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When making multiple films about the same character, one of the pitfalls filmmakers need to avoid is making them all feel overly similar. It can be hard with the same lead, but with the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok, Marvel is taking great pains to differentiate the God of Thunder’s third solo adventure from his previous two turns.
With their Phase 3 cinematic slate looming on the horizon, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige sat down for a chat with Empire (via Comic Book Movie) and shared what they’re going to do differently on Ragnarok than on 2011’s Thor and 2013’s Thor: The Dark Word. He said:
It's going to be, perhaps, as totally different from the two prior Thor movies as Winter Soldier was from the first Captain America. We want to take it to new places, we've got new characters that will show how big we're swinging on this. And we have a Hulk.
Tonally, the first two Thor movies are already fairly different animals. The first film is more fantastic and magical, an introduction to a new side of the MCU with a budding romance at the core, while the follow up takes a darker approach, one that has more of a science fiction vibe.
Still, it’s easy to see Feige’s point, as Captain America: The First Avenger and Captain America: The Winter Soldier are, despite featuring the same protagonist, such drastically different movies. One is essentially an origin story combined with a war film, while the other is almost a two-hander of a detective story.
Thor: Ragnarok certainly has a number of different elements in play. We’ve spent a decent amount of time on Asgard before, but this time around we’ll be out there in the realms, and have little to no contact with Earth. Perhaps we’ll see some of what’s going on—maybe Heimdall will fill Thor in on what’s been going down with the events of Captain America: Civil War and the aftermath—but it likely won’t be too substantial and probably just serve to give the movie some context in the greater scheme of the MCU.
And, of course, as Feige says, there’s the Hulk. We don’t really know what the Big Green Guy will be up to, or even how he’ll find his way to Asgard or wherever Thor finds him (wonder if it has something to do with Doctor Strange?), but since we’re not likely to get a solo Hulk movie anytime soon thanks to the bickering between Marvel and Universal, we’ll take him when we can get him and we’ll like it.
Directed by Flight of the Conchords’ Taika Waititi, another fact that could make this feel significantly different from the previous movies, Thor: Ragnarok hits theaters July 28, 2017.