A list of trivia related to Thor.
References to the Marvel Cinematic Universe
- The after credits scene where Nick Fury shows Erik Selvig the Tesseract, was not directed by Kenneth Branagh, but by The Avengers director Joss Whedon. The scene set the path for Selvig being controlled by Loki in The Avengers. Samuel L. Jackson describes his the post-credit scene as "connective tissue to The Avengers."
References to Marvel Comics
- Characters from the comics adapted for the movie are Thor, Loki, Jane Foster, Odin, Sif, Volstagg, Fandral, Hogun, Frigga, Laufey and Jasper Sitwell.
- This iteration of THor is inspired by both the classic Marvel Comics universe and the "Ultimate Marvel" comics.
- Comic book writer Stan Lee, who created Thor in 1962, has a cameo in the film as the truck driver who attempts to tow the hammer Mjølnir out of the crater it landed in... and fails miserably.
- Writer J. Michael Straczynski, whose "Thor" comics storyline is serving as an influence on this film, has a cameo appearance in the film.
- Comic book writer/artist Walter Simonson, whose work on "Thor" was highly renowned and acclaimed, was approached for a cameo appearance in the film, but turned it down.
- The filmmakers cite the work/art of "Thor" writers Jack Kirby, Walter Simonson and J. Michael Straczynski as an influence on the look of the film.
- When Thor asks the pet store clerk for dogs, cats and birds large enough to ride, he may be alluding to a number of creatures from the Nine Realms from the comics. The large dogs may be referencing Fenris Wolf or Garm, who were guardians of Hel. The large cats may be referencing the Riding Cats which were used by the Cat Elves of Alfheim. The large birds may be referencing Agnar, King of Eagles who lived in Asgard or Lerad, a giant bird that lived at the top of Yggdrasil.
- Originally, the persona of Dr. Donald Blake (Thor's alternate identity/personality) was going to be in the film, and Kevin McKidd was considered for the part.
- Brad Pitt was rumored for the role of Thor; Channing Tatum and WWE wrestler Paul Levesque (aka Triple H) was considered for the part; Daniel Craig was the first choice; and Charlie Hunnam, Tom Hiddleston, Alexander Skarsgård, Liam Hemsworth and Joel Kinnaman tested for the role, but Chris Hemsworth got the part.
- Jim Carrey was a long-time favorite and candidate for the role of Loki since The Mask (1994), which indirectly featured Loki (but put in more fame his magic powers). Josh Hartnett was also rumored for the role.
- Tom Hiddleston initially auditioned for the role of Thor, but Kenneth Branagh felt he would make a better antagonist and cast him as Loki.
- Gemma Arterton was considered for the role of Jane Foster.
- Natalie Portman took the role of Jane Foster because she couldn't resist the opportunity of a comic-book film directed by acclaimed director Kenneth Branagh: "I was just like Kenneth Branagh doing Thor is super-weird, I've gotta do it."
- Jessica Biel was rumored and Diora Baird auditioned for the role of Sif.
- Brian Blessed was rumored for the role of Odin.
- Zachary Levi was approached for the role of Fandral, but had to turn it down due to scheduling conflicts. Dominic Cooper was rumored but Stuart Townsend was then cast in the role. Days before filming began, Townsend left the role, citing "creative differences" with the filmmakers. Finally Joshua Dallas took the role, and Zachary Levi later played the role in Thor: The Dark World.
- Mel Gibson was offered the part of Odin, but turned it down.
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- In 2005, Matthew Vaughn was going to direct this film, describing it as "the birth of a hero, interweaving Gladiator (2000) with Norse mythology." He went on to direct the superhero films Kick-Ass (2010) and for Marvel X-Men: First Class (2011).
- In August 2007, Matthew Vaughn was hired to direct the film with a script by Mark Protosevich. He was going to start filming in late 2008, but his holding deal expired in May 2008, so he left and was replaced by Kenneth Branagh.
- In the 1990s, Sam Raimi had planned to direct this film after Darkman (1990). He later went on to do Spider-Man (2002), another Marvel hero, and its sequels.
- In April 2006, screenwriter and "Thor" fan Mark Protosevich wrote a script for the film, which he described as "an Old Testament God who becomes a New Testament God." However, the script was so laden with VFX-worthy sequences that it would require $300 million to film, so when Matthew Vaughn signed on, he rewrote and trimmed the script to bring the budget down to a more agreeable $150 million.
