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THOR: Writing Gods is About Their Humanity

LOS ANGELES, CA – Translating a comic like Thor for the big screen is not an easy task, but that is just what Kenneth Branagh, Ashley Edward Miller, Zack Stentz, and Kevin Feige set out to do. Since the general public is not as familiar with the story of Thor as they might be with Superman or Spider-Man, this writing and directing team had a bit of a challenge: How to introduce the world of Thor and still have time for the rest of the movie. So, they decided to quite simply “throw’em in.”

L-R: Chris Hemsworth, Stellan Skarsgard, and director Kenneth Branagh discuss a scene on the set of THOR, from Paramount Pictures & Marvel Entertainment.

Feige was confident that Thor had an edge on other comic films, because it had a “sci-fi twist aided by trips to outerspace.” Thor lived up to Feige’s expectations by not “shying away from big giant gleaming cities in outer space.” He thought this mixing of genres could create a wider appeal for audiences to respond and relate to.

Ashley Miller discussed Thor’s experience of human life, and his struggle to learn humility before he could return home. He said his writing process began with figuring out the structure, and then “more importantly you figure out who the human being is.” Miller’s structure came from visualizing where Thor was on his journey, and developing him as a character as the plot unfolded.

Then there was a matter of an antagonist. Zack Stentz described Loki’s character as “the gold standard of villain,” because “if you asked him, he would say that he is the hero of that movie and its interesting putting yourself in the mindset of someone who from his perspective is completely right in what he’s doing.” Loki is a complex character, because although he is the bad guy “he does everything in his mind
out of love, or at least that’s what he tells himself. Writing for this character was difficult to not be sympathetic to him in some way, and that is basically what makes Loki so unnerving.”

During the writing process Feige addressed the issue of balancing the characters, because Thor took over too much, and there were “certainly drafts where Loki became too prominent.” They believe they were able to find a nice balance that clearly exhibits the origin of both characters, and they attribute much of their story telling prowess to the ability of the actors.

Thor opens in theaters today.

[Official Movie Site here]

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