Thor: Ragnarok promises to be unlike either of the previous Thor movies. Director Taika Waititi's background in comedy-dramas suggests a different approach to the more classical fantasy style of Kenneth Branagh and Alan Taylor, while the film is bringing in Hulk and Doctor Strange, making it an even bigger part of the MCU.
New details about the film are starting to drop care of an EW cover story that further show a distinct take. Just yesterday we got our first proper images from the film, with a new-look Thor, goth-style Cate Blanchett as villain Hela and a lot of Tessa Thompson as elite warrior Valkyrie that showed a more vibrant color palette. Now some more information from their exclusive has been revealed.
EW have now shared new plot details on Thor 3 that explain how the massive cast of characters work into the story. According to their report, Loki's rule of Asgard (after usurping the throne at the end of Thor: The Dark World) has led to the release of Hela, who to secure power sends Thor to gladiatorial planet Sakaar. There he is forced by Jeff Goldblum's Grandmaster to fight in the ring against the waylaid Hulk, after which the pair reunite and embark on what is described as a "road-trip film".
This all fits with what has been heard in previous plot rumors, but does give a stronger idea of Ragnarok's narrative thrust, particularly in how the non-Asgardian characters fit into it. Most intriguing is Valkyrie, who has been less heavily speculated on than some other new additions, but will clearly be important; Hemsworth even went as far to suggest a unique dynamic between her and the God of Thunder, stating "Thor is a bit of a fanboy for the Valkyrie, the elite women warriors." Previously we've only seen Thor work with the Warriors Three, but this suggests a more cohesive partnership.
Mark Ruffalo also commented on how his Hulk will be different to how he's played him in The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron, saying, "He’s much more of a character than the green rage machine you’ve seen in the Avengers movies. He’s got a swagger. He’s like a god." Given that the Sakaar sequence is lifted from beloved comic run Planet Hulk, a more developed, cognisant version of the Green Goliath was to be expected, and hopefully this will allow for some real connection between him and Thor.
The plot description doesn't go into much detail about what Hela's real plan is, nor how the Norse apocalypse of the title comes to threaten Asgard, although it is good to hear that The Dark World's shock twist that Loki had replaced his father will be a key narrative drive; that's one of the franchise's most intriguing dangling threads. Many fans find the Thor films on the weaker end of the MCU output, so this more involved, character-driven approach is definitely promising.
There is, of course, a third major character in the film that has been subject to a lot of fan speculation: Doctor Strange. His involvement was teased in the mid-credits scene for his own film, and in the EW article Kevin Feige talked a bit more about the cameo:
"There’s not a whole lot that takes place on Earth in this film, and that’s one of the things that does."
It had previously been stated that most of Thor 3 takes place away from Earth, suggesting the Sorcerer Supreme's part in the film was minor, and this would seem to back it up. Stay tuned for much more Thor: Ragnarok coverage as more information is revealed.
Source: Entertainment Weekly