With a slew of comic book movies primed to hit theaters this summer, it’s going to get harder and harder to make one stand out from the rest. With the May 6 release of Thor
rapidly approaching, we present five things that the flick needs to get right in order to be a success.
1. Asgard, Home of the Gods
One thing that Thor
has going for it that no other movie does is Asgard. In the comics, the home of the gods has always been portrayed as a vast realm with mountainous kingdoms and eclectic races. In order to stand out from the normal “capes and tights” crowd at the cinema, director Kenneth Branagh and his production team need to spare no expense when it comes to portraying Asgard in all of its majestic wonder. The city should be like nothing that has ever been seen on screen before and should combine elements from the Lord of the Rings
and the Star Wars
trilogies into one jaw-dropping world. Showcasing advanced technology and classic architecture, Asgard should be one of the film’s highlights and should leave people envious of the immaculate kingdom.
2. Giants, Monsters, and Mayhem
Another advantage that Thor
has over other superhero properties is the ability to depict distinct and imaginative races and creatures on screen. With Dark Elves, Frost Giants, Demons, Dwarves, and Trolls all being featured in the comics, the Thor film should take advantage of these creatures and create some memorable sequences that showcase the diversity of Asgard. Audiences love mythical creatures, as evidenced by the success of Lord of the Rings
, and they would be enthralled by the sight of Thor standing tall over the body of a fallen fire demon. That type of imagery isn’t common in a lot of films and would give Thor
a distinct visual edge over the comic book competition.
3. The Power of a God
Many superhero adaptations fall flat after they attempt to neuter the main character’s powers for the big screen. The Fantastic Four
movies portrayed the team as being more average than fantastic and Superman Returns
was more concerned with showing how Superman avoided paying child support for years rather than punching bad guys into orbit. Thor
needs to buck this trend by showing just how powerful a god really is. Whether he’s calling a massive storm down from the heavens or pounding his way through a tribe of Frost Giants, Thor needs to be shown on screen as the most powerful being to ever grace a comic adaptation. Plus, it would make the inevitable Hulk vs. Thor battle in the Avengers
movie that much more anticipated.
4. Length Befitting a God
With a blend of Norse mythology and comic book storytelling, the world of Thor is a pretty complicated place. There is a lot that needs to be explained in order for people to truly understand how the nine realms of Asgard co-exist and how the politics in the kingdom contribute to the rift between Loki and Thor. The last thing that the Thor movie should do is ignore these aspects of his world because it truly sets him apart from other heroes, but with so much information being given to the audience it might be difficult for a blockbuster movie to fit everything in. The best way to show as much as possible is to make the film at least 2 hours and 20 minutes long. With that length it is possible to make an entertaining Thor movie that still retains all of the nuances that made the comics so popular for decades.
5. Accessible Language
Early on in the Thor comics, Stan Lee gave every Asgardian a stilted, ridiculous dialect, like they were actors at a low-budget renaissance fair (see: frequent usage of words like “verily” and “forsooth”). While the characters should speak with a certain nobility, they should not sound like relics from the 16th century. When Joe Michael Straczynski took over the Thor
comic in 2007, he took his inspiration for Asgardians speech from the Lord of the Rings
films. Making the characters sound proper while keeping the dialect more modern, Straczynski had the right tone for the book and ultimately his direction was beloved by both comic fans and critics. The filmmakers should use this approach with all Asgardians unless they want to turn Thor into an unintentional comedy.