the mighty thor
the mighty thor | shrine
When the Immortals Handbook is done, if I could do any job I'd probably choose comic-book writer, with one comic, The Mighty Thor being a particular favourite of mine and one that I would at some point love to pen...heh - I can dream can't I! :-p
Without Thor, this website probably wouldn't exist. In fact the Immortals Handbook probably wouldn't exist. Even though Thrin preceeded my interest in Thor, the two things fuelled my interest in one another.
So what is it about Thor thats so great. Well, in my eyes, hes the most all encompassing superhero franchise. His stories and characters combine the past, present and future, tie mythology with mankind, spirituality with science. In a way the 'anything goes' premise is similar to Stargate SG1. Thor's rogues gallery is also one of the most interesting and colourful of any comic book character. Oh, and hes also the most powerful superhero (kneel before him Superman fans...that means you too Busiek).
Want to learn more about Thor? You could do no better than to visit Eetmi's Thor fansite here.
Okay. So if I was writing Thor, what would I do? What stories would I tell? What foes would I introduce. What challenges would beset the god of thunder? Well I'm not going to tell you! That would only spoil the surprise for when (more like if) I do get to write them. But suffice to say I have something along the lines of 200 issues planned and plotted; scores of new characters; and dozens of ideas how to make the Thor comic mightier still.
However, a year or so ago I was contemplating what I would do for a Thor movie, or movies. The following synopsis sprang from those initial ideas. Unfortunately I haven't really went back to them since then (writing the Immortals Handbook eats up most of my time), so its still a bit rough.
My thoughts on how the Thor movies should be done...
In my humble capacity as a mere fan I have taken an interest in what stories might be told and I believe there to be between 9-15 arcs suitable for the big screen before major elements (with a few necessary exceptions) become duplicated.
That involves using only characters that debuted within the pages of Thor (with the odd exceptions such as the Celestials and Thanos).
Thor Movie Template
I also think you can see a potential winning formula for the movies using five villains (of disparate origins and power) for each instalment.
As an example, the Surtur Saga (Movie #7), encompasses:
Other elements involve a new ally (introduced in all movies except the first); love interest and a war.
So even if the story is wildly different, if you have these elements in some capacity in all movies you have something for everyone.
1. People can relate to a
human centric schemer as a villain.
Now you might be thinking, well hold on Krusty, Spiderman gets by with one villain, are you saying Thor villains are only one fifth as good as Spidey's? No. Firstly Thor has so many great villains that we can easily include 5 in each movie and still do 15 movies. Secondly, Thor has a large supporting cast (Odin, Balder, The Warriors Three etc.) of heroic characters and the more villains we have the busier we can keep those characters. Thirdly, with regards Spidermans villains in the first two movies they combine the idea of the Schemer and the Slugger (Spiderman has no need of a 'world-shaker' since in superheroic terms hes only of middling power). Spiderman 3, due next year includes the Sandman (who is not overtly intelligent and does not fit the 'Schemer' role), hence the movie will undoubtedly feature multiple villains. Update: After having seen Spider-man 3 we can now see that none of the villains truly filled the role of Schemer and thus there was no real driving force behind the story - merely all glitz and no substance. This made the movie feel somewhat disjointed and ultimately disappointing.
Superhero Movie Criteria
Each Superhero movie should try and tick all the following boxes:
The first movie is inevitably the trickiest, but at the moment I am favouring:
Thor Movie Screenplay
(running time approx. 131 minutes)
1st Thor Movie (of a possible 15)
(played by Josh Holloway or an unknown actor, preferably 6’4”,
27-33 yrs, longish blonde hair, model good looks)
Thor Movie Outline (One Page Synopsis)
Thor Movie Treatment
Prologue (approx. 10 minutes)
Flashback #1: Open to [Lord of the Rings scale] battle lines with Asgardian warriors on one side and an army of trolls and giants, led by Ulik, strongest of the rock trolls, on the other. On the top of a nearby hill we see the troll king Geirroduhr being advised by Loki that Odin is partaking of the Odin-sleep and Asgard is relatively defenceless. [track to the front of the troll lines] A giant questions why they are being led by that small one (meaning Ulik). Ulik, clanging his fists together (highlighting his pounders) casually walks over to the giant who stooped to hear his reply and floors him with one punch. Ulik roars, breaking the stand-off, he points forward shouting “Crush the Asgardians!” and the trolls charge. Tyr, his opposite number amongst the Asgardian ranks shouts "For Honour, for Glory, for ASGAAARDDD!" a cry echoed by the massed Asgardian ranks. The two vast armies collide. Possible vignettes during the battle show the Warriors Three defeating an assortment of giants and trolls; Geirroduhr flinging scorching balls of metal at the Asgardians using a giant pair of tongs; Ulik wading through dozens of Asgardians until engaged by Tyr, who puts up tougher opposition but as Ulik is about to deliver the coup de grace a hammer catches him flush in the face knocking him to the ground.
