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Thor: The Dark World


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Links to our threads on Iron Man 2 (2010), Thor (2011) and The Avengers (2012). As far as I know, none of the other Marvel Comics movies have mentioned or depicted the character.

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Marvel And Disney Setting 'Thor 2' For Summer 2013; Chris Hemsworth's Back But Kenneth Branagh Won't Return

EXCLUSIVE: Marvel Studios, which is in production on the Joss Whedon-directed The Avengers, is making a full commitment to Thor 2, with Chris Hemsworth reprising his role as the title hero. Marvel will need to hire a director for that film because, I've learned, Kenneth Branagh won't be returning as helmer. Branagh, who directed the first film and watched it gross $437 million worldwide with a few territories still playing out, will likely be involved in some producing capacity. . . .

Deadline.com, June 30

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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'Thor 2' Star Natalie Portman Furious Over Director Patty Jenkins' Departure

While the parties spun the Dec. 6 parting as an amicable split over creative differences, sources say Jenkins was fired without warning from a job that would have made her the first woman to direct a superhero tentpole. The news was out before anyone had told Portman, who had strongly urged Marvel to hire the director of 2003’s Monster (a film that won Charlize Theron her Oscar). According to sources, Portman had begun to question whether she wanted to continue acting at all right now -- possibly for several years -- because she wants to spend time with her baby boy, who was born in June. Portman was said to be re-engaged in Thor 2 because of Jenkins' involvement and especially proud that she would have played a role in opening the door for a woman to direct such a film. The Oscar winner is contractually obligated to stay with the project and Marvel is now said to be working overtime to smooth over the situation by including her in discussions about whom to hire as a replacement.

Meanwhile, insiders are telling widely divergent stories about why Marvel dropped Jenkins. A source with firsthand knowledge of the production says Marvel became concerned that Jenkins was not moving decisively enough and feared the film might miss its November 2013 release date. Exactly how Jenkins should have acted more decisively is unclear since no script was in place. Marvel had commissioned one from Don Payne before Jenkins came onto the project in October, but the studio now wants a rewrite. . . .

Hollywood Reporter, December 14

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Alan Taylor from HBO's Game of Thrones has been lined up to take the director's spot for Thor 2.

THR first revealed in early December that Taylor was one of two finalists vying for the gig. Sources say that Taylor has now beaten out fellow Game of Thrones helmer Daniel Minahan and has received an offer to direct the superhero sequel, which is aiming to hit theaters in November 2013. Marvel declined to comment.

Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

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Robert Rodat To Rewrite ‘Thor 2′

EXCLUSIVE: Marvel Studios has set Saving Private Ryan scribe Robert Rodat to rewrite Thor 2 for director Alan Taylor. Rodat is reworking a draft by Don Payne. Disney will put the film into production later this year for release in 2013 with Chris Hemsworth returning as the title character. . . .

Mike Fleming, Deadline.com, January 10

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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'Thor 2' Eyes 'Chuck' Star Zachary Levi (Exclusive)

Marvel Studios is targeting Zachary Levi to join the cast of Thor 2. He would replaceJosh Dallas in the film.

Dallas played Fandral, one of the Warriors Three in Thor, but is bowing out of the sequel to the 2011 hit movie due to his commitments to the ABC show Once Upon a Time.

Levi’s involvement may blessed by the gods, however. He was in talks to originally play the role in 2010 but had to bow out when his cult NBC show Chuck got a last-minute reprieve from cancellation and an episode extension. . . .

Hollywood Reporter, June 8

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Marvel announced this weekend that the film will come out November 8, 2013.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Those Dutch angles were the best thing the film had going for it. (And Natalie Portman, who's worth watching even in a throwaway "girlfriend" role.)

Is Kenneth Branagh going to direct again?

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Those Dutch angles were the best thing the film had going for it. (And Natalie Portman, who's worth watching even in a throwaway "girlfriend" role.)

The "best thing"? Man, they drove me nuts.

Gotta agree with the Dutch angle complaint. I hope Branagh and JJ Abrams never co-direct a film. Over use of Dutch angles and lens flares might give me a stroke.

Alan Taylor is supposed to direct. Looks like this would be his first feature film, but he's directed quite a few episodes of Game of Thrones, The Sopranos and Mad Men.

edit: Third feature. He directed Palookaville and Kill the Poor. Can't say I'm familiar with either.

Edited by Baal_T'shuvah

Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

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Those Dutch angles were the best thing the film had going for it. (And Natalie Portman, who's worth watching even in a throwaway "girlfriend" role.)

This is the most hated thing about Thor by one of the guys in my apartment complex. He hates Portman ad felt the filmwould have been better without her. :)

"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

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(And Natalie Portman, who's worth watching even in a throwaway "girlfriend" role.)

Watching? Or just looking at?

