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Thor (2011) Poster

(2011)

Trivia

In Norse mythology, Thor's nickname was "protector of mankind" (which is apt, considering Thor's superhero status today). Scandinavians to this day wear Mjölnir-amulets, referred to as "torshammare" (Thor's Hammers).
Jump to: Cameo (3) | Spoilers (12)
The final choice for the role of Thor came down to brothers Chris Hemsworth and Liam Hemsworth. Chris found it funny: "We both came all the way over here from Australia and ended up battling against each other." He, however, bore no ill-will towards Liam, claiming he was rooting for him to get the role. Chris was eventually chosen, but Liam got a supporting role in the Hunger Games film franchise.
When Chris Hemsworth and Sir Anthony Hopkins saw each other in full armor for the first time, Hopkins said, "God, there's no acting required here, is there?"
(At around forty-seven minutes) Dr. Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård) mentions a comrade who got mixed up with S.H.I.E.L.D., whom he described as "a pioneer in gamma radiation". This alludes to Bruce Banner, whose experiments in gamma radiation mutated him into The Incredible Hulk (2008). A deleted scene, also has him mention Hank Pym, from Ant-Man (2015).
Stan Lee claims he'd always wanted to play Odin, but was happy with Sir Anthony Hopkins' casting and performance in the role.
To prepare for the role of Thor, Chris Hemsworth put on a massive amount of build and weight, through a six-month regimen of trips to the gym and indulging in a massive diet of eggs, chicken, sandwiches, vegetables, brown rice, steak, and protein drinks.
(At around forty-three minutes) As Thor is leaving the restaurant to go to the crater site, and Jane follows him, you can see a small water tower at the end of the street that says "Welcome. Home of the Vikings."
Kenneth Branagh has been a fan of "Thor" since childhood. When Marvel Studios selected Branagh as the director, they sent him the complete collection of the Marvel Thor comics series as reference material for the character.
When Tom Hiddleston learned he was going to be in the film, he was in "a grisly pub" in North London, and caused an uproar there by screaming out loud.
Tom Hiddleston described his role of Loki as "a comic book, but nastier version, of King Lear's Edmund." In the William Shakespeare play, Edmund was a Prince, who was jealous of his brother Edgar, and tricked his father into banishing him into exile.
(At around twenty-eight minutes) Kenneth Branagh asked Sir Anthony Hopkins to improvise his reaction to Thor's yelling at him in the banishment scene. Hopkins agreed, and when the scene was filmed, many of the cast and crew present were sobbing. Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston later said they had to struggle to keep their composure during filming that scene. Hiddleston later complimented Hopkins, to which he said, "Ken's fantastic, isn't he?"
(At around nine minutes) It's mentioned that Thor's Hammer was forged inside "a dying star". This actually makes a modicum of scientific sense. When a very large star dies in a supernova, sometimes its remains collapsed to form a "neutron star". These objects cram the mass of the sun into the size of a city, forming a new kind of matter nicknamed "neutronium". A single teaspoon of this material would weigh billions of tons. If Mjölnir was made of this material, it would certainly explain its incredible weight.
The film makes extensive use of actual Norse mythology (on which the "Thor" comic was based):
  • The war between the Asgardians and the Jotunns was based on the Aesir-Vanir War (the Jotunns were, in fact, a non-hostile, non-antagonistic race).
  • Odin's ravens Huginn (thought) and Muninn (memory), who gather information in Midgard (Earth) and relay it to Odin, are sitting on his throne during Thor's coronation ceremony.
  • The symbol seen at the weapons vault, and on Mjolnir, is the triquetra, a religious symbol. Its ancestor is the valknut, a German symbol associated with Odin.
  • The Bifrost, originally thought of as the rainbow by the Norse, is seen as a beam of rainbow light.
  • When Odin appears in Jotunheim, he is riding his eight-legged horse Sleipnir.
  • A Jotun calls Thor a "little princess", once Thor's hammer was stolen, and he dressed up as a Princess to go back and retrieve it.
  • Laufey and Thor describe Loki as mischievous and a talented liar, an homage to Loki's titles as the god of mischief and lies.
  • Thor asks for a cat to ride; Thor's mother Frigga has her chariot pulled by two large blue cats.
  • Thor shows Jane a drawing of crossroads with nine orbs in it, his perception and representation of Yggdrasil, a great tree around which the nine worlds are tethered, making up the universe.
Tom Hiddleston found Loki's helmet very uncomfortable, as it was heavy to wear, and he couldn't see properly out of it. He channeled this discomfort into Loki's battle scenes.
Tom Hiddleston prepared for the role by going on a strict diet before and throughout filming, so that Loki would have a lean, but hungry visage.
To prepare for his role as Loki, Tom Hiddleston trained in the Brazilian martial art of capoeira.
(At around one hour and twenty-one minutes) When the Destroyer appears on Earth, the S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents speculate that it could belong to Tony Stark (Iron Man). In the storyline "Fear Itself", Tony Stark acquired Destroyer armor from Asgard.
According to Kenneth Branagh, the closing credits sequence was based on images from the Hubble Space Telescope, and took eighteen months to create.
Sir Anthony Hopkins claims he relates to his role of Odin: "I'm a little like Odin myself. He's a stern man. He's a man with purpose. I play the god who banishes his son from Asgard, because he screwed up. He's a hot-headed, temperamental young man, probably a chip off of the old block, but I decide he's not really ready to rule the future kingdom, so I banish him. I'm harsh, and my wife complains, and I say 'That is why I'm King'".
The Agent that grabs a bow and arrow when Thor is attempting to recover Mjölnir is referred to as Agent Barton. This is Clint Barton, also known as the archer Hawkeye.
The artifacts seen in the Asgard weapons vault are of various mystical objects seen in the Marvel comics. They are, in chronological appearance:
  • The Tablet of Life and Time, a slab that can extend one's lifetime.
  • The Eye of Agamotto (played a major part in Doctor Strange (2016)).
  • The Warlock's Eye, an artifact that can control people's minds.
  • The Eternal Flame, a mystical flame that cannot be extinguished.
  • The Casket of Ancient Winters, an enchanted container filled with frosty winds (played a major role in this film).
  • The Infinity Gauntlet (right-handed), a glove encrusted with six reality-bending jewels.
Mjölnir is ancient Norse for "grinder".
Tom Hiddleston researched Marvel Comics' Loki, and found him to be a multi-dimensional character, and based his performance as Loki on three different actors: Peter O'Toole (enigmatic reckless persona), Jack Nicholson (edgy and near-insane persona), and Clint Eastwood (persona with simmering anger).
(At around fifty minutes) Thor enters the pet store and calls for a horse, and then Jane picks him up in her Pinzgauer 716 truck. The joke is that the Pinzgauer is named after an Austrian breed of horse, thus Thor got a ride on a horse.
(At around twenty-eight minutes) Kenneth Branagh was inspired to do the scene where Odin rips off Thor's chestplates from The Life of Emile Zola (1937), where a disgraced Army officer was stripped of his rank.
Kenneth Branagh conceptualized this film as a Norse and comic book twist on William Shakespeare's Henry V (1989), which was about a young King, who underwent trials and tribulations: fighting a war, courting a girl from another land, trying to live up to the example set by his father (a beloved King), and basic character development.
Jaimie Alexander had served on the wrestling team at her high school, in her Texas hometown of Colleyville, so she says she had some experience in fighting, to use in her role as Sif.
Sir Anthony Hopkins signed on as Odin, despite never having read a "Thor" comic, nor knowing anything about the Thor mythology. It was the concept of the father and son relationship, that intrigued him about the role.
To prepare for the role of Heimdall, Idris Elba read the "Thor" comics where Heimdall was featured prominently: "He's a very central character, and I wanted to reflect him as he is in the comic books."
An entire town was constructed in Galisteo, New Mexico, to serve as a fictional location for the film.
This is Rene Russo's first film in six years. According to Russo, it was her daughter who persuaded her to work on the film, after a long sabbatical.
Originally, the persona of Dr. Donald Blake (Thor's alternate identity and personality) was going to be in the film, and Kevin McKidd was considered for the part. However, Blake was written out, and was instead used as a false identity for Thor.
Thor refers to Agent Coulson as "Son of Coul", misinterpreting his surname as "Coul's Son", in the way Norse cultures construct surnames (Odin's son becomes Odinson, et cetera).
Kenneth Branagh and Tom Hiddleston were performing in a West End stage production of "Ivanov" when it was announced that Branagh would direct this movie. At the 2010 Empire Movie Con, Hiddleston recalled one night when, as a joke, he burst into Branagh's dressing room wielding an empty plastic container from a water cooler like Mjölnir, shouting "Come on, Ken, what do you think!?" Brannagh's response was reportedly a very jokey "You never know, darling, stranger things have happened." Two months later, Hiddleston was auditioning for Thor, before landing the role as Loki.
According to Producer Kevin Feige, the Bifrost bridge is the films's most interesting set: "In the comics, it's literally a rainbow that extends out from Asgard and pops down on Earth. We're not necessarily doing that. We're not having the big hard solid lines of colors. We're saying it's some sort of energy, almost a solid quartz bridge that, as the light catches it, and flows through it, you get some of that rainbow-esque quality to it."