We follow the hammer as it flies back to the figure steering the chariot. A loud thunderclap echoes above the din of battle causing all assembled to look up to see a chariot with sparks trailing from its wheels being pulled by two vicious looking goats (one black, the other white) streaking through the sky. He catches the hammer and twirls it above his head hovering in place as the chariot continues on without him. Then he dives towards Ulik. Ulik hurls one of his fellow trolls at Thor, knocking him out of the sky and into a number of trolls. The trolls attack Thor, one large troll tries to smite him with a huge club but Thor swings Mjolnir and destroys the weapon. Cleaving blows from Thor knock the trolls flying. But like a savage beast, Ulik leaps upon Thor, but ever alert he rolls back and kicks Ulik from him. The two circle each other like caged animals. The rest of the battle nearby has halted and the forces have formed a circle around these two mighty champions. With a snarl, Ulik leaps forward and the battle begins in earnest, each taking and giving haymaker blows that could shatter mountains.Thor gains the upper hand and taunts Ulik, who bellows "To the death then!", "Agreed!" Thor replies. "HOLD!" shouts a voice. We look round to see Odin standing there. Thor pleads "Father we can crush these trolls so that they will threaten us no longer, they don't deserve to live!" "I say thee nay!" replies Odin. It seems that both his sons need taught a lesson in humility...
[Elements to be resolved: Loki's treachery and Thor's pride leading to the relative punishment of each – apparently it was Thors actions which led to the war in the first place. We also learn of Ulik's hatred for Thor, and Tyr's jealousy of Thor.]
Act 1 (approx. 30 minutes)
Don Blake wakes up from the dream (see the Prologue) in a cold sweat. We start with Don Blake’s daily life (hes a surgeon at a hospital), the hospital is next to a building site (some of the workers there insult his crippled nature), introduce Jane Foster as the woman he loves but is too insecure to do anything about. She loves him but sees him as detached and distant [the book Romeo & Juliet is on her desk - apparently she wants a knight in shining armour to sweep her off her feet].
She asks him out to lunch. Walking past the building site together she is accosted by a worker, Dirk Garthwaite (a.k.a. the Wrecker - no powers yet though). Blake can't defend Jane (and is manhandled and taunted) and feels ashamed that the passing police car (driven by Lieutenant Stone pre-Code: Blue) has to intervene. But an innocent bystander gets hurt in the fracas and Blake has to save them (they don't have time to get to the hospital). Dirk Garthwaite is fired (it seems he’s always causing trouble), and he and his friends later plan to rob the construction site boss (which begins their crime spree).
Blake, his pride wounded, decides to take a vacation to Norway and get away from the heartache of it all. On the flight there we see him reading Romeo & Juliet. While in Norway, he goes on a tour. At one of the sites is a cursed tree that is said to be the prison of the trickster, Loki. It is customary for visitors to stone the tree to show they are not afraid of the evil one. Blake doesn't stone the tree (he pities him), but we do see some kids (on vacation with their parents) stoning the tree. Blake gets lost from the rest of the party, loses his walking stick and tries to climb a small hillock to signal for help. But he stumbles into a cavern at the base of the hillock and is trapped by the ensuing rock-fall. While surveying his options he finds another stick and tries to lever the boulders out. Blake struggles to free himself but he’s blocked in. Banging the stick in frustration turns him into Thor.
Unknown to him at the time, his transformation into Thor breaks the spell and frees Loki imprisoned in the shape of the tree (Alternately we could have the leaves from Loki's tree fall into someones eye causing them to shed a tear). Loki, initially overjoyed at his freedom, decides to have some fun. He animates some boulders to attack the nearby village (we earlier see the tree being stoned by the villagers, so Loki decides that he will pay them back in kind). With his new found might Blake/Thor is able to free himself, here we learn Thor’s strength (when he easily lifts the boulder to free himself), he then sets the hammer down and we learn the sixty second time limit. He then recalls some norse myths about Thor’s hammer and tests them out. Here we see the power of Mjolnir (splitting a boulder) and returning to Thor. We also get to see him summoning the storm.