You know, I'm not sure. I sometimes have fun here describing actresses who induce salivation on sight, but Portman, while attractive, has never been one who has quite that effect on me. (I've written here about the few who do. They include Julianne Moore and Diane Lane. But I've posted here for enough years that an update is due! These actresses don't really have anywhere near the impact on me they once did. Not because they've grown older, but more likely because I've grown older and just don't respond to physical beauty the way I did, say, 20 or even 10 years ago. Plus -- and I should get this in, shouldn't I? -- my wife is gorgeous. I have no needs in this area.)

Sure, Portman's attractive, and that's part of what makes it enjoyable to watch her on screen. I remember her holding my gaze during Brothers, a film that didn't have much impact otherwise. But I barely noticed her in those Star Wars films. In Thor, let's say that I became much more interested in the film whenever she was on screen, even if her performance wasn't anything to write home about.

So ... I haven't answered the question, have I? I revert to the first sentence of this response: I'm not sure.

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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(And Natalie Portman, who's worth watching even in a throwaway "girlfriend" role.)

Watching? Or just looking at?

You know, I'm not sure.

I've been reading through Film Crit Hulk's archives and he writes up a pretty solid breakdown of why Peggy Carter works in Captain America, but Jane Foster doesn't in Thor:

HERE IS THE NARRATIVE ARC FOR THOR AND JANE: SHE KEEP RUNNING OVER HIM WITH HER CAR. SHE THINKS HE CRAZY. SHE SO ATTRACTED TO HIS MUSCLES IT MAKE HER NERVOUS. THEY FLIRT. HE CONTINUE TO GIVE HER NO EVIDENCE THAT HE NOT CRAZY. SHE PUT TRUST IN HIM FOR SOME REASON. THEN THEY LOVE EACH OTHER FOR SOME REASON. SHE RESTORES HIS HUMILITY FOR SOME REASON. HE GETS TRAPPED BACK IN ASGARD. SHE VOWS TO KEEP SEARCHING FOR HIM.

AS MUCH AS GOODWILL AS THE TWO LEADS PUT INTO IT, THEIR STORY NEVER COMPUTES. IN EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEIR SCENES, THE WRITERS NOT GIVE THEM NARRATIVE REASON TO LIKE EACH OTHER, NOR GIVE THEM A STRONG ENOUGH REASON TO EVEN TRY. THE NARRATIVE REASON FOR THEIR LOVE ESSENTIALLY COME DOWN TO “PRETTY PEOPLE LIKE EACH OTHER.” WHICH IN TURN SOLELY MAKES LOVE STORY FULLY DEPENDENT ON THE ASSUMPTION OF THEY’LL “TOTALLY HAVE CHEMISTRY” OR WHATEVER. FOR EXAMPLE, BOTH THE SCENE IN THE TRAILER AND THE SCENE ON THE ROOF FEEL LIKE “NOW HERE’S THE SCENE WHERE WE ARE INTIMATE AND START LIKING EACH OTHER, SO LET’S TRY AND MAKE THAT HAPPEN.” READ: IT FELT FORCED. AND THAT NOT LOVE. IT THE IDEA OF LOVE. THOR REALLY DO HAVE A LOT OF CHARM AND ENERGY TO IT, BUT IT NOT WORK ON LARGER STORY LEVEL BECAUSE NONE OF THE SCENES HAVE MEANING OR INTENTION INGRAINED INTO IT ON A STORY LEVEL. IT JUST ASSUMED.

As much as I think Portman is a fantastic actress, she is also only as good as the script she's working with. And in Thor, as with the Star Wars prequels, the script doesn't work on a level that gives her much to do other than be eye candy.

To be fair, I don't think Thor is a character who works great with a love interest as a primary story point. In fact, I think making Jane Foster a smaller part wouldn't hurt this sequel at all.

"It's a dangerous business going out your front door." -- J.R.R. Tolkien
"I want to believe in art-induced epiphanies." -- Josie
"I would never be dismissive of pop entertainment; it's much too serious a matter for that." -- NBooth

"If apologetics could prove God, I would lose all faith in Him." -- Josie

"What if--just what if--the very act of storytelling is itself redemptive? What if gathering up the scraps and fragments of a disordered life and binding them between the pages of a book in all of their fragmentary disorder is itself a gambit against that disorder?" -- NBooth

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To be fair, I don't think Thor is a character who works great with a love interest as a primary story point. In fact, I think making Jane Foster a smaller part wouldn't hurt this sequel at all.

I haven't read the comments, but in Norse mythology, Thor marries the goddess, Sif. Looking over the credits, it looks like she was already in the first film as just one of the Asgardian warriors.

Because of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tokien and Richard Wagner, I've grown up with a love for Norse mythology. While I liked Marvel's Thor, I'm conflicted about him as a comic book superhero because it dumbs down and commercializes the story and characters to such a high degree. The mystery and otherworldly "Northerness" that Lewis loved to talk about is gone. Chris Hemsworth does an excellent job adding a flair of grandiloquence to the character, but it doesn't make up for this.

Whatever they do with a sequel, with either a human or a mythological love interest or not, I have a hard time imagining how it could be interesting unless they went more along Neil Gaiman American Gods lines. They should set up a conflict that highlights Thor's ancient old-world values against a villain who reflects more modern values. To me, that's the most interesting theme with the idea of Thor as a superhero, and it's a theme that the first film only vaguely hinted at once or twice.

