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What Were Thor, Loki, and Hulk Doing Before THOR: RAGNAROK?

This November, the God of Thunder returns with Thor: Ragnarok. But the MCU has changed a lot since we last saw Thor. When Nerdist visited the set in Australia, executive producer Brad Winderbaum teased this third installment in the Thor franchise would redefine the MCU, much like Captain America: The Winter Soldier did with its shocking S.H.I.E.L.D. reveal. Ahead of Avengers: Infinity WarThor: Ragnarok will reshape how we see Thor, Loki, Hulk, and cosmic Marvel.

–Thor–

During Avengers: Age of Ultron, cryptic visions urge Thor to return to Asgard, and we haven’t seen him since. Thor: Ragnarok picks up a couple of years later with its harried hero “like a lone gunslinger whose been adventuring around the cosmos.” Between his time with the Avengers, and his rumbles in other realms–including the dark Muspelheim where this sequel kicks off–Thor is no longer the glamorous and dopey god MCU fans remember. 

He’s a lot grubbier,” director Taika Waititi told us while fully wielding one of Ragnarok’s massive prop swords. “Thor spent two years on earth hanging out with (Tony Stark). So, he’s got some sass. He knows a little bit more about irony and sarcasm now. He’s got a little bit of Earth humor. He’s like a rich kid from outer space who has spent some time slumming it for a bit.”

“There’s a maturity to him,”Chris Hemsworth said. An asset he’ll need as he faces fresh challenges in the gladiator-loving planet of Sakaar and on his home-turf battle with the Goddess of Death, Hela. “No step he takes is easy, when he’s climbing this particular mountain.”

Hemsworth even suggested that the once idealistic Thor has grown a bit jaded, saying of his relationship to his brother Loki is more like, “You know what kid, do what you want. You can’t hurt for trying. You’re a screw up, so whatever. Do your thing.”

–Loki–

Thor’s apathy will definitely wound his mischievous brother. “The opposite of love is not hate, but indifference,” Tom Hiddleston mused about his character. “The idea that Thor might be indifferent to Loki is troubling for him. Because that’s a defining feature of his character: ‘I don’t belong in the family; my brother doesn’t love me; I hate my brother.’ And the idea his brother’s like, ‘Yeah, whatever?’ It’s an interesting development.”

After faking his death, Loki rules Asgard, disguised as his father Odin. But ruling isn’t as easy as this God of Mischief imagined. “He failed to realize the threats that were just over the horizon,” Winderbaum said, “Hela being the biggest and most terrible one of all.” Her assault on Asgard forces the estranged brothers to team up once more.

“The Goddess of Death shows up, and the stakes are high, for everybody,” Hiddleston said while draped in his full Loki regalia, complete with green leather armor and cape. “So Loki–perhaps more than ever–is challenged to define himself in the face of that threat.”

Could this mean a full redemption arc for the MCU’s most beloved baddie? “I think he’s a mercurial spirit,” Hiddleston mused, “And the minute you try to define him, he changes shape. He is the shapeshifter in the pantheon. Although events in Ragnarok try and conspire to change him forever, I think. But they change for everyone.”

–Hulk–

Early on in the film’s development, Marvel’s team was pulling inspiration from the comic Planet Hulk. Winderbaum explained. “The idea of a planet where gladiatorial games are a Thor predicament really was a cool idea to us.” From there, Hulk’s inclusion in Thor: Ragnarok was a “no-brainer.”

The heartbroken brute was last seen in the end of Age of Ultron, escaping Earth in the Quinjet after having been betrayed by Black Widow. Shortly thereafter, a worm hole crash landed his ship on Sakaar, which production designer Dan Hennah described as “Space Vegas.” There Hulk is “The Grandmaster’s favorite toy,” and the greatest gladiator its arena has ever seen. Which is how he comes to reunite/rumble with a captured and conscripted Thor. (“We know each other–from work!”)

While Hulk is spoiled for riches and praise as a local celebrity, Banner is trapped. “He’s been Hulk for two years,” Hennah revealed. In that time, this once grunting beast has evolved his language, as was teased in the latest trailer. But how has this impacted the strained relationship between man and beast?

Regrettably, Mark Ruffalo was no longer on set to say. But Tessa Thompson, who’ll plays the fearsome Valkyrie, teased, “We are getting to see a Bruce Banner and a Hulk that we’ve not seen in any of the other movies.”

Thor: Ragnarok opens November 3rd. Advance tickets are now on sale wherever tickets are sold. Look for more from Nerdist’s set visit soon.

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Images: Marvel Studios

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