WHERE THE FIRST two Thor movies pingponged the thunder-wrangler between Earth and Asgard, the latest one goes full cosmic. In the words of producer Brad Winderbaum, it’s an “intergalactic adventure” which has allowed Marvel “to try something new and send him off into space in a very linear plot”. Up until now, space has been the territory of the Guardians Of The Galaxy on screen, but in the Thor comics the hero often headed off to the stars. “And that’s where a lot of fun, trippy stuff that we’re bringing to the screen has come from,” says Winderbaum.
For director Taika Waititi, recruited fresh from 2016 fave Hunt For The Wilder-people, that meant going “over the top — but not in a negative way”. So not only is Thor reunited with his Asgard-destabilising brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), but he also winds up on a worm-holeridden trash-planet run by a combat-arena-owning Jeff Goldblum (as the Grandmaster), where he discovers the star gladiator is an old, green and very angry frenemy. Meanwhile, his latest nemesis is none other than Hela, queen of the underworld (above), played by Cate Blanchett, with huge, elaborate Cg-antlers of darkness.
All of that sounds like a lot to get to grips with. Will it be too much weirdness to handle? “It’s what it needs to be,” insists Waititi. “Especially to live up to a name like Ragnarok, you know? If we’re gonna do Ragnarok, we gotta do it properly. We just gotta throw it all in there.” DAN JOLIN