Thor: Ragnarok: Doctor Strange cameo, Sam Neill casting news, and everything you need to know

Fast Facts:

  • Thor: Ragnarok release date: November 3, 2017 (US), October 27, 2017 (UK)
  • Director: Taika Waititi
  • Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Mark Ruffalo, Cate Blanchett, Jeff Goldblum, Karl Urban, Tessa Thompson
  • Writer: Stephany Folsom

Thor: Ragnarok movie to hammer cinemas next year

Thor is getting his second sequel on 3 November 2017 in the US (27 October in the UK). After Thor: The Dark World - the weakest of Marvel’s Phase Two films despite the typically fun back-and-forth between Chris Hemsworth’s Thor and Tom Hiddleston’s Loki - Marvel knows a shake-up is needed to give the god of thunder the classic movie he deserves. Both Thor movies are fun, but they get nowhere near the top of the pile in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After Hemsworth's comedy star turn in Ghostbusters, Thor: Ragnorak should redress that balance.

Thor: Ragnorak trailer is absent, but there's been a mockumentary

Ignore reports of a trailer materialising at San Diego Comic Con - it didn't happen. But journalists were shown a behind-closed-doors mockumentary in which Thor hilariously attempts to live a normal life. While Cap and Tony are beating the crap out of each other, Thor is dealing with a roommate problem and working on the 'conspiracy theory wall' below, in order to figure out Thanos' evil scheme. Expect a proper trailer in early 2017.

Thor is investigating who is after the infinity stones.

A photo posted by @taikawaititi on Jul 29, 2016 at 3:50am PDT

Thor’s roommate might just make an appearance in Ragnarok 

While the above short might be the only glimpse we have of Thor: Ragnarok just now, it might actually be more of a glimpse than it appears. It may look like a simple, jokey riff on the character’s off-screen narrative, created to keep up awareness between films, but there have been recent cryptic hints that it might be a more direct relation to the series proper than we think. 

Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi was recently quizzed by IGN on the matter of just how canonical Thor’s roommate, Darryl, might be. And his answer was decidedly ambiguous. 

"I think you probably could see him again. There may be other little pieces of that thing that everyone saw that may just be a small part of a bigger thing". 

So, either Darryl is going to turn up in Ragnarok, and thus become an official part of the MCU, or at the very least we’ll be getting more episodes of their domestic bro-times, either online or as extras with the eventual home release. Hey, if such a thing is going to work with any MCU character, Thor is probably the best fit. He’s always been portrayed with a degree of self-awareness about how ridiculous he is in the modern Midgard – and hopefully the Thor/Banner buddy-movie vibe of Ragnarok will really play that up – and that could dovetail into a superheroic culture-clash mini-series really rather wonderfully. 

Thor: Ragnarok cast turns The Fly into Grandmaster

Chris Hemsworth reprises his role as Thor for the fifth time, and Mark Ruffalo is back playing the Hulk in his fourth appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (counting his Iron Man 3 cameo). Tom Hiddleston and Jaimie Alexander also reprise their roles as Loki and Sif respectively. 

New cast members include Cate Blanchett as new villain Hela, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, Karl Urban as Skurge, and Jeff Goldblum as the eccentric Grandmaster. It's Goldblum's first entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and one GR+ is particularly excited about. 

And another exciting bit of casting news has come out recently, in that Thor: Ragnarok is apparently now set to be a bit of a Jurassic Park reunion. Sam Neill has confirmed in an interview with Shortlist that he has been cast in an as-yet unannounced role, following his work with Waititi on his last film, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, meaning that yes, Ian Malcolm might well meet Alan Grant for the first time since the original JP film. We have absolutely no clue who Neill will be playing yet, let alone whether they’ll be Earth-based or on the more cosmic side of Thor’s world. But please let him meet Goldblum. Please let him meet Goldblum. 

Thor: Ragnarok plot already poses many questions

The exact premise of Ragnarok has been kept under wraps so far, but said to restore some humour to the films and putting Thor and Hulk in “fish out of water” scenarios according to Hemsworth.

Among the threads that have to be resolved in some way are Thor’s pace-breaking visions in Age of Ultron, where he looked distraught while awkwardly taking a bath in front of Stellan Skarsgaard. The event caused him to break away from the Avengers at the end of that film. Just what did Thor see while taking scrub in the tub? This will be addressed.

