Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi has explained why he decided to have Thor (Chris Hemsworth) use a gun - an unusual weapon for an actual God - saying that it is all rooted in the idea of stripping Thor of every advantage he has and thrusting him into the battle arena, without his trusty hammer. We already know that the Asgardian Prince will lose Mjolnir during Ragnarok thanks to Hela (Cate Blanchett). From there, the Avenger will have to devise a way to save Asgard from total doom, in addition to surviving his gladiator battle with the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) when they are - coincidentally - pitted against one other on Sakaar.
Given that this is the third and supposedly final installment in the Thor franchise, both Hemsworth and Waititi have been adamant about changing things a bit for the character in Ragnarok. They appear to have succeeded at doing just that, at least from the looks of the movie's trailers - with various new worlds being introduced and a melding of the Ragnarok comic book storyline with select elements of the Planet Hulk narrative. The God of Thunder himself also undergoes some changes, from the cutting off of his hair to having to fight using a different weapon (as was confirmed in a short clip from the most recent Ragnarok trailer).
In an interview with IGN after the Marvel Studios panel at San Diego Comic-Con (where new Ragnarok footage was presented), Waititi discussed the thought process behind having Thor do battle with a gun in the movie:
"I think we really wanted to challenge Thor in this film. He's challenged further than in any of the other films. He loses the hammer, which is the source of his power, and he's really on the back foot most of the film. We didn't want him to be able to utilize magic, or to have Loki's magic. We didn't want him to have too many advantages. He had to really find his way out of this predicament using his brain and using his friends."
The "friends" the director mentioned are presumably his fellow-Avenger the Hulk, as well as the Marvel Cinematic Universe newcomer Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), and even Thor's traitorous step-brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston). That said, it's a bit funny that the first time Thor meets up with these so-called comrades in Ragnarok, they are all somewhat antagonistic to him.
Obviously, even though Waititi will keep the God of Thunder at the disadvantage for a good chunk of the film, we can expect him to eventually rise to the occasion - as he, and his newfound (and maybe temporary) friends, go head to head against Hela. At one point in the most recent Ragnarok trailer, the Goddess of Death mocks him asking "What were you the God of again?" with which Thor seems to answer by controlling lightning, as beams envelope his body and his eyes glow bright.
Whatever goes down in Thor: Ragnarok looks to have a big effect on the the events to come next year, in Avengers: Infinity War. In fact, Ragnarok is described as being a direct lead-in to Infinity War, which will then pit all of the MCU's superheroes against Thanos and his Black Order. Ragnarok will likewise set-up Thor's first meeting with the Guardians of the Galaxy, before they properly team-up during Infinity War.
- Thor: Ragnarok (2017) release date: Nov 03, 2017
- Black Panther (2018) release date: Feb 16, 2018
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018