screenplay under her belt, Folsom is an interesting choice to pull the series out of its brooding place without turning the script to mush. Bringing her into the fold also adds another solid female writer, a difficult commodity in the generally male Marvel writer’s stable. And after Nicole Perlman’s stellar work on Guardians of the Galaxy, the studio made an excellent selection, at least in keeping with Thor's previous lighthearted outings.
It is unfortunate that we won’t see a darker version of Thor. With a relatively unengaging villain in The Dark World, adding a grittier edge to the series could have been refreshing. Staying with the upbeat theme, though, is likely to keep the hardcore fans happy. And that’s what keeps the theaters packed. Maybe gritty is overrated these days anyway.
Captain America: Civil War will release on May 6, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man – July 28, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on May 1, July 10 and November 6, 2020.