At the end of Thor: The Dark World, we saw that Loki had taken the throne while pretending to be Odin. What happened to the real Odin? What happens to Asgard when Loki is in charge? Inevitably, Ragnarok is the film to pick this thread up. Then there’s the case of what happened to the Hulk after he flew away at the end of Age of Ultron. How does he end up buddying around with Thor? Will he ever call Black Widow? Feige has stated that very little of the film takes place on Earth, with the story primarily set in the cosmos. 

Ragnarok in Norse mythology refers to the coming end of the gods. In relationship to Marvel’s comics history, however (which is both more fun and more confusing than Norse mythology), there’s a few matches to that word. Ragnarok was a clone of Thor created during the Civil War storyline that turned out to be a bit of a dick, later joining Norman Osborn’s Dark Avengers. Ragnarok was also part of a comic book storyline in the mid-Noughties that ended with Thor stuck in limbo, though it’s a bit long-winded (and probably not relevant enough to the film) to go into now.

It sounds like Marvel is pulling out all the stops to make sure Thor isn’t an also-ran sequel this time. All the way back in 2014, when Feige unveiled the sprawling phase three of the MCU, he had this to say about Ragnarok, which is pretty telling about the more muted reaction to The Dark World: “This is a very important movie for us in phase three… We plan on taking Thor to another level. It picks up where we leave Thor in Avengers: Age of Ultron and impacts everything that comes after.”

Thor: Ragnarok might feature a Doctor Strange cameo 

Look at that card. Squint at the address written on that card. The address is 177A Bleecker Street. That is Doctor Strange’s address. Doctor Strange will be an established part of the MCU when Thor: Ragnarok comes out, as his own film is released this year. So, is Thor meeting Doctor Strange? 

The answer, friends, is “probably”. 

Waititi is remaining tight-lipped about it, of course, pretending he doesn’t know exactly what’s going to happen in his own film. 

“Ohhh I don’t know. I am not sure if… I don’t know actually", he told Digital Spy. "I can’t comment on it. It may have just been something for the fans… Might be something like that. Might be a little tease. Or maybe a tease just for people who wanted to zoom into that photo”. 

Yeah. Right. 

Thor’s side of the MCU has always straddled sci-fi and fantasy. We know that most of Ragnarok will take place way off Earth, meaning that things are nigh-guaranteed to get weird. Doctor Strange is the MCU’s first truely mystic bender of reality. 

Yes, Thor will almost definitely meet Doctor Strange. 

Thor: Ragnarok director is a Sundance favourite

Ragnarok will be directed by Taika Waititi, best known for funny but touching New Zealand-set films like Eagle Vs Shark and horror mockumentary What We Do In The Shadows (his latest picture, Hunt For The Wilderpeople, wowed us at Sundance). This would make him seem like an unconventional choice for a big blockbuster movie, but then Marvel has a growing track record of doing this. James Gunn made his own distinctive movies like Super and Slither before Guardians of the Galaxy, and Joss Whedon’s only experience of directing on the big screen before The Avengers was the half-successful spin-off to his own TV series. Like those directors, it’s possible Marvel saw something specific and worthwhile in his style and voice as a filmmaker that made him the right choice. As Waititi himself said, they’ll do almost anything to get the movie right. Marvel has never been one for the obvious choices in talent.

Thor: Ragnarok writer is a relative unknown

Christopher Yost and Craig Kyle, who worked on Thor: The Dark World together, were the first writers on-board to script Ragnarok. In December, it was reported that Stephany Folsom, a screenwriter whose work has made the film industry’s black list of best unproduced screenplays, was hired to polish the script. One example of such work is 1969: A Space Odyssey Or How Kubrick Learned To Stop Worrying And Land On The Moon, in which NASA enlists Stanley Kubrick to fake the moon landing.

Thor: Ragnorak poster isn't official yet

Ignore the fakies which materialise in a Google Image Search – there's no official Thor: Ragnorak poster at this time, only a (cool, retro-looking) logo. But Marvel has released a big piece of art teasing Blanchett's character Hela getting ready to do all the evils. Take a peek at that below, and get excited.

Related Thor: Ragnarok news

Thor: Ragnarok director reveals a glimpse of what Thor was up to during Civil War

Thor: Ragnarok - Hulk and Bruce Banner are on a "collision course," says Mark Ruffalo

Thor: Ragnarok starts production in Australia, first set pic revealed

Thor: Ragnarok adds Jeff Goldblum as Grandmaster and Karl Urban as Executioner

Thor: Ragnarok will kick off a major 3 movie story arc for the Hulk


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