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Thor panel coverage is here! Portman signed for more Thor films, but no Avengers, Punisher returning to Marvel and more!!!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here to finish up the coverage of the Marvel panel. Sorry I didn’t post this last night, but I was, without any exaggeration, falling asleep at the keyboard typing up the Captain American panel. This Con has been a rough, stressful one and boy was I worn out last night. I’m kind of afraid to go back and read what I wrote. I’m sure none of it made any sense. And the below will probably be more of the same, but now I don’t have the excuse of extreme exhaustion! Damn it! Kenneth Branagh was introduced and answered a couple questions before bringing out the cast.

- Branagh said he read English comics, but knew very little about American comics. However, he always loved Thor… loved the name, loved the treatment in the comics, loved him as a character of brute strength and the epic scope of the stories. Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Clark Gregg, the beautiful Kat Dennings and the ungodly vision on Earth Natalie Portman. - How did Hemsworth approach wielding the Hammer. He said he looked at the comics to see how Thor postured and how he used the weapon, then took that and figured out how to make it work on screen. “(The Hammer) is the same as the costume. It’s a huge part of the character.” And apparently pretty damn heavy. - Portman wants to play Jane Foster as a real, frazzled down to earth and grounded woman, not a hot scientist with glasses and cleavage. (That wouldn’t be too bad, either in my humble opinion). - Dennings’ character Darcy is a new creation. She’s Jane Foster’s helper… “side-kick, little sister-y protégée who doesn’t know how to do anything,” says Dennings. - Hiddleston on Loki: “He is both the agent of chaos and also the damaged, jealous younger brother… the one who was overlooked, that could have been ‘the guy’, but is not… because I don’t have the guns this guy has!” - Clark Gregg was dubbed the glue of the Marvel Universe by moderator Geoff Boucher. “I love being the glue!” responded Gregg. - In Iron Man 2, before one of the takes they told Clark Gregg “say ‘I have to go to New Mexico.’” He didn’t know what that meant until weeks later when he brought it up with Feige. “What is in New Mexico?” “Thor. They didn’t tell you?” - When asked about Donald Blake there was just a smile on Branagh’s face and said “There are touches of Donald Blake in the movie.” - Portman happy to be “in a family again” with Hugo Weaving. - Natalie not in The Avengers, but signed for more THOR films. - “You win! You win! You’re the best questioner ever.” – Natalie Portman to the immortal Bob Stencil when he asked her, a Harvard graduate, about Jungian layers to the film… and does he swing a big ass hammer good? - Someone demanded Feige comment on Edward Norton? “He’s not here today.” Then quoted Norton’s letter, saying Hulk is bigger than any one person to some rumblings from the audience. - Branagh said that Thor is very similar to his Shakespeare work, especially in the dysfunctional family dynamic. - “How heavy was that hammer because it seems like you’ve been lifting it quite a bit…” from a female audience member, which received an honest to God blush from Hemsworth. “It did get easier to lift through the film…” - Hemsworth was given books by Branagh to prepare for the role. They included Norse mythology, comics, family dynamics books. Thor world was completely new Hemsworth. - A guy in a Punisher shirt asked Feige if there was any hope for Marvel’s R-rated properties, pointing to his shirt. “Frank Castle is under the roof of Marvel Studios now and we hope to bring him into the fray shortly.”

Then footage. Here’s what we saw. Clark Gregg’s Agent Coulson opens the film circling a man sitting in a chair in what looks like an interrogation room. “One way or another we find out what we want to know. We’re good at that. It’s not easy to do what you did. My men are the most highly trained in the world and you made them look like mall cops.” We see shots of Hemsworth rumbling with the SHIELD agents. This is all Earth stuff with Thor fighting without a suit or hammer. “Why don’t you tell me where you received that training. Afghanistan? You strike me more as a soldier of fortune type. Who are you?” And that’s when we see Hemsworth’s face for the first time, giving Coulson a big fuck you stare. From here on the footage moves to Asgard. Sweeping shots of golden streets as Anthony Hopkins’ Odin speaks over the footage. “I have sacrificed much to achieve peace. You have opened these innocent realms to the horror and devastation of war. You are a vain and cruel boy.” Hopkins really shouts down Hemsworth, who dishes it back at the old man. “And you are an old fool!” Hopkins responds with quiet sadness. “I was a fool… to think you were ready. In the name of my father and his father before… I cast you out!” That last bit was played over the scene in the Great Hall, Thor on his knees in front of Odin, his winged helm is removed and then we see a flash and a deep rumble of thunder and Hemsworth is laying in a desert. Natalie Portman and Kat Dennings are leaning over him as he wakes up. He looks around upon waking and says, “Oh, no… this is Earth, isn’t it?” Portman and Dennings trade a look. Hemsworth changes shirts in a later scene and Dennings sneaks a peek and says to Portman: “You know for a crazy homeless person he’s pretty cut.” Next shot had Hemsworth trying to explain where he came from to Portman. “Your ancestors called it magic, yet you call it science. I can prove they are one and the same. The answers you seek will be yours once I claim what’s mine.” Mjolnir is in embedded in the ground, surrounded by tarps and caution tape. A muddy Hemsworth approaches as Hopkins voice over says “Whoever wields this hammer, be he worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.” Hemsworth wraps his fingers around the handle and tries to pull with all his might, fails, screams to the heavens in frustration. Then we leave Earth and return to Asgard as Odin lays dead (presumably) and Loki takes power as the successor to the throne. This, apparently, isn’t good news for the people of earth as they run around in a panic. More Odin voice over as Thor watches the devastation: “His fate is in his own hands now.” Coulson and his SHIELD agents are in the desert as something crashes into the dust. The metal Destroyer stands and approaches the agents. “You are using unregistered weapons technology. Identify yourself.” One of the agents asks Coulson: “Is that one of Stark’s?” Coulson responds, “I don’t know. He never tells me anything.” The Destroyer’s helmet opens and a bright beam of light boils there before shooting out and… well, destroying things. There are lots of glimpses of the fully costumed Thor in battle, very quickly cut in the sizzle reel, but really badass swinging the hammer, deflecting blows with it against a stormy background. Gotta say, I really dug the hell out of the footage. The scope is just as epic as I was hoping it’d be and Branagh seems to have found the right balance of fantasy and real world. Of course, the final product is yet to be seen, but the footage was pretty ass-kicking.

There’s that stuff! Can’t wait to see more from the man with the hammer! -Quint quint@aintitcool.com Follow Me On Twitter



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