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To be fair, I don't think Thor is a character who works great with a love interest as a primary story point. In fact, I think making Jane Foster a smaller part wouldn't hurt this sequel at all.

I haven't read the comments, but in Norse mythology, Thor marries the goddess, Sif. Looking over the credits, it looks like she was already in the first film as just one of the Asgardian warriors.

Because of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tokien and Richard Wagner, I've grown up with a love for Norse mythology. While I liked Marvel's Thor, I'm conflicted about him as a comic book superhero because it dumbs down and commercializes the story and characters to such a high degree. The mystery and otherworldly "Northerness" that Lewis loved to talk about is gone. Chris Hemsworth does an excellent job adding a flair of grandiloquence to the character, but it doesn't make up for this.

To be sure, the Marvel character Thor is only based on the Norse god. But this is an interesting comment. I appreciate Lewis, Tolkien and Wagner's respect for the mythology and what they did through their interpretations of it, but Marvel's character is again another such interpretation. Certainly, as a Christian, I hold no ultimate value in the original myths.

While you may say it's a dumbing down of the story, on the other hand I appreciate the way this character can be used in an ever-changing modern day to comment on a wide range of subjects including mythology, religion, responsibility and heroism. It has a base in a tradition, but both acknowledges it's variation and sets itself up as open-ended interpretation.

Now, the comics are allowed to do this more "naturally" while the film interpretations suffer from even more "dumbing down." But I'm tickled pink that we're at the point we get to see it on-screen.

Whatever they do with a sequel, with either a human or a mythological love interest or not, I have a hard time imagining how it could be interesting unless they went more along Neil Gaiman American Gods lines. They should set up a conflict that highlights Thor's ancient old-world values against a villain who reflects more modern values. To me, that's the most interesting theme with the idea of Thor as a superhero, and it's a theme that the first film only vaguely hinted at once or twice.

I like where you're going here. I admit, I haven't followed the Thor comics in a few years. I wonder if this has been explored recently.

"It's a dangerous business going out your front door." -- J.R.R. Tolkien
"I want to believe in art-induced epiphanies." -- Josie
"I would never be dismissive of pop entertainment; it's much too serious a matter for that." -- NBooth

"If apologetics could prove God, I would lose all faith in Him." -- Josie

"What if--just what if--the very act of storytelling is itself redemptive? What if gathering up the scraps and fragments of a disordered life and binding them between the pages of a book in all of their fragmentary disorder is itself a gambit against that disorder?" -- NBooth

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Whatever they do with a sequel, with either a human or a mythological love interest or not, I have a hard time imagining how it could be interesting unless they went more along Neil Gaiman American Gods lines. They should set up a conflict that highlights Thor's ancient old-world values against a villain who reflects more modern values. To me, that's the most interesting theme with the idea of Thor as a superhero, and it's a theme that the first film only vaguely hinted at once or twice.

The Thor story arc does even better than that. In one series, Thor moves Asgard to Earth and begins healing people and fixing everything. People start to worship him as a deity. One villian in this series is a Christian that tries to kill Thor as part of a growing monotheistic revolt against his presence. This was a relatively recent arc, but all throughout the Thor comics are moments that recognize the difficulty of thinking of Thor and other Asgardians as gods in a universe populated by powerful aliens, modified humans, and a looming figure some think of as a vestige of the Judeo-Christian God. It is a fairly consistent theme.

Though I hope they don't go to the Asgard in New York series for this sequel, as I can see it all becoming a mess in a hurry. Thor has more epic battles to fight. I thought Thor 2 would be the spot they would advance the

Thanos storyline referenced at the end of Avengers

, but apparently not. Whatever the film will cover, I assume it will have to advance the growing web of tie-ins to the Avengers storyline.

I liked the last Thor film as the cinematography at times did match much of the artwork in recent Thor comics. I always found that Thor's universe bending locations gave his artists a lot to play with, and the film did well in reproducing this creativity. I wasn't bothered by Portman so much because I really don't expect much out of comic book romances. Of all the upcoming Marvel films, I look forward to this one the most for reasons Darryl mentions above.

Edited by M. Leary

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

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The Thor story arc does even better than that. In one series, Thor moves Asgard to Earth and begins healing people and fixing everything. People start to worship him as a deity. One villian in this series is a Christian that tries to kill Thor as part of a growing monotheistic revolt against his presence. This was a relatively recent arc, but all throughout the Thor comics are moments that recognize the difficulty of thinking of Thor and other Asgardians as gods in a universe populated by powerful aliens, modified humans, and a looming figure some think of as a vestige of the Judeo-Christian God. It is a fairly consistent theme.

Was that arc collected into a volume?

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Did someone say... elves?

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Having played the baddie in G.I. Joe, The Seeker and probably various other films, Christopher Eccleston will now play Malekith the Accursed, leader of the aforementioned Dark Elves.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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