From the moment Thor (Chris Hemsworth) looked at gladiator Hulk (Mark Ruffalo)and smiled with delight in the first Thor: Ragnarok teaser, fans instantly knew that this franchise was about to change in a major way. Director Taika Waititi has taken the God of Thunder into a considerably more offbeat direction with his upcoming threequel, and Thor’s line “We know each other! He’s a friend from work!” sells that idea better than any other. That said, it turns out that the line was not in the script, and it actually came from a Make-A-Wish kid who visited the set. Chris Hemsworth explained:
We had a young kid, a Make-A-Wish kid on set that day. In between the takes I was talking with him, kind-of going back and forth. And he goes, ‘You know, you should say, he’s a friend from work!’ So that young man actually came up with it.
You have to imagine that the kid will look back on Thor: Ragnarok as one of his favorite Marvel movies of all time. Not only did he get to visit the set of the film, but he also had a hand in coming up with one of its best lines. It’s probably the most GIF-worthy moment from the entire first Ragnarok teaser, and it has handily served as one of the jokes that likely helped the movie’s first trailer break online recordsback in April.
It’s not hard to understand why Taika Waititi liked to keep things loose and improvisational on his Thor: Ragnarok set – in fact, 95% of the film’s dialogue is reportedly improv. The upcoming Marvel epic is his first real foray into the world of blockbuster filmmaking, and his previous movies (particularly What We Do in the Shadows and Hunt for the Wilderpeople) similarly relied on heavy improvisation to deliver some of their best and most memorable lines. Beyond that, Taika Waititi’s “Team Thor” mockumentaries have also allowed Chris Hemsworth unprecedented freedom to dive into his comedic chops and provide some off-the-cuff jokes. The guy knows offbeat improv, so this particular suggestion probably caught his interest almost immediately.
We are not surprised by Chris Hemsworth’s remarks to EW, as the folks at Marvel have always had a knack for engaging with their younger fans and creating a sense of immersion. Whether it’s Robert Downey Jr. delivering a bionic arm to a young fan as Tony Stark, or Chris Pratt and Chris Evans taking the time to see sick kids in hospitals, these fictional heroes seem to have taken every opportunity to show their fans that they truly care. That’s what being a hero is all about, right?
She’s played Queen Elizabeth, Bob Dylan, and elven royalty. So perhaps one of the few acting challenges left for Cate Blanchett is tackling a comic-book villain. She’s about to prove her Marvel mettle this fall as Hela, the Asgardian goddess of death who’ll wreak havoc in the November Avenger sequel Thor: Ragnarok.
Hela, who has had multiple incarnations in the comics, usually wears an elaborate headdress, but Blanchett also gave a lot of thought to how she’d look without her gear — and took some inspiration from fans online.
“When I was starting to think about how she might look, I went back to the fanbase,” said Blanchett, who recently spoke to Yahoo. “All these girls were doing Hela makeup looks on YouTube. I thought about what their takes on her were. I spoke to Marvel about what she would look like when she would be unmasked, so she wasn’t a faceless, generic baddie. They were very open to everything.”
Blanchett was first drawn to the project by director Taika Waititi and “his unique, slightly askew take on the universe,” she said. In Ragnarok, our hero, Thor (Chris Hemsworth), will battle Hela when she’s inadvertently unleashed on Asgard after spending millennia locked away. The scale of destruction that she represents is enough to unite the god of thunder with his seriously estranged brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and his Avenger rival the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), who’s along for this intergalactic ride.
The Marvel universe “needed a bit of a shakeup,” the actress said. “I didn’t realize until I got on the set that this is the first Marvel film incarnation of a female villain. What decade are we in? It was shocking to me. The character they created is ballsy and front-footed.” Hela also happens to be the reason Blanchett, 47, has some new street cred with her four children. “I earned a few brownie points,” she bragged.