Yesterday we got our glorious first look at some images from the upcoming Marvel sequel Thor: Ragnarok, and now it’s time to put them in context. Plot details for the follow-up have been kept tight for quite a while, but now Marvel Studios and director Taika Waititi are opening up about what fans can expect.
The new issue of EW has a rundown of the film’s plot, which goes as follows:
When we last saw Thor, he was flying off to figure out who was manipulating the Avengers at the end of Age of Ultron. Eventually, he hears rumblings of trouble in Asgard: His evil brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), has been impersonating their missing father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins). Loki’s rather lax governing leads to the reemergence of an imprisoned Hela (Cate Blanchett). Thor’s initial encounter with Hela gets him blasted to Sakaar, a barbaric planet ruled by the charming but nefarious Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum). Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), a tough, hard-drinking warrior hiding out on Sakaar brings the god to the Grandmaster. “Thor is a bit of a fanboy for the Valkyrie, the elite women warriors,” Hemsworth says. Thor is then forced into becoming a gladiator, which leads to his haircut and the loss of his trusty hammer.
On Sakaar, Thor also comes into contact with Bruce Banner, who’s become the planet’s most popular and successful gladiator. Mark Ruffalo, who co-stars in the movie, says the Hulk in this film “is much more of a character” than the rage machine we’ve seen previously, likening him to a god. Indeed, this particular plot point borrows heavily from the Planet Hulk storyline of the comics, but Thor: Ragnarok doesn’t simply stick to one place as Hulk and Thor eventually leave Sakaar on something of an intergalactic road trip.
Waititi, whose previous directorial efforts include Hunt for the Wilderpeople and What We Do in the Shadows, brings a much more comedic sensibility to the film, and he drew upon movies like 48 HRS., Withnail and I, and Planes, Trains and Automobiles for inspiration re: the Thor/Hulk dynamic. Indeed, in many ways Waititi sees Ragnarok as a reboot of the Thor movies:
“A lot of what we’re doing with the film is, in a way, kind of dismantling and destroying the old idea and rebuilding it in a new way that’s fresh. Everyone’s got a slightly new take on their characters, so in that way, it feels like [this is] the first Thor.”
The EW piece also confirms that yes, Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange factors into the plot as he helps Thor on his search for Odin, and the movie will help set up the next film in the MCU, the culminating Avengers: Infinity War.
But really, I didn’t need any of this to sell me on the movie. Just blast out this photo of Jeff Goldblum and I’m there. Thor: Ragnarok opens in theaters on November 3rd.