MAJOR MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW!!! MAKE LIKE THOR AND PUT THE HAMMER DOWN!!!
Credits rolled. Shawarma’s been had by all (except Cap). Our heroes have gone their separate ways, some of them to distances quite far. Where do we go from here? Let’s go character-by-character and see where they could be post-Avengers.
Thor & Loki (Next Appearance: Thor 2 – November 15, 2013)
(Thanks to JohnLocke for the sweet gif)
Honestly, I’m surprised by the timing of Thor 2. Given that I expected it to be the best film to lead into Avengers 2 (which I’ll get into later), I didn’t expect this film to be released possibly 2 years before we see an Avengers sequel. I don’t know Thor’s character as well as Iron Man, so my predictions are based on my limited understanding of the character and his world(s).
What We Know:
As far as cast, we have Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston signed on for at least 4 more films (they originally signed a 6-picture deal). Natalie Portman will also be back but rumors of her displeasure over the decision to let go of director Patty Jenkins in favor of Alan Taylor could color her enthusiasm for the project. Sir Anthony Hopkins is also expected to return as Odin, however Hopkins talked about how the director of the first Thor, Kenneth Branaugh, brought out the best in him and who knows if Taylor will be able to coax the same performance from him.
Storywise, Thor 2 is supposed to further explore the remaining realms of the World Tree. We’ve seen Midguard (Earth) and the icy Jotunheim, but what of the others? With the Bifrost still destroyed, and Jane Foster on Earth trying to find a way to connect the realms, how will we see a reunion for the pair?
The most information we have so far comes from Kevin Feige, Marvel Studios President: "We start filming in three months (from April), it's well under way. The way The Avengers is constructed, not a lot of time passes over the course of the movie and whether it's Cap or Thor on the ground in the States here in modern day, they don't have a lot of time to deal with their own stories, they've gotta deal with the stories of The Avengers.
"So while the relationship between Loki and Thor certainly has changed and has progressed, a lot of Thor 2 is picking up where it left off in terms of Jane [Foster, played by Natalie Portman], who you just saw for a moment on a computer monitor, and also what's been going on in the nine realms without the Asgardians being able to use the Bifrost?"
"I will just say it's not good. The darn thing about the nine realms is that there are a lot of relics. Whether it's a Casket of Ancient Winters or a Tesseract or something else, they wreak a lot of havoc."
When asked about the future villain, Feige said, "Loki has a part, but there will be a different villain, another big villain. But you can't do a Thor movie without Loki."
At the End of Avengers:
Thor and Loki return to Asgard with the Tesseract. Loki is in chains, his mouth is bound, and Thor has done enough to convince Nick Fury and SHIELD that he will be made to pay for his crimes with a swift dose of Asgardian justice. Whatever he told them also seemed to satisfy Clint Barton, who gave a smile and nod of approval once Natasha filled him in on the plan as they watched the pair depart.
The relationship between Thor and Loki is as shattered as ever.
Throughout Avengers, Thor still cares for his brother, even reprimanding Banner (momentarily) for the way he spoke about Loki. During the forest confrontation/Shakespeare in the Park, Thor tried to convince Loki to come home to Asgard, telling Loki that the others mourned and missed him. His words seemed to reach the trickster briefly, but Loki knew he was in too deep to back out. In the face of the destruction in New York, Thor tried once again to reason with Loki and bring an end to the madness. That’s when Loki stabbed Thor with a small blade, and while the blade only stopped Thor for a moment, the wound may have pierced his heart - causing him to lose all hope in his brother’s redemption.
In Avengers, however, he makes a point to correct Thor that Odin is HIS father. In his mind, it was Thor who tossed him into the abyss off the side of the Bifrost. So Loki has internally destroyed all connections that he once had to Asgard. Perhaps Tom Hiddleston put it best: “When you see Loki let go of that spear at the end of Thor, he lets go of Asgard, he lets go of Asgard and his need for that place and his attachment and need for the affection and respect of Odin and his brother. As he disappears in that wormhole, that's a literal way of saying, 'I'm done. Asgard is gone and I have other things to do.' At the beginning of The Avengers, you see the beginnings of what Loki is planning and if he doesn't belong in Asgard, where might he belong? In that tragic place of confusion of 'Where do I belong in this universe?' Loki's answer is 'I will make myself belong,' which is dark and menacing and dangerous.”
