- Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Rene Russo, Stellan Skarsgard, Jaimie Alexander, Kat Dennings, Ray Stevenson, Josh Dallas, Tadanobu Asano, Idris Elba, Clark Gregg, Colm Feore, Eric Allan Kramer, Matthias Schweighöfer, J. Michael Straczynski, Michael Papajohn, Adriana Barraza, Matt Battaglia, Josh Coxx, Patrick O'Brien Demsey, Troy Brenna, Harley Graham, Kimberly Evan, Joseph Gatt, Courtney Jones, Deena Trudy, Darren Kendrick, Michael Rebeiro
- Director: Kenneth Branagh
- Writers: Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz, Don Payne, J. Michael Straczynski, Mark Protosevich
- Producer: Kevin Feige
- Co Producers: Victoria Alonso, Craig Kyle
- Associate Producers: Alicia Gelernt, Debra James
- Executive Producers: Louis D'Esposito, Stan Lee, David Maisel, Patricia Whitcher
- Art Direction: Maya Shimoguchi
- Castings: Sarah Finn, Randi Hiller
- Costume Design: Alexandra Byrne
- D.O.P.: Haris Zambarloukos
- Editor: Paul Rubell
- Makeup: Luisa Abel
- Music: Patrick Doyle
- Production Design: Bo Welch
- Set Decoration: Lauri Gaffin
Paramount Pictures and Marvel Entertainment present the epic adventure, "Thor," which spans the Marvel Universe from present day Earth to the realm of Asgard. At the center of the story is the mighty Thor (Chris Hemsworth), a powerful but arrogant warrior whose reckless actions reignite an ancient war. Thor is cast down to Earth by his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) and is forced to live among humans. A beautiful, young scientist, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), has a profound effect on Thor, as she ultimately becomes his first love. It's while here on Earth that Thor learns what it takes to be a true hero when the most dangerous villain of his world sends the darkest forces of Asgard to invade Earth.
- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
- Filming Locations: Los Angeles, USA; New York City, USA; Santa Fe, Mexico
- MPAA Warning: Sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence
- Production Budget: $150 million
- Production Companies: Marvel Studios
- Production Schedule: December 2008 - June 2009
2011 Guide Analysis: "Arguably the biggest gamble that Marvel Studios has taken thus far, "Thor" adapts a comic character more famous for his mythical origins than for being a superhero. It's also a premise that seems to fly against the current generation of Marvel's films which try to portray their characters in both a shared universe and as realistic a fashion as possible.
Audiences will buy heightened reality - a man in a rocket powered suit, a scientists turned green monster in an experiment gone awry, even a bio-chemically enhanced soldier from the past frozen for decades and revived. All are Earth-based secular notions cloaked in the common element of science fiction.
"Thor" on the other hand is outright fantasy, the Norse Gods exist and duke it out with powerful alien beings from the depths of the cosmos. To be fair Marvel has tried to ground it as much as possible and shift the tone back towards science fiction - half the action is set on Earth, while Asgard isn't a fantasy realm but another planet which is the location of an ancient civilisation of advanced human-like beings.
A smart move seems to be to bring in Kenneth Branagh as director. Arguably cinema's greatest authority on the works of Shakespeare, he seems the perfect fit for this tale of a disgraced prince, royal family betrayal and larger than life conflict. Branagh brought with him the impressive young Tom Hiddleston with whom he worked on the superb BBC "Wallander" TV movies, great British actor Idris Elba, a scenery-chewing Anthony Hopkins, and the welcome return of Rene Russo to the screen.
Yet something about the film feels a little off. The studio jumped the gun by showing a five minute reel of the film at Comic Con last year - a reel that not only showed much of the movie but which shortly after leaked online (and in good quality). The problem is that after that burst of excitement, all the subsequent trailers haven't yielded much in the way of new footage beyond a few effects shots. While "Captain America" has grown more impressive with each new photo or clip release, "Thor" promotional materials unfortunately have felt like more of the same.
The footage itself is also leading to a quite varied reaction. The Shakespeare-meets-Star Trek/Stargate aesthetic will go down well with hardcore fans of the genre but will have a tougher time with general audiences who prefer their sci-fi to be more of the "ray blasters and handsome rebels duking it out" kind than Masterpiece Theater dramatics with a bigger budget. The focus on the more Earth-bound antics in the most recent trailers helps, but it'll be curious to see how much of it fits into the final product.
The choice of Chris Hemsworth is an interesting one. I've been familiar with the blond Aussie's work since 2004 when he was shooting the soap "Home and Away" outside my front door. On the show he was hired as the new 'hunk' of the Bay - he's always been very tall with a great build and interesting voice. As an actor he started off a little rough but became one of the better talents on the show by the time he left for America.
Most are only familiar with his brief cameo in J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek", an emotional scene he played well. Here though is a role that's far trickier, one very different from what he's played before. Initially it's the petulant child of privilege meets fish-out-of-water routine that later softens into a more humanistic approach. The glimpses of those more human elements in the trailers look good, but some of the line deliveries in those early scenes I wonder about.
The film is opening a few weeks earlier in international territories where it's expected to perform better than Marvel's other Summer tentpole this year "Captain America". Comic book films overseas almost always fare far worse than they do domestically. The fanbase of "Thor" though should make it a much more even balance this time around. Yet it seems highly unlikely this will achieve "Iron Man" numbers, more likely it'll be something along "The Incredible Hulk" lines."