He then takes to the skies where he hears the screams of those in the distance, and goes to deal with the rock-people menace. The rock people are strong and can overturn a car easily for instance, they dog-pile on Thor, overwhelming him at first but he fights them off and as they attempt to grapple him a second time and he spins his hammer and is able to shatter one of them. The others seem wary, but the invisible Loki forces them to attack and creates more who grab Thor from the ground below. But Thor is able to defeat them (for example he throws one into another, grabs two others and crushes them together, throws his hammer at another and grabs one by the throat with his hammer returning to that hand smashing the monster to smithereens). Thor then flies back to America, overtaking a passenger jet (one of the passengers looking out the window looks like Clark Kent) as he crosses the Atlantic. Loki observes his brother and decides to follow him in ghostly (astral) form.
Cut to the Dirk Garthwaite and his crew robbing the construction site where they used to work. Garthwaite is particularly vicious and brutally beats his former employer. One of the crew says "C'mon, anymore and you'll kill him Dirk.". But Garthwaite turns to him and says "What makes you think I was going to let him live anyway!?" He then sets one of the demolition charges, and he and the crew flee with the money (and extra explosive charges). The construction site boss is killed in the explosion.
Act 2 (approx. 60 minutes)
Thor returns to America, with Loki in tow, but when he changes back to Blake, Loki loses track of him. Loki at first observes the modern world, undertaking some acts of minor mischief (we also notice a newspaper headline about the 'Wrecking Crew'). He then decides he can have Thor come to him by creating a suitable disturbance, animating some trees to menace the public, this time in Central Park. Thor arrives and we get to see our first Thor/Loki confrontation. Loki uses his magical repertoire, but Thor always defeats him (for example Loki goes invisible and starts beating Thor around then Thor summons the rain to see Lokis outline). Loki uses his magical bolts on Thor, but we get to see that his hammer absorbs such blasts, etc.
Flashback #2: We then get to see our first flashback to Thor and Lokis youth.
After the flashback we return to The ensuing battle covers the spectrum of the city, and at one point on top of a skyscraper/tall building Thor is separated from his hammer, becomes Don Blake and is knocked off the skyscraper just able to grab his walking stick as he plummets to his death. But as he strikes the ground he transforms into Thor (as Thor gets out of the crater he could comment to two kids on bicycles "Thats why you always wear a helmet."). Loki is nowhere to be found.
Loki decides to find the legendary Destroyer to tip the scales in his battle against Thor.
[Elements to be resolved: Loki's acts of mischief. Exact story to tell in Flashback #2, How Loki finds the Destroyer, perhaps an old book in the library or some runestones in a norse exhibit? I'm not sure on this yet.]
The gang of robbers, now nicknamed the Wrecking Crew (because of the collateral damage they leave in their wake) are robbing the bank and have taken hostages including Jane Foster. He intervenes as Thor, descending out of the sky helicopter style, he greets the officers by name (remember we saw them earlier in the movie), and offers his assistance. First he throws Mjolnir into the sky and walks into the bank. The Wrecking Crew mock his attire and have guns to the heads of hostages and then one of them points a gun at Thor. Thor asks for their surrender, but the Crew only laugh at him. But Mjolnir comes through the back wall and strikes the Wrecker on the back of the head temporarily knocking him to the ground, and the gun from his grasp. The villain with the gun to Thor's head shoots him point blank, with no effect. In the ensuing melee, we get to see how Thor deals with street-level villains (in a word, easily). Thor is able to quickly stun the rest of the villains and tells the hostages to get out. As the villains come to their senses, one of them tries to lift the hammer but hurts his back.
Flashback #3: We also get a flashback to Thor’s youth in Asgard and a figure telling him that with every good deed he can better lift the hammer.
The Wrecker snatches up a machine gun and tries to shoot the last of the fleeing hostages, the wounded security guard, Thor takes his hammer and spins it, creating a shield that stops any bullets getting past him. One of the others throws a grenade at Thor who catches it and smothers tha blast. The Wrecker produces a timer switch linked to explosives planted all over the building, he says Thor has to let him escape or he'll blow it. Two of the crew are drowsy/stunned, the other two, Wrecker and Thunderball escape out the back. Thor asks Piledriver where the charges are planted, but as he goes to get them the Wrecker blows the bank, Thor shields the two villains from the blast with his body. Wrecker and Thunderball make it out the back although the police are waiting for them. Wrecker sacrifices Thunderball to the cops so that he can escape. Loki is watching this, 'invisibly' and approves of the behaviour, aiding the Wrecker by making him invisible too so that he can evade the police.
The Wrecker doesn't seem very grateful and tries to shoot Loki (we see Loki is bullet-proof too), only to have Loki pimp slap some sense into him. He offers to increase the Wrecker’s strength to Asgardian levels, but in return he must promise to kill Thor. Loki knows the Wrecker won't win, but just needs Thor distracted until he can find the Destroyer.