So now where does Loki belong? In Avengers, the Other was very clear that the price of Loki’s head would be steep if he failed to deliver the Tesseract. “If you fail, if the Tesseract is kept from us, there will be no realm, no barren moon, no crevasse where he can't find you. You think you know pain? You will wish to receive something as sweet as pain.” Maybe Loki will want to keep a low profile in Asgardian prison for a while...
What of Thor? He mentioned during the Avengers that Earth was under his protection, which Loki mocked as “idle threatening.” In order for Thor to come to Earth, Loki mentions that Odin had to summon a large amount of “dark energy.” What is this energy? What will it mean for Asgard? What was the price that had to be paid? I hope that Thor 2 dives a little deeper into how much sacrifice was made in order to send Thor to Midgard. This was one of my biggest questions going into Avengers, and for it to be explained away in a simple line of dialogue was a little disappointing.
Thor has some explaining to do to Jane Foster in Thor 2. Those who felt that their relationship felt forced after two days on Earth may be treated to some future dialogue to that effect. Thor’s second trip to Earth was nationally televised, the whole world knows about it. And yet in all of his battling, Thor didn’t take the time to visit Jane? To make sure she was ok? He was assured by SHIELD that she was safe, but she doesn’t know that! Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned – and Thor may need more than mighty Mjonir to repair Jane’s hurt feelings.
How will Thor’s fascination with a mortal and Midgard carry with his father, Odin, who expects him to ascend to the throne of Asgard. When we first met Thor, he was eager to begin his rule. Now he is a changed man, thanks in large part to Jane Foster – favoring Earth to his beloved Asgard. Thor is caught between his desires and his destiny, and I’d expect to see fireworks once again between the All-Father and his son. According to the comics, Thor makes good on his promise to take Jane to Asgard and show her the sights. Odin offers to extend immortality to Jane, if she can prove herself worthy through a series of tests. She fails, and Odin is forced to wipe her memory of Asgard...and of Thor.
Mjonir. “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.” Those were the words that Odin enchanted on the mighty hammer as it fell to Earth. And boy, did Thor drop his hammer a lot in the Avengers. What would have happened if someone “worthy” picked it up? Just ask Beta Ray Bill who was bestowed with the powers of Thor after separating the DemiGod from his hammer. The first Thor filmed caught some slack because fans felt they had to wait too long to see Thor to wield Mjonir and crank up the level of bad-ass. While we probably won’t see Thor lose his hammer a second time, it would be nice to give him some type of weakness or vulnerability.
The Destroyer. Minor footnote, but the actual Destroyer is in SHIELD custody, as revealed in the prequel comic, and as we saw in the Avengers, it has been miniaturized and turned into a human weapon. How will Thor or Odin feel about yet another of his treasures falling into human hands and being used for weaponry?
Death. Loki has an interesting line in the Avengers, where he locks Thor in the glass cage and says, “The humans think us immortal. Should we test that?” It’s interesting because as a theatergoer, I too think Thor and Loki immortal and it gives them what I like to call “the Superman complex.” Superman is a dull hero in my eyes because he’s practically indestructible and you never really feel like he’s ever in any danger. Thanks to Avengers, Thor and Loki have ascended to that status and they don’t even have the kryptonite weakness to fall back on. Can these Demigods be killed? By whom? Thor took a blade to the stomach by Loki atop Stark Tower, and he treated it like a scratch on the playground. The Hulk smashed Loki into the ground like he was a rag doll, and Loki received a couple of scratches. Sure, he was out of action for a while, but I believe the crippling damage was that done to his ego, not his body. So for Thor 2, let’s see some Gods die. Maybe bump off those Warriors Three. Give me a sense of danger for Thor. Bring Ragnarok to Asgard – destroy Thor’s home. And there’s one Mad Titan who I believe would be perfect for the job...
