Thor: Ragnarok: plot details revealed, new concept art, 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, Eric Pearson

Update: February 21, 2017 - Thor: Ragnarok has the "funniest depiction" of Thor ever

Loki's Tom Hiddleston states in a video interview (picked up by Screenrant) that this will be the funniest take on Thor yet, crediting Chris Hemsworth's fast friendship with Taika Waititi as the reason it's going to be such a laugh riot. "I can confidently say right now that this will be the funniest depiction of the character of Thor that you’ve ever seen," Hiddleston says. "I personally have known for almost ten years that Chris Hemsworth is hilarious.

Hiddleston also elaborates on what Loki's role in the film is, following his stealing of Asgard's throne at the close of The Dark World. "At the beginning of Ragnarok, Thor has a few questions, Loki is endearingly enigmatic about providing answers," Hiddleston explains. Ragnarok was never going to be a tearful affair with Waititi at the helm, was it?

The Thor: Ragnarok movie will hammer cinemas in November

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: Ragnarok should redress that balance.

The Thor: Ragnarok trailer is absent, but there's a mockumentary

Ignore reports of a trailer materialising at San Diego Comic Con 2016 - 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' in order to figure out Thanos' evil scheme. Expect a proper trailer in early 2017, but for now, you can watch the 'Team Thor' mockumentary in full above.

A sequel to this, also directed by Waititi, arrives with the Blu-ray for Doctor Strange in March. Check out a teaser of what to expect below:

The Thor: Ragnarok cast brings back Loki and adds Cate Blanchett and Jeff Goldblum

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 reprises his role as Loki, and Anthony Hopkins returns as Odin, meaning we'll get some resolution to the cliffhanger ending of Thor: The Dark World where Loki took Asgard's throne in disguise. Idris Elba's Heimdall is confirmed as coming back as well. Natalie Portman's Jane Foster doesn't return.

Not confirmed by Marvel's press materials so far are Sif and the Warriors Three. Jaimie Alexander wasn't on the official cast list for Thor: Ragnarok, but in response to a tweet about that in May 2016, she teased her return. Consider her a dead cert. It's likely that Marvel doesn't want to ruin all the surprises in advance. As for the Warriors Three, Ray Stevenson (Volstagg) was spotted at a tattoo parlour between shooting in Australia last year. Tadanobu Asano (Hogun) was in Australia during filming. Zachary Levi's Fandral is the only question mark, but Warriors Two doesn't quite have the same ring, does it?

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 - who reportedly oversees the gladiatorial contest Thor finds himself a part of with Hulk. It's Goldblum's first entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and one GR+ is particularly excited about. 

Hela rules Hel and Niflheim in Marvel's comics, essentially putting her in charge of the dead. In the source material, too, she tried to bring about Ragnarok - and was later reborn on Earth. Get your first look at her facing off against Loki and Thor in the concept art below. As for Valkyrie, AKA Brunnhilde, she leads Asgard's Valkyrior warriors at the behest of Odin. How much of that translates to the film remains to be seen, but expect her to be Thor's love interest with Jane Foster out of the picture.

Another exciting bit of casting news came out in September, 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 (he's not even on the main cast list, so it could be a small role). But please let him meet Goldblum. Please let him meet Goldblum. 

In terms of other characters from the MCU, we also now know that Doctor Strange will be making a cameo. If you’ve seen the two post credit scenes for Doctor Strange, you know what I’m talking about. Doctor Strange and Thor sit down for a drink in the Sanctum Sanctorum where Stephen Strange explains how he keeps a watch list of individuals who pose a threat to this world, and that Loki is on it. He then asks Thor why he's brought Loki to New York.

'Family drama' is Thor's explanation: they're looking for Odin. Strange asks Thor if they'll all return to Asgard promptly if they find Odin - Thor agrees, and Strange vows to help him. 

Tom Hiddleston discussed the extent of Doctor Strange's role in Thor: Ragnarok in a recent interview, suggesting Benedict Cumberbatch's new Marvel hero will play a key part in tracking down the absent Odin. Hiddleston described how Stephen Strange's "intensely cerebral, time-bending powers" have a part to play in figuring out what happened to Thor's dad after Loki took the throne in Thor: The Dark World. "So maybe Doctor Strange has to help out with that particular conundrum," the actor added. 

The Thor: Ragnarok plot pits Thor vs Hulk, while Hela looks to destroy Asgard

Thor: Ragnarok pits the God of Thunder against Bruce Banner's Hulk in a gladiatorial conflict - without his hammer Mjolnir, no less, and on the other side of the Marvel universe. It's certainly suggests a changes in tone from the previous Thor films. And how exactly did Hulk end up there too after flying off from Sokovia at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron? What made Thor unworthy? While we know the two Avengers will face off against each other, questions remain as to what leads to this exact scenario. The planet in question is confirmed to be Sakaar - a direct reference to the Planet Hulk comic series. You can see a little of what that looks like in the concept art above.

It's imperative that Thor finds his way out of this new predicament, though, because his home is under threat from Hela. The word 'Ragnarok' in the title refers to this antagonist's attempts to destroy Asgardian civilisation. It wouldn't be the first time we've seen someone try to crush Asgard in a Thor film, of course, but when your proposed apocalypse is so threatening that it gets its own subtitle, it's clear that Hela isn't messing around.

Then, of course, that's on top of what we already know about Thor looking for Odin and Doctor Strange's participation, as well as the large ensemble cast. Ragnarok sounds like a dense film. The official synopsis tells us that Thor faces Banner - but how everything we know fits together is still a mystery.

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 may also be losing Mjolnir, his trusty hammer, in this film. As revealed in some teaser footage for Avengers: Infinity War where the God of Thunder evidently teams up with Rocket Raccoon, it looks like Thor is carrying an axe rather than his hammer. Take a look at the image below. What happened to his iconic weapon? We should find out in Ragnarok.

The 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.

Four writers have credits on Thor: Ragnarok. 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. Since then, it's been confirmed that the film's main screenwriter is Eric Pearson.

The Thor: Ragnarok poster isn't official yet but the logo is enough

Ignore the fakes that materialise in a Google Image Search – there's no official Thor: Ragnarok 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 above, and get excited.

Related Thor: Ragnarok news

New Thor: Ragnarok concept art reveals a mighty Thor vs. Hulk battle

Tom Hiddleston teases Doctor Strange's appearance in Thor: Ragnarok: "What happened to Odin?"

Thor: Ragnarok official synopsis reveals the nature of Thor and Hulk's relationship

Shock, horror: Doctor Strange FINALLY confirmed to appear in Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok confirms Planet Hulk location - Banner will be getting his gladiator on

Watch Cate Blanchett's Thor: Ragnarok stunt double throw some wicked shapes 

Take a first look at Thor: Ragnarok's Valkyrie in on-set wrap video

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