Loki (after learning the location of the Destroyer) journeys to Vietnam, where he magically coerces a hunter to locate and uncover the hidden temple housing Odin's creation. The hunter touches the Destroyer armour, activating it. However, Loki's control over the hunter is broken and it goes berserk, attacking Loki. Loki has to use his full repertoire of magic just to avoid destruction. Here we also get to see the various powers of the Destroyer in action. We also find out that the Destroyer is made from the same metal as Thor’s indestructible hammer. Eventually Loki finds his way back to the hunter's body and uses it as a human shield. The Destroyer pauses and bends knee to Loki.
We then cut back to Norway where the police are interviewing the people who were attacked by the Stone men. The police are having trouble believing these stories. But a french chemistry lab assistant, Paul Duval, working with the police, is anxious to study the shattered rocks and takes some samples. [incidently for those that don't know Paul Duval is the name of the Gray Gargoyle, I favour the actor who played the Merovingian in the Matrix trilogy to play him].
Back in America we cut to the rest of the Crew in a police van, being driven to jail (a fourth criminal in the van could be Crusher Creel). Suddenly an energy blast catches the van and overturns it. Then we see the door being ripped off its hinges. The Wrecker sticks his head in and says "Hello boys, miss me!?" The police (from the front seats) flank him, and tell him to put his hands up. But he throws the van door at one of the police, knocking him out. The second cop shoots him (we see the Wrecker is bullet proof now too). "You shouldn'a done that!" He then menacingly advances to the cop who unloads the rest of his bullets into him, to no avail. We then see the Wrecker raise his crowbar and then the camera cuts to showing a shadow of the Wrecker bludgeoning the cop [too violent to show onscreen].
Act 3 (approx. 30 minutes)
The Wrecker explains that he can share his power with the rest of the crew. Loki has them kidnap Jane Foster (who was in the bank when it was being robbed), to give them an edge. Thor battles the Wrecking Crew, at the construction site. After initial cheap shots by the villains, Thor starts to deal with them, easily manhandling them despite their powers. Thunderball could gain his ball and chain here, Piledriver could use a massive steel girder as a weapon, while Bulldozer attempts to charge and headbutt Thor. However, as Thor knocks the others out the Wrecker gets stronger, reclaiming his full power, until he is virtually a match for Thor.
[Elements to be resolved: Not sure on the best way to have the Wrecker use Jane Foster as a hostage here. Also I was thinking that maybe the Wrecking Crew should initially dominate Thor, who then has a flashback to when he was a young Asgardian and remembers that he is a great warrior after all, then he begins to dominate the Crew easily.]
Loki uses the Destroyer to attack the U.N. Building to get world leaders to acknowledge him as ruler. This calls out the U.S. Military in force, however, the more the Destroyer battles the more bloodthirsty it becomes (we see a sort of x-ray of the Destroyer and the hunters struggling spirit within) and the more Loki loses his control (and eventually gets blasted by the Destroyer). The Destroyer starts wasting the military and the place looks like a war zone, tanks are being crushed, tossed around and melted. A tank shell hits the Destroyer but doesn't phase it. Someone tries to run the Destroyer over in a tank and doesn't push it back an inch, the tank denting in the middle. The Destroyer lifts the tank, holds it up and uses the dreaded disintigration on it, the blast vapourises what it hits and continues on to the U.N. Building, eliminating an area shaped like a cone [in the same way terminator teleport disintigrates the sphere around it, only on a much larger scale]. This causes the remainder of the U.N. Building to collapse on top of the Destroyer, but it keeps on coming [similar to the Fist of the North Star animated feature film where the collapsing skyscraper falls on the hero but he just walks through it].
Thor and the Wrecker battle amidst the girders and cranes of the construction site. Thor throws his hammer at Wrecker, but the Wrecker counters by throwing his crowbar, the two weapons colliding and returning to their owners. The Wrecker using his knowledge of the place to knock Thor off the roof (By blasting something suspended above him). However the Wreckers celebrations are cut short when Thor uses his lightning on the villain (which we see melting the girder), the blast stuns the Wrecker and as he falls Thor catches him with a Mjolnir uppercut which knocks him into the central pillars and the whole frame of the building buries the Wrecker. Thor hears the battle going on in the distance and flies off, initially he flies at the Destroyer but when it destroys the UN Building he sees someone in the window of the building as it falls and flies in one window, grabs the cleaning maid (who hadn't heard the call to evacuate the building because she had her ipod up too loud) and out the other side of the building as it collapses.
