News / Arts & Entertainment

Marvel Comics Superhero 'Thor' Hits Big Screen

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) in THOR, from Paramount Pictures and Marvel Entertainment.
Thor (Chris Hemsworth) in THOR, from Paramount Pictures and Marvel Entertainment.

Multimedia

Audio
Alan Silverman

A super-hero inspired by Norse mythology leaps from the pages of Marvel Comics onto the big screen in an action adventure directed by Kenneth Branagh. Here's a look at Thor.



THOR:
"What realm  is this? Alfheim? Nordheim?"
WOMAN: "New Mexico."
THOR: "Oh no, this is Earth, isn't it?"
WOMAN: "Where did he come from?"

The muscular, blond-haired warrior comes from Asgard, a world ruled by his father Odin. In ancient times, the Asgardians were heralded as gods when they visited the lands of the Vikings. In this modern-day adventure, Thor lands on Earth after being cast out by his father.

"You are unworthy of these realms! You are unworthy of your title! You are unworthy! I now take from you your powers. In the name of my father and his father before, I cast you out!"



Without the magical hammer that he wielded, Thor is just another handsome warrior. But to scientist Jane Porter, played by Oscar-winner Natalie Portman, he seems to be much more and she wants to learn all about his home.

Left to right: Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) in THOR, from Paramount Pictures and Marvel Entertainment.
Left to right: Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) in THOR, from Paramount Pictures and Marvel Entertainment.

"Your ancestors called it magic and you call it science. I come from a place where they are one and the same," the superhero tells Porter.

Thor made his comic book debut in 1962. Five decades later, the Marvel Comics hero is a movie star in Kenneth Branagh's film of the same name.

Left to right: Chris Hemsworth (as Thor), Stellan Skarsgård (as Selvig), and director Kenneth Branagh discuss a scene on the set of THOR, from Paramount Pictures and Marvel Entertainment.
Left to right: Chris Hemsworth (as Thor), Stellan Skarsgård (as Selvig), and director Kenneth Branagh discuss a scene on the set of THOR, from Paramount Pictures and Marvel Entertainment.

"I liked his wild quality. I liked the Viking at the center of it," Branagh says. "That's what I saw in those images in a comic book: that he was volatile. ...One of the things we were trying to achieve in the telling of the story is that he would feel 'in the moment,' that there could be some kind of genuine danger."

Branagh picked a rising young star from Australia to play the Teutonic warrior-god. Chris Hemsworth knew he needed to please Thor's many fans around the world.

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) in THOR, from Paramount Pictures and Marvel Entertainment.
Thor (Chris Hemsworth) in THOR, from Paramount Pictures and Marvel Entertainment.

"I started with the comic books. I didn't read however many thousands there are, 40 or 50 years worth, but I certainly read enough to get a sense of who he was and the world he was from," explains Hemsworth. "Then I read some things about Norse mythology. You fill your head with whatever information and research you have, but on set it was just about making it truthful."

Award-winning British actor Tom Hiddleston co-stars as Thor's mischievous half-brother Loki.

Left to right: Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) in THOR, from Paramount Pictures and Marvel Entertainment.
Left to right: Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) in THOR, from Paramount Pictures and Marvel Entertainment.

"If you boil this film down to its barest elements, it's about two brothers competing for the love and affection and pride of their father, Odin," he explains.


Kenneth Branagh has described the Thor plot as Shakespearean. But Oscar-winner Anthony Hopkins, who plays Odin, says he found inspiration in classic Hollywood movies.

Odin (Anthony Hopkins) in THOR, from Paramount Pictures and Marvel Entertainment.
Odin (Anthony Hopkins) in THOR, from Paramount Pictures and Marvel Entertainment.

"We had about a week's readings beforehand;  we talked a bit about the good old westerns," recalls Hopkins. "There's a wonderful film called Lawmen, which Ken and I talked about. It starred Burt Lancaster and was a great movie about rival factions: the father, played by Lee J. Cobb, and all these bad sons he's got -- to have that sort of feeling of the autocratic father and the troublesome sons."

"He has disobeyed his king. His fate is in his own hands now."

Branagh says he is not suggesting Thor is on a par with Shakespeare. But he insists the themes are similar and familiar.

"I think the connection, if there is one, is that the stakes are high," explains Brahagh. "So in something like Henry IV or Henry V where the young Prince Hal is a reckless man falling into bad company, could that prince be the king? Is he the right man for the job? That kind of story of a flawed hero who must earn the right to be king is in our piece; but I think what is key is the stakes. There it is Europe and England and power; here it is the universe."

Just as he does in the comic books, Thor will make an appearance in The Avengers, an upcoming action-adventure film that brings together an assortment of Marvel Comics heroes - and villains.



You May Like

Brutality Eroding IS Financial Support

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says IS's penchant for publicizing beheadings, other brutal forms of punishment hurts group’s bottom line More

Studies: Climate Change a Factor in Disasters in Syria, California

The studies point to the possibility of clear and present dangers from a threat often considered to be far in the future More

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukrainei
X
March 03, 2015 3:11 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video US, Cuba Report Progress in Latest Talks to Restore Ties

The United States and Cuba say they have made progress in the second round of talks on restoring diplomatic relations more than 50 years after breaking off ties. Delegations from both sides met in Washington on Friday to work on opening embassies in Havana and Washington and iron out key obstacles to historic change. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas reports from the State Department.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video NYC's Restaurant Week: An Economic Boom in Fine Dining

New Yorkers take pride in setting world trends — in fashion, the arts and fine dining. The city’s famous biannual Restaurant Week plays a significant role in a booming tourism industry that sustains 359,000 jobs and generates $61 billion in yearly revenue. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
Video

Video Brookhaven at Cutting Edge of US Energy Research

Issues like the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking and instability in the Middle East are driving debate in the U.S. about making America energy independent. Recently, the American Energy Innovation Council urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a priority. One beneficiary of increased energy spending would be the Brookhaven National Lab, where clean, renewable, efficient energy is the goal. VOA's Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

Country-pop singer, Lizzie Sider sits down with "Border Crossings" host Larry London to perform songs from her new album, “Butterfly,” and to talk about her anti-bullying tour.

Blogs

African Music Treasures