Though quite a few reviewers have used their “Thor: Ragnarok” reviews as a chance to take potshots at the previous films in the franchise, Kenneth Branagh’s 2011 first entry “Thor” remains one of the more important films in the formation of the MCU.
Speaking about it in reflection recently with Uproxx, Branagh discussed the pressure on him at the time of the film’s production. In many ways “Thor” was the precursor to “Guardians of the Galaxy” in that it had to introduce cosmic elements to the Marvel Cinematic Universe which had been grounded on Earth before that point – if it worked, which it did, the MCU could flourish. Branagh says:
“Remember, there were only two pictures in the Marvel Universe. Iron Man, genius, the first one. Hulk hadn’t worked as they’d hoped. And then number three, it was sink or swim before Captain America and then suddenly, oh, it was fine after that. No question that Kevin Feige used to say to me, ‘This is the single most difficult tonal challenge for us, to make this movie work in itself and fit into this larger universe.’ In fact, I think Thor, and in Chris Hemsworth’s performance, becomes an absolutely integral part.”
Branagh hasn’t yet seen ‘Ragnarok’ and says: “I am most certainly going to see Thor and I do care about it, and I’m thrilled they’re making a third one and I love that director.”
Branagh’s film embraced space opera – blending Shakespearian drama with galactic shenanigans and fish-out-of-water comedy. The subsequent “Thor: The Dark World” ran away from that, shifting to a dark fantasy vibe, before ‘Ragnarok’ not only pulled it back towards Branagh’s take but went much further than he did – indulging in the camp, self-satire and wild flights of fancy.
‘Ragnarok’ screenwriter Ryan Pearson has also revealed to Yahoo! News this week that the new film’s early script drafts had a call back to Branagh’s original with a cameo by the Destroyer armor which gets ripped apart by Hela during a visit to the Asgard armory. A new video is also out today offering a better look at the creation of Hela’s helmet, check it out below: