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

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to an enhancement or regression of democracy on the Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents 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.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

Singer Leyla McCalla takes up not only the guitar, but the banjo and cello to perform songs from her new disc, “A Tribute to Langston Hughes,” music that mixes the Creole rhythms of Haiti with the French Quarter flavor of New Orleans on this edition of "The Hamilton Live."