Captain America: Civil War kicked off Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in epic fashion by pitting virtually all of the established heroes against each other. However, one character who was conspicuously absent from the conflict was the God of Thunder himself. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) was en route to Asgard when last we saw him in Avengers: Age of Ultron and is set to return in director Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok, the third (and final?) film in the Thor franchise. Of course, wherever Thor goes, his trusty hammer Mjölnir is sure to come along for the ride. Of course, this begs the question of who exactly will be on the receiving of Thor’s “mean swing” (Tony Stark’s words, not ours) when his next film hits theaters in fall 2017.
Here are our guesses regarding which characters Thor will be fighting in Ragnarok.
With Mark Ruffalo officially returning as the Incredible Hulk/Bruce Banner for this film, there’s virtually no chance the powers-that-be at Marvel Studios will miss a chance to pit the emerald giant against the Asgardian prince, especially since a gladiatorial environment is set to play a pivotal role in the film. The last time Hulk and Thor came to blows was briefly in The Avengers, and we’re betting that we’ll at least get a brief rematch in Ragnarok before the two heroes team up to take on a formidable foe that threatens the fate of Asgard (and potentially Earth). After all, both Hulk and Thor missed out on the action in Civil War, and this is the franchise’s chance to make up for that absence.
Marvel released a synopsis that confirms Thor will battle Hulk in Thor: Ragnarok:
In Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok, Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok – the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization – at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first he must survive a deadly gladatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger – the Incredible Hulk!
[Update, 1/6/17: Added official synopsis from Marvel.]
Two-time Oscar winner Cate Blanchett will take center stage as the villainous Hela, the Asgardian goddess of death in the comics. The character’s addition to the MCU makes her the first main female villain in the films, and considering that she is most likely the primary cause of the apocalyptic events that called Thor back home in Age of Ultron, we’re all but guaranteed to see at least see a final showdown between fellow Aussies Hemsworth and Blanchett. At this point, plot details remain vague. We have yet to see the character design for Hela or how closely her abilities mirror her powers in the comics, which include magic, telepathy, and teleportation.
No Thor film is complete with a pivotal role for his adopted brother and arch-nemesis Loki (Tom Hiddleston). A longtime fan favorite, Hiddleston’s role in Thor: The Dark World was reportedly fleshed out following the character’s reception in The Avengers, and since that film ended with Loki surreptitiously sitting on the Asgardian throne, we can only assume that Thor will have a score to settle with his troublesome brother once he realizes the truth. If rumors are true, Hiddleston’s time in the MCU may be winding down, making one final Thor/Loki battle a certainty either here or in one of the upcoming Avengers films.
This character — sometimes known as Executioner — will join the series in Thor: Ragnarok in the form of Dredd and Star Trek actor Karl Urban. Right now, his role in the story is shrouded in mystery, but all indications point to him likely being a secondary villain who serves Hela in much the same way that he was used by the likes of Enchantress and Loki in the comics. It’s possible that Skurge will simply play a more limited role in Ragnarok and reappear in grander fashion when the Avengers reunite, but we’re betting that a face as recognizable as Urban will get his moment to shine opposite Thor himself.
Granted, the Mad Titan is unlikely to come to the forefront until the pair of upcoming Avengers films finally pay off the grand design behind his long-time quest for the Infinity Stones. Still, a huge third act twist in Ragnarok could reveal Thanos (Josh Brolin) as the true puppet master behind the chaos in Asgard. Imagine seeing Thor attempt to fight off Thanos, only to lose control of his home and likely the lives of his friends. Such an encounter would establish a firm emotional motivation behind Thor’s desire to thwart Thanos’ plans in upcoming films. A long shot maybe, but still one we wouldn’t mind seeing come to fruition.
Follow Robert Yaniz Jr. on Twitter @CrookedTable
Check out Entertainment Cheat Sheet on Facebook!