Thanos. Here’s where things get interesting. As teased at the end of the Avengers, Thanos is coming. Both the Infinity Gauntlet and the Tesseract / Cosmic Cube are now in Odin’s possession in Asgard. In the comics, Thanos, the Mad Titan, is associated with both of these objects and wielded them (at separate times) with such force that he nearly destroyed the entire universe. Thanos would also be “the one” who is out for revenge for Loki’s incompetence, drawing him straight to Asgard. Loki is the only one with knowledge of Thanos, who bestowed “ancient knowledge” onto him. Here’s where the timing of the films seems strange to me. If Thanos comes to Asgard in Thor 2 and takes possession of these celestial objects, Avengers 2 needs to happen immediately afterward. The threat to the universe would be immediate, and it wouldn’t make sense for whatever is happening in Captain America 2 to take precedence over this cosmic threat. Maybe Thor 2 will wait until the end credits scene to address Thanos, or perhaps not use him at all, but it would seem that Thanos and Asgard are on an imminent collision course.
In order for Thanos’s later stories like Infinity Gauntlet to work, we are going to need a foundation for more of the cosmic/mystic beings in the Marvel Universe. What better vehicle to introduce characters like Doctor Strange than in a film that takes place in a realm where “science and magic are one and the same.” Doctor Strange and Thor have teamed up in past adventures, so his film debut may be around the corner. Other items found in Odin’s vault, including the Orb of Agamotto would suggest an appearance by Strange and some of the other more mystic entities in the future.
Loki. Tom Hiddleston has crafted the most interesting and popular villain in the Marvel movie-verse. In two films, Loki has achieved an arc from quiet jealous shadow to full-tilt vengeful diva. As he describes in Avengers, “ I’ve seen worlds you've never known about. I have grown, Odin's son, in my exile. I have seen the true power of the Tesseract.” So how much will this knowledge change Loki? Will being a wanted man actually cause him to join Thor’s side? Would Thor take him back? Whatever Marvel decides to do next with Thor, they need to keep Loki in the picture to please the fan base. And if the threat is cosmic, perhaps Loki is the only one who can save Asgard (so that he can later rule it).
What Do I Want?
I want more of what Kenneth Branaugh brought to Thor. I want the regality and the other-worldly visuals, but also grounded in a relatable story – with a strong focus on family. I want to see how the events of Thor and the Avengers has affected not only the title character but Loki and Odin as well. I care as much about Loki’s story as I do Thor, if not more, so I want him to have something to do in the sequel.
I would love for Thor 2 to involve the fall of Asgard, ending on an Empire Strikes Back-esque downer. Or if Thor is just so broken from the invasion that he is forced to turn to Loki for help. I want to see Lady Sif kick some more ass, because we need more female ass-kickers in the Marvel Movie U. It’d also be interesting to see a Thor/Sif/Jane triangle, with Sif trying to understand why Thor would choose a mortal over her.
I want to know the events between Thor and Avengers from both Thor and Loki’s perspectives. While it doesn’t have to go into detail, I’m curious to know what Thor was doing in Asgard for this time, how did he find out about Loki’s invasion of Earth, and what were some of the consequences of Odin’s sending him there. I want to know how Loki came to find Thanos and the Chituari, and what consequences he’s going to face for failing to deliver the Tesseract.
Finally, I want to see Loki’s redemption. Maybe keep him on the edge, or have some ulterior motives for what he is doing, but continue the character development that is going on between him and Thor. Perhaps a throwback to the earlier conversation with Black Widow where he asks if she can really clean her ledger. Now Loki too finds himself asking if you can wipe out that much red.
In case you missed it during Porn Day, check out the Iron Man issue here: http://www.moviefancentral.com/speederice/blogs/the-avengers:-where-do-we-go-from-here-iron-man-issue
So what do you want to see? Predictions? Theories? Issues with my theories? Let it all out in the comments below!