- In December 2004, David S. Goyer was in negotiations to write and direct the film.
- Around September 2008 D.J. Caruso was discussing taking on the project.
- Tom Hiddleston was chosen after previously collaborating with Kenneth Branagh on the theatrical play "Ivanov" and the TV series Wallander (2008).
- Tom Hiddleston described his role of Loki as "a comic-book, but nastier version, of King Lear's Edmund." In the play, Edmund was a prince who was jealous of his brother Edgar and tricked his father into banishing him into exile.
- Tom Hiddleston prepared for the role by going on a strict diet before and throughout filming, so that Loki would have a lean but hungry visage, and training in the Brazilian martial art of capoeira.
- For his role as the warrior Volstagg, Ray Stevenson wore a specially designed fat suit that gave Volstagg a round but tough appearance: "What we've done is kind of sex Volstagg up... he's got every bit of that Falstaffian verve and vigour, and a bit of a beergut to suggest an enormous appetite, but he's not the Weeble-shaped figure in the comics. He's Falstaff with muscles!"
- Thor's secret production code name is "Manhattan".
- Kenneth Branagh conceptualized this film as a Norse/comic-book twist on both Der Himmel über Berlin (1987) and William Shakespeare's 'Henry V', which was about a young king who underwent trials and tribulations: fighting a war, courting a girl from another land, and basic character development.
- To prepare of the role of Fandral, Joshua Dallas drew inspiration from renowned swashbuckler Errol Flynn and his films: "Flynn had a lot of that boyish charm that Fandral's got all that in him." The comics' characterization of Fandral was also based on Flynn, also Dallas described his role of Fandral as "the R. Kelly of Asgard".
- Around 2000, the film was going to be a made-for-TV special to be produced by UPN, and Tyler Mane was approached to play Thor.
- According to Kenneth Branagh, the film's biggest challenge was connecting the worlds of Asgard and 21st century Earth: "It's about finding the framing style, the color palette, finding the texture and the amount of camera movement that helps celebrate and express the differences and distinctions in those worlds. If it succeeds, it will mark this film as different... The combination of the primitive and the sophisticated, the ancient and the modern, I think that potentially is the exciting fusion, the exciting tension in the film."
- Kenneth Branagh has been a fan of "The Mighty Thor" comic since childhood.
- Anthony Hopkins claims he relates to his role of Odin: "I'm a little like Odin myself. He's a stern man. He's a man with purpose. I play the god who banishes his son from Asgard because he screwed up. He's a hot-headed, temperamental young man, probably a chip off of the old block... but I decide he's not really ready to rule the future kingdom, so I banish him. I'm harsh and my wife complains and I say 'That is why I'm king.' He's ruthless, take-it-or-leave-it."
- A model of the Destroyer armor was constructed for the film.
- An entire town was constructed in Galisteo, New Mexico, to serve as a fictional location for the film.
- Colm Feore's makeup as Laufey took five hours to apply.
- Jaimie Alexander, who plays Sif, had served on the high-school wrestling team at her high school in her Texas hometown of Colleyville, so she says she had some experience fighting to use.
- Chris Hemsworth has had prior experience with wielding a hammer, having worked as a builder in Australia for a few years.
- According to Chris Hemsworth, the action coordinators experimented with different combat styles, but ultimately the fighting technique Thor utilizes is an original one, based on boxing: stance low to the ground, with big powerful hip movements.
- To prepare for the role of Thor, Chris Hemsworth put on a massive amount of build and weight, through a six-month regime of trips to the gym and indulging in a massive diet of eggs, chicken, sandwiches, vegetables, brown rice, steak and protein drinks.
- The final choice for the role of Thor came down to brothers Chris Hemsworth and Liam Hemsworth. Chris found it funny: "we both came all the way over here from Australia and ended up battling against each other." He however bore no ill-will towards Liam, claiming he was rooting for him to get the role.
- To prepare for the role of Heimdall, Idris Elba read the "Thor" comics where Heimdall featured prominently: "He's a very central character and I wanted to reflect him as he is in the comic books."
- This is Natalie Portman's second comic-book film after V for Vendetta (2005).
- Tom Hiddleston found Loki's helmet very uncomfortable, as it was heavy to wear and he couldn't see properly out of it. He channeled this discomfort into Loki's battle scenes.
- When Chris Hemsworth and Anthony Hopkins saw each other in full armors for the first time, Hopkins said "God, there's no acting required here, is there?"