The commanding officer (Colonel Case) orders for an evacuation and nuclear strike. However Thor shows up and sets down the girl he just rescued. He says that will only anger the Destroyer further. Case, asks what can defeat the Destroyer? Thor does not reply, but grimly and silently strides off to face the construct. A huge dust cloud is about to envelop the area (from the devastation of the UN Building) but Thor summons a tornado to suck the dust into the sky. As the dust cloud clears, the Destroyer ominously comes into view. The ensuing battle has Thor use the full range of his powers against the Destroyer (massive Thunderstorms and Lightning Strikes) but it simply isn't good enough. We also get to see Thor using the energy absorption of the hammer on the destroyers regular blasts - but it only just about manages to take the strain; burning Thor’s hands in the process (if only I had some gloves he remarks). Thor then goes toe to toe in a titanic struggle as Lightning rages around them and debris is whipped up to deflect the Destroyers killer blows. Thor is pummelled into pulp, but keeps on coming, with a last show of effort he manages to make the Destroyer bend a knee with the force of his onslaught. This gives him enough time to whip up a dimensional storm (after hearing a voice in his head tell him to do so) and the protagonists find themselves on a rainbow bridge in space.
However the Destroyer is not finished and uses the dreaded disintigration power on him. Thor blocks this with Mjolnir, but the hammer is destroyed in the process. In the background we hear a great horn blowing. Thor now only has 60 seconds before he reverts to Blake. Thor goes nuts and starts beating on the Destroyer with his bare fists, even managing to topple the monster, but at that point he reverts to human form, and the Destroyer levels its disintigration at Donald Blake (who is for a moment amazed he can breathe in space) and intones "Die". Then we hear the voice we have heard throughout the movie in both flashbacks and giving advice to Thor. He says the fight is with him, as the Destroyer turns and intones "So be it" and fires the disintigration at none other than ODIN! Odin catches the beam however (to the amazement of the throng of Asgardians about him) and although initially it looks like he is going to be disintigrated is able to contain the blast with one hand (mumbling something about not being able to disintigrate thy creator), and sucks the hunters soul out of the Destroyer with the other. The Destroyer topples forward, motionless.
Odin is able to re-forge Mjolnir (though as we will see in the 2nd movie that this act taxes his power and he has to undertake the Odin-sleep - perhaps hinted here at the start of the prologue). Loki is gone for now, slinking off into the shadows cursing his brother. Thor returns to Earth and re-unites the hunter’s body with his soul. He then returns to Donald Blake’s practice, Jane Foster sees him (and thinks he is here to see her) they almost kiss, but she looks at a picture of Don Blake on her desk and pulls away. Thor remarks "Donald Blake is a lucky man" to her, then he flies off. She is torn between Blake (we see a picture of him on her desk) and Thor.
[Elements to be resolved: Should Odin be able to catch the disintigration beam? Would that cheapen the Destroyer Odin battle with the Celestials in Thor 6? It might be better to have Odin defeat the Destroyer some other way. Also I initially had Jane Foster's soul in the Destroyer, but I am not sure that will work.]
Epilogue (approx. 1 minute)
If we want to segue into the second movie, then as Thor flies through the air (perhaps at the end of the credits), we pan out to see a futuristic screen showing Thor being watched by a bald headed individual (only ever seeing the back of his head), we keep panning out as the figure relates that there is the villain who ruined the Earth and must die, we pan out of the window to a ruined Earth with great statues of an older Thor littering the place (the second movie features Zarrko, and from the start I think it would be a good idea to show his hatred of Thor for wrecking the future).
Like I said I have similar treatments for the first 10 Thor movies, some closely parallel actual stories (The Surtur Saga is pretty close for instance), whereas others (like this one) do not represent actual stories within the comics but I think I have adhered to the spirit of the characters.
I should also add that the various movies are chronologically accurate (with regards key elements and the introduction of characters) to the comics. Usually where one saga didn't have enough elements I combined the best from two or three stories over a spread of maybe 30-40 issues.
Wait a minute 10+ movies!?! Are you nuts!?
Possibly. However, my thinking is that you could do things in trilogies, with one trilogy each 12 years or so, recycling the main cast every three movies. That way you have a new trilogy for each new generation of cinema goers and the franchise has enough breathing room between trilogies to avoid over exposure in the eyes of the public.
eg. Movie #1: 2010, #2: 2013, #3: 2016 [End of trilogy], #4: 2022, #5 2025, #6 2028 [End of 2nd trilogy], #7 2034, #8 2037, #9 2040 etc.
Unless stated otherwise, all content © 2001-2007 Craig Cochrane. All rights reserved.