Thor: Ragnarok: Thor vs Loki, the hunt for Thanos, and everything you need to know

Fast Facts:

  • Thor: Ragnarok release date: November 3, 2017 (US)/October 24, 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: Eric Pearson

Update: September 20, 2017 - Thor: Ragnarok gets an '80s-style trailer

Nerdist has created an '80s-style trailer for Thor: Ragnarok, since Marvel itself seems to be leaning into that whole thing in its marketing for the film. Check it out above, complete with bad fonts, VHS-style effects, trailer voiceovers and other Easter Eggs. Although it does beg the question: what exactly is '80s about Thor: Ragnarok except the marketing? Jeff Goldblum?

Update: September 20, 2017 - Thor is hunting for Thanos at the start of Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok takes place about two years after Avengers: Age of Ultron, producer Brad Winderbaum explains, as captured by Screenrant. It turns out that during that time, he's been searching for Thanos. "What he realised really —I don’t think I’m giving too much away because it’s right at the top of the film, but basically that one quest, that universe-ending peril that he was trying to figure out dovetailed or branched off into any number of universe ending-perils that he’s been adventuring on for the two years leading up to the beginning of this film." So that's where we'll find Thor, and presumably he gets back on his quest at the end of the film in time to meet the Guardians in Avengers: Infinity War

Update: September 20, 2017 - Thor brings the hammer down on Loki in behind-the-scenes video

The above video from Entertainment Tonight shows off sets, behind-the-scenes footage and more from Thor: Ragnarok. Of particular note? Go straight to 1.09, where Thor pushes Mjolnir down on Loki, presumably quite early in the film, since he still has his long hair and hammer, both of which are lost by the time the God of Thunder lands on Sakaar. 

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Thor: Ragnarok will be the best Thor movie yet

In Thor: Ragnarok, the god of thunder finds himself transported to Sakaar, where he's forced to do battle with the Hulk. Meanwhile, a new villain, Hela, played by Cate Blanchett, has made her move on Asgard after being locked away for years. How does the cliffhanger ending of Thor: The Dark World figure into all of this? Here's everything you need to know about Thor: Ragnarok, including trailers, plot, director details and much more. 

Thor: Ragnarok movie release date smashes into cinemas in November

Thor: Ragnarok's release date is 3 November 2017 in the US, and 24 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. Thor: Ragnarok should redress that balance with a smart choice of director, a focus on more comedy and a new look at the cosmic side of the MCU previously seen in Guardians of the Galaxy.

Thor: Ragnarok trailer has aliens, Bruce Banner, spaceships, and lasers

Thor's SDCC 2017 trailer shows us loads more of the movie: Bruce Banner not as his Hulk alter ego, and what's presumably the lead up to a showdown with Hela deep into the movie, as it shows Valkyrie, Thor, Loki and Hulk return to Asgard. Hopefully there's a lot more they're concealing for the finished film. Like, who's the fiery guy Hulk is fighting at the end?

If you missed the first trailer for Thor: Ragnarok, it contains one of the best one-liners of any MCU movie (so far). The god of thunder faces his old Avengers buddy, the Hulk, of course. It's at this point that Thor turns to his captors and yells, "He's a friend from work!" Just brilliant. Check it out below:

At SDCC this year, Marvel Studios also showed off a piece of the film that wasn't shown outside of Hall H, set the day after Hela takes Asgard, with Thor defeated. The god of thunder wakes up on a space gurney, where he's told he's being taken to the Grandmaster, and the contest of champions.

Brought before Jeff Goldblum's character, Thor tries to fight back but he's zapped with some kind of taser powerful enough to incapacitate gods. It's then revealed that Valkyrie brought him to the Grandmaster, and she's now seeking a big paycheck for doing so.

You can read our full, detailed write-up of the Thor: Ragnarok footage at SDCC here.

The Thor: Ragnarok cast introduces Valkyrie, reintroduces Loki and Hulk

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, because Thor and Jane broke up. There's a lot of baggage when it comes to dating an Asgardian god, clearly.

New cast members include Cate Blanchett as new villain Hela, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, elite warrior of Sakaar, Karl Urban as Skurge, and Jeff Goldblum as the eccentric Grandmaster - who oversees the gladiatorial contest Thor finds himself a part of with Hulk. It's Goldblum's first entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, unless you count the dancing credits sequence from the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. He's the brother of Benicio Del Toro's Collector from the first Guardians. 

Not confirmed by Marvel's press materials so far are Sif and the Warriors Three. Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange cameos as well, as strongly suggested by the post-credits sequence of his own movie. While there won't be many sequences set on Earth in Ragnarok, instead taking us back to Asgard or outer space, the Sorcerer Supreme's appearance will indeed take place on Earth—and is linked to the search for Odin.

Director Taika Waititi has cast himself as the character Korg in Thor: Ragnarok, who is also trapped in the Grandmaster's arena with Odinson as a warm-up contestant. He's a member of the Kronan species.

The Thor: Ragnarok plot pits Thor vs Hulk

We now know tons more about the story of Thor: Ragnarok. After being held prisoner for Millenia, Hela, the goddess of death, is accidentally let loose - a by-product of Asgard's new ruler, Loki, being a little less diligent than his predecessor, Odin. Naturally, she's furious after being captive for so long, and gets the better of Thor in a scrap. As a result, the God of Thunder now finds himself on the planet of Sakaar. Asgard has been overthrown by Hela.

After meeting the powerful warrior Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), he's forced to engage in gladiatorial combat, after she brings him to the planet's governor, The Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum, dressed like a '70s pop star). Problem is, he's actually not terribly powerful compared to some of the other mean fighters on Sakaar - and that includes the Hulk, who's now one of the planet's main attractions. Hulk will apparently be more fleshed out than he has been in any other Marvel films to date, since he's treated as a god on Sakaar. He also talks in (mostly) full sentences as the Hulk.

How did he get here after the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron, where he said farewell to Natasha Romanov? That remains a mystery, but hopefully the film will resolve that.

Thor loses his hammer, Mjolnir, but more tragically, his gorgeous blonde hair. He now carries twin blades into combat. In the second trailer, we see Hulk assembling a group to take on Hela, who occupies Asgard - this group encompasses Valkyrie, Hulk and Loki. This confrontation, we'd guess, will be during the third act of the movie.

Marvel Studios' Kevin Feige has underlined the importance of Thor: Ragnarok to 2018's Avengers: Infinity War. In a recent interview with the Toronto Sun, Feige said that "Things change drastically in Ragnarok and then build directly into Infinity War." The leaked trailer for Avengers: Infinity War tells us that Thor will meet the Guardians of the Galaxy after he lands on their windshield. 

But does that spoil the end of Ragnarok? Not according to Waititi, who told Cinema Blend "it is not a spoiler." So, there you go. He could be trying to throw us off the scent - there's a lot of debris in that Infinity War trailer, suggesting that maybe Asgard is no more.

Thor: Ragnarok's post-credits will apparently set up Thor's meeting with the Guardians, and explain how he ended up on the hood of the Milano. "It is. I think so, yeah. I think you’ll have to watch our film first to understand what Avengers is about.” 

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). He's bringing a funnier tone to the film than we've previously seen in Thor movies, which some Marvel fans were a little worried about.

Waititi has described the changes as a "slight tonal shift", though, insisting this is still a story where people will care about whether the hero succeeds or not. “Taika has such a quirky, left-of-field sense of humor, which forced all the characters and the tone of the whole story to head in a new direction,” Chris Hemsworth told Entertainment Weekly about his new director. 

Something worth noting is that Waititi approached Ragnarok as a standalone movie - the trailers don't necessarily tell that story, even if they are markedly funnier. "I wanted to make this a standalone film. I loved Thor 1 and Thor 2, but if I was going to make this film my own, I couldn't have come in and tried to make a follow up movie, to try to make the next episode. I wanted to do my own thing." 

Thor: Ragnarok poster sees the God of Thunder prepare for battle

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The Thor: Ragnarok posters are a trippy and colourful bunch, tying into the garish '80s theme the marketing is trying to tap into. See the gallery above for all of them released so far (starting with the most recent), which offer fresh looks at the Hulk, Hela and everyone else.

Doctor Strange has a warning for the God of Thunder in a new Thor: Ragnarok international trailer

"He's a friend from work!" Thor: Ragnarok's most quotable line comes from a heartwarming source

Thor: Ragnarok's unseen SDCC footage show's how he's captured by the Grandmaster, here's the details

The Thor: Ragnarok SDCC trailer finds Thor and Hulk at war with the goddess of death

Two new Thor: Ragnarok SDCC posters tease a tense showdown

Thor: Ragnarok "drastically" changes the MCU, sets up Infinity War

The Thor: Ragnarok trailer's glorious, space-based nonsense shows an MCU matured to its full potential

Thor: Ragnarok villain Hela could have a huge Avengers: Infinity War role