- The film's portrayal of Thor combines the classic Marvel Comics character (Thor is cast down to earth to as punishment for his arrogance) with the Marvel "Ultimate" character (Thor is dismissed by many on earth as a crazy deluded man).
- A model of the Infinity Gauntlet, a very powerful weapon in the "Marvel Comics" universe, was constructed for this film. The model is made from bronze and copper (with jewels made from resin) and weighs 60 pounds. It was built to be operational so that animatronics could be built on it.
- Thor holds a drawing of a crossroads with nine orbs in it. This is his perception and representation of Yggdrasil, in Norse mythology a great tree around which the nine worlds are tethered, making up the universe.
- Chris Hemsworth is the fourth actor named "Chris" to take on a super hero role, after Christopher Reeve (Superman), Christian Bale (Batman) and Chris Evans (the Human Torch, and later Captain America).
- Tom Hiddleston researched Marvel Comics' Loki and found him to be a multi-dimensional character, so based his performance as Loki on three different actors: Peter O'Toole (enigmatic reckless persona), Jack Nicholson (edgy and near-insane persona), and Clint Eastwood (persona with simmering anger).
- Anthony Hopkins signed on as Odin despite never reading a "Thor" comic or knowing anything about the Thor mythology. It was the concept of the father and son relationship that intrigued him about the role.
- Sir Anthony Hopkins, who plays Thor's father Odin, had signed on to play Superman's father Jor-El in Superman: Man of Steel (2012) in 2002, but the film got delayed and eventually shelved. He had also previously starred with Superman (1978)'s Christopher Reeve in The Remains of the Day (1993).
- Anthony Hopkins is the fourth British Knight to act in a comic book film, after Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen (X-Men - Professor X and Magneto), and Sir Michael Caine (Batman - Alfred Pennyworth).
- Both Kenneth Branagh and Tom Hiddleston were performing in a West End stage production of "Ivanov" when it was announced that Branagh would direct this movie. At the 2010 Empire Movie Con, Hiddleston recalled one night when, as a joke, he burst into Branagh's dressing room wielding an empty plastic container from a water cooler like Mjølnir, shouting "Come on, Ken, what do you think!?". Brannagh's response was reportedly a very jokey "You never know, darling, stranger things have happened". Two months later, Hiddleston was auditioning for Thor, before landing the role as Loki.
- The Tuning Fork, object used to summon the Fear Lord known as the Lurking Unknown.
- When Tom Hiddleston learnt he was going to be in the film, he was in "a grizzly pub" in North London, and caused an uproar there by screaming out loud.
- Stan Lee claims he'd always wanted to play Odin, but was happy with Anthony Hopkins's casting and performance in the role.
- Colm Feore described his role of Laufey as "the Napoleon of Frost Giants", and drew inspiration from Anthony Hopkins, Max von Sydow and Paul Scofield (it was originally going to be all Hopkins, but Kenneth Branagh said they didn't need two Hopkins in the film).
- This is Anthony Hopkins's first comic book film. He was previously offered the role of Alfred in Batman Begins (2005).
- According to Don Payne, Jane Foster was more of a stereotypical scientist (dry and skeptical), but Natalie Portman wished to revise the character to make her more poetic: "She thought Jane could be someone who thinks outside of the box, someone whose theories are considered outlandish and are frowned upon by the scientific community. But it's the kind of thinking that leads to great discoveries. When Thor arrives, she's willing to take a leap of faith - and she has to pay the consequences for it."
- According to producer Kevin Feige, the Bifrost bridge is the film's most interesting set: "In the comics, it's literally a rainbow that extends out from Asgard and pops down on Earth. We're not necessarily doing that; we're not having the big hard solid lines of colors. We're saying it's some sort of energy, almost a solid quartz bridge that as the light catches it and flows through it, you get some of that rainbow-esque quality to it."
- In Iron Man 2, Thor's hammer Mjølnir was first seen lying in a crater in New Mexico. This was based on the comics, where, in the aftermath of an apocalyptic event on Asgard, Mjølnir was cast out to land in New Mexico, where it lay until Thor came to reclaim it.
- According to Kenneth Branagh, Odin runs the Marvel Universe. It was Odin who hid away the Tesseract in Captain America: The First Avenger, and the Infinity Gauntlet in The Avengers.
- Jane Foster is seen wearing a special top when the Destroyer attacks; on it is a sun partially covered with a thundercloud. This foreshadows the return of Thor's power.