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Thor: Love and Thunder

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Jake Lipson, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

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    I saw Endgame again today and a couple things occurred to me about Thor 4.

    1) I wonder when, relative to the making of Endgame, the decision was made to bring Natalie Portman back. Not only did Ragnarok give the impression that she was done with the franchise by casually discarding her in a single line of dialogue, but Endgame does almost even moreso. They had a setup where they could have given Portman a significant cameo, like Rene Russo and Robert Redford had. It would have been really easy to show us Rocket interacting with her while he got the aether, or they could have written something in there where she talks to 2023 Thor in disguise. This probably would have pleased fans even more than what we did ge, but they didn't do it. Instead, they used deleted footage of her from The Dark World for the couple of shots where she's in bed, and the only new thing they asked her for was the one line where she asks if they have anything with pants for her to wear. This probably took her all of a few minutes to record, if that. It seems like if they knew that she was going to return, they could have used Endgame to reintroduce her in a more meaningful way. As-is, there will be an eight-year gap between her last significant appearance (The Dark World) and her reappearance (Love and Thunder.)

    2) It seems like we're going to have to spend at least part of the movie on Earth, because they'll need to explain what Jane has been doing since 2013. If the goal is to get her in space, they can do it, but it would be foolish to skip over the part of the story where she goes to space, because she is a very Earth-bound character as portrayed previously. (Yes, I know she visited space in The Dark World, but that was a brief trip and then she immediately returned home.)

    3) Of course Valkeryie is back -- yay -- but the real question is: is the Hulk in it? Endgame didn't really give him an ending. Yes, we saw him merge the Banner and Hulk personalities, which feels like the completion of the arc he's been on for the last few movies, but he didn't get a "goodbye" moment, like Tony and Steve and even Thor (who was clearly sent in new directions by heading off with the Guardians instead of remaining as king of New Asgard) did. The last time we saw Hulk was when he was trying to get Steve back after Steve didn't immediately reappear from returning the stones, and he saw Steve in the distance when Sam and Bucky went up to him. I don't think the movie needed to have more of an ending with the Hulk necessarily, but I do think the fact that they didn't tie his story up with a bow leaves the door open for him to return sooner rather than later. Because Mark Ruffalo was a replacement for Edward Norton, started later than the other original Avengers, and has never anchored a solo movie of his own, it seems like he probably has more options left on his contract than the others do. We know they can't do a Hulk solo movie because of legal crap with Universal, but I'd be surprised and disappointed if he didn't end up being used in a major supporting role again soon. Given how great his chemistry with Hemsworth and Thompson was in Ragnarok, I would hope we see him again here, but of course it depends on what they want to do with him next.
     
  2. Message #22 of 52 Jul 22, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
    Sean Bryan

    Sean Bryan Sean Bryan

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    Seems like the bulk of Infinity War and Endgame were written in 2016? Some work probably started earlier than that.

    I thought I read something indicating that they did have slightly more for Portman to do in Endgame, but she either didn’t want to do it or wasn’t available? Not sure.

    Even though Thor left Earth to go adventuring with the Guardians, it makes sense that this story would bring him back for a portion because of New Asgard.

    And with Asgard being on Earth, I can imagine any number of reasons why Jayne Foster would get involved with them. The most obvious would be to study their science and to use their tech to help her learn more about the cosmos.

    I didn’t read the comic run Taika Waititi said he is drawing from, but I know the very basic beats. That run has some pretty heavy stuff for Jayne to struggle with that would unquestionably add a good deal of emotion to this tale.

    Kevin Feige was quoted this weekend saying: "We love the story -- it's one of the best comic runs recently," he says. "[Director Taika Waititi] would flip through and read that run while he was doing 'Ragnarok.' And I think when he agreed to come back and do another Thor, he was like, 'How do we--?' This is a very big movie that'll be folding in a lot of elements."

    "That is a huge important part of it. He pitched it to us, and we were totally in. We loved it. We'd been in touch with Natalie. She's part of the MCU family and we put she and Taika together. It took one meeting and she agreed to do it."

    So she may not have been too invested when Endgame was being planned/written, but she seemed to say yes pretty quickly when she heard what Taika Waititi wanted to do. From what I know of the comic run, I can understand that. Lots of potential for for some dramatic stuff (though likely infused with Waititi’s fun energy).

    As for Hulk, I don’t think they gave him any type of “ending moment” in Endgame because they had no intention of that being the end of him in the MCU. I’m sure they have plans to continue to do interesting things with him going forward.
     
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  3. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

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  4. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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    And the year (2021)?
     
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  5. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    I think there was a bit of a falling out between her and Marvel when Marvel replaced Patty Jenkins with Alan Taylor, since working with Jenkins was a big part of why she was interested in coming back for the sequel.

    FWIW, I think Portman was somewhat vindicated in that. The Dark World ended up being one of Marvel's few missteps, while Patty Jenkins went on to make one of the ten highest grossing superhero movies of all time, one well regarded by both critics and audiences.

    I could see the movie telling three separate stories -- Thor parting ways with the Guardians and getting himself back into fighting shape, Jane grappling with having the powers of Thor, and Valkyrie leading the Asgardian refugees in the settlement on Earth. And then some event happens during the movie to bring the three of them back together.

    I fully anticipated Marvel taking advantage of the fact that Disney now owns Fox Studios Australia going forward. Waititi is raising two young children in New Zealand, and shooting in Sydney means he can fly home in an hour or two rather than having to fly halfway around the world.

    Likewise, Shang-Chi will presumably be set at least partially in China, and Sydney is a lot closer to the Asian shooting locations they might want to use than London or Atlanta.

    And given some of the polarizing legislation coming out of Georgia, I foresee Marvel shooting fewer films there than they have in recent years.
     
  6. Jeff Cooper

    Jeff Cooper Cinematographer

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    Not sure how I feel about this. Apparently Kevin Fiege is saying that the Disney+ shows are necessary for understanding all of the Phase 4 movies. Part of me thinks this is just marketing to get people to subscribe, but if they're truly going this route then I think it's a terrible idea. I don't intend on watching the TV shows, I don't have time to keep up with all that. It would certainly deter me from caring as much about the new phase 4 movies, and pretty much every single comment I read agrees with that standpoint. They have to know this would create a terrible backlash, why would they announce that?


    https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/marvel-boss-says-disney-shows-141600586.html

    https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/marvel-boss-says-watch-disney-154214556.html
     
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  7. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Yeah, I have no intention of subscribing to Disney+, so that would definitely kill my interest in the movies if the storyline is dependent upon seeing those series.
     
  8. AshJW

    AshJW Screenwriter

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    That’s a stupid idea.
    As stupid as the idea to connect comics, books and video games as well as animated series with the movies. Like they do it with Star Wars for example.

    But maybe they’ll be successful with it (probably). Then i will still think of it as mentioned above.
     
  9. Message #29 of 52 Nov 8, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
    Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

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    Of course the Disney+ shows are going to relate to the movies. If the events of the shows didn't progress the stories of these characters, they wouldn't be interesting to watch. Did anyone think that shows produced by Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios featuring actors from the films wouldn't connect to the films? Connections are a bedrock of Marvel's strategy over the last 11 years.

    The challenge for Marvel is to thread the needle between making the shows important to the growth of the characters enough so that we want to see them and designing the films so that if you don't watch them, you can still follow the basic narrative. I think they'll probably go for "If you watch the shows, you have a richer experience" but "If you don't watch the shows, you can still understand the plot of the movie."

    Whether they are successful in doing this or not depends entirely upon the execution. If it ends up being, "You can't understand any of this movie unless you have a Disney+ subscription," then I would agree that is a huge problem. But I think Kevin Feige is smarter than that. He's not going to endanger Marvel's utter dominance of the movie world on behalf of Disney+, but I do think the idea is to give people who enjoy the Disney+ stuff a richer experience.

    It could be like Captain Marvel's appearance in Endgame. Based on the gross of Endgame versus the gross of Captain Marvel (which did extremely well on its own, but still), it's obvious that a lot of people who went to see Endgame did not see Captain Marvel first. I did, and most people here did, but not everyone did. I don't think Endgame was structured in such a way as you would be totally confused when Carol was on screen in that movie if you hadn't seen the solo film. People who did probably liked her appearance more, but it didn't stop the movie for anyone who hadn't met her before. Also, the Ant-Man movies introduced the concept of the Quantum Realm. Those movies were less-well-attended than the Avengers movies, but that didn't stop people from accepting that the Quantum Realm was a big part of the Endgame time travel plot. I hope that is also the case for how the Disney+ shows interact with the films.

    Worst-case scenario, in which case there could be a real problem, would be if they handle it like
    the surprise appearance of Darth Maul in Solo.
    That, I think, was an enormous error on Lucasfilm's part to assume that the film audience all paid attention to the TV stuff to the degree that that appearance made no sense if you hadn't followed the shows. If Marvel does that, then I think that would become a major issue.

    Again, it depends on how they handle it.
     
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  10. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    It will enhance my enjoyment on a Marvel TV series if I know that they have consequences in the movies. One of the biggest problems with the pre-Feige Marvel TV series is that they acknowledged the films but the films didn't acknowledge them. Only "Agent Carter" is canon for the films now.

    All of that being said, it should be like seeing all of the standalone movies when seeing an Avengers movie: knowing the backstory from the other entries will enhance your appreciation, but someone who hasn't seen them can still follow the movie.
     
  11. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Agreed.

    And this really isn’t new news. They had already announced WandaVision leads directly into Doctor Strange 2.

    I’m very into this idea. I want more character stuff with the characters I’m already invested in, but I recognize that the big screen isn’t always the best venue for that kind of storytelling.

    I also don’t think this is a big ask for the fan base. Disney+ is $7 a month. The nationwide ticket average is supposedly $10 a person, but it’s closer to $15 in many places and now nearly $30 where I live. Anyone who doesn’t want Disney+ full time can subscribe for just one month right before the new movie comes out, binge the latest show all at once, and then cancel immediately. You can’t tell me that if fans are paying up to $30 for a single movie ticket, that asking them to pay $7 to see a series with characters they already love that runs four or five times the length of a movie is a bad bargain.
     
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  12. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    Sorry, but I'm not willing to invest hours and hours of TV time for this stuff. As long as Marvel keeps a coherent narrative going with their theatrical releases that DOES NOT require a Disney+ subscription and bedsores to understand, I'll be happy. You guys can enjoy your shows all you want. ;)
     
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  13. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I’m sure they will.

    It’ll be akin to watching Avengers with having seen some but not all of the individual character movies. You’ll understand the movie’s story and the character relationships, but those things will be deeper felt for those who did see everything. And these shows seem mostly about filling in or continuing stories from earlier Phases characters whose big screen journeys are near an end.

    But ultimately, this is a smart move for a business that’s rapidly changing and experiencing a serious decline in theatrical interest. As more and more people opt to watch content at home instead of in theaters, and as the bar for what people are willing to go out for rises, from a business perspective, this may keep the business going a little bit longer.

    The Russos themselves have commented that the business is changing so fast that charges that used to take years are now happening in weeks or months. The landscape has changed so dramatically that there will probably be no market for their non-Marvel project that seemed to have some market when the deal was signed. The Russos predicted that with home viewing now cheaper, easier, faster and sometimes at equal or better quality to what’s in theaters, that the only things that’ll do well in theaters are things with what they called “weaponized spoilers” - basically, movies with a built in audience fearful that if they don’t see it at the first possible moment, that the contents will be revealed and ruined for them. And we’re basically there. Movies that play on investments that people have made at home have potential to be one of the last theatrically viable categories.

    All of the major theater chains are losing money every day. Stock prices for Regal and AMC have seriously declined in recent years, with no indications that it can recover. This is undoubtedly a paradigm shift but I think Disney is doing what they can to ensure that they’ll still be able to provide high quality content regardless of what the delivery method evolves into.
     
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  14. Message #34 of 52 Nov 8, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
    Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

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    Because they want you to subscribe to Disney+. Obviously.

    I'd be shocked if you weren't able to understand the basic plot of the movies going forward. As Josh and Adam pointed out, there's a way for Marvel to do this so that you can enjoy the films without the TV, but the TV enhances the films, and that's the best approach. They don't want to alienate all the casual fans who go to the movies. Feige said if you want to understand "everything," you need to see the Disney+ shows. He didn't say you need to see the shows to understand the basic plot. That's different.

    Clearly, Marvel wants to use Disney+ to extend the brand and tell stories that they might not be able to fit into the theatrical slate. WandaVision is apparently going to be part- sitcom set in the '50s. Although Wanda and Vision have both been popular members of the Avengers ensemble, I doubt Marvel would get a gigantic box office return from something like that if they tried to do it as a feature film. Disney+ is a perfect venue for something like that where, because it is subscription-based, they can get a more experimental. It wouldn't make sense if we then see Wanda in the films again and none of those things from the show happened to her. But that doesn't mean the movie will dwell on it too much necessarily.

    But "bedsores" is pushing it. So far, the shows that Marvel has announced with existing characters on Disney+ are miniseries. I think I read somewhere that Falcon and Winter Soldier, for example, is going to be six hours. That's about the length of watching Endgame twice, which lots of people did, and Disney+ is using a weekly release pattern. So it's really not a huge commitment for people who have already invested eleven years into this thing.

    This.

    I have a friend who watches most of the Marvel films in theaters, who does not spend her days following movie news on the internet. In Civil War, she didn't recognize William Hurt's character as being from The Incredible Hulk, which was released eight years earlier and hadn't been referenced at all since. But she still understood and enjoyed Civil War and Hurt's place in it because the writing of Civil War did not require you to see Incredible Hulk first. It will probably be something like that.

    The Russos are currently filming an adaptation of the novel Cherry starring Tom Holland, which will probably be ready for release at some point in 2020. It doesn't have a distributor attached yet.

    Let me say that again: They just directed the biggest movie of all time and should be able to use that clout to the benefit of whatever they want to do next, but they're filming a movie with one of their Marvel stars and don't have a distributor for it yet.

    That's crazy. And it underlines exactly what you're talking about, because even a few years ago, they probably would have had distributors falling all over themselves to chase that movie before a single frame of it was shot.

    Also: Is the Thor 4 thread the best venue for this particular discussion? Nothing in today's posts actually has anything to do with Thor 4. The article says that the Loki and Scarlett Witch shows will tie into the Doctor Strange sequel. This is clearly an interesting and invigorating discussion, but I'm not sure if this is the right place for it.
     
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  15. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    Humor, Jake. Humor. ;) Although, keep in mind that Marvel and Disney are not the only kids on the block. We are faced with an absolute GLUT of content, and a body can only watch so much of it without becoming a mushroom. I think that all of these companies offering different streaming services with exclusive shows on each one are going to be finding that out. There are only so many eyeballs with only so much discretionary time in a day.
     
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  16. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I think that’s absolutely true, but I think Disney has the brands and the price point to ensure that they’ll be one of the winners.
     
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  17. Josh Dial

    Josh Dial Producer

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    Having the TV shows and films tie directly in with each other is exactly what I've been waiting for (no sarcasm). I want a massive sprawling web of shows and films that reward me for watching them all (again, no sarcasm). I want this for Star Wars, too.
     
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  18. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I agree completely, of course. The reason that I lost interest in Agents Of SHIELD and couldn’t get into the Netflix Marvel shows is because they had increasingly little to do with the big screen adventures I was invested in. I want to see what all these movie characters I like are up to in between the big crisis points of the movies. This looks to finally be that chance.
     
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  19. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    It's interesting. I injured my back in July, and ever since sitting for long periods becomes increasingly painful. I can't watch TV for more than four hours or so at a time without taking a break.

    I used to watch a TON of television shows. What I've found since my injury is that a natural culling has occurred. All of the shows that I was meh on or continuing to watch out of habit have gone by the wayside. The upside is that instead of feeling stressed by my need to stay up to date with everything, I'm only watching the stuff I really want to watch.

    And I'm really liking these 8-10 episode runs. You don't get the flab and wheel spinning that you got with even the 13-episode runs.
     
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  20. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    The shorter runs will also be good for keeping up the production values. Since it’s the same characters in the same world as the theatrical releases, I want and expect them to have similar looks. SHIELD, with its 22 episode seasons and broadcast budget, never looked like it was in the same world. And in many cases you could automatically dismiss the supposed danger because you knew they didn’t have the budget for the bad guys to carry out the evil plans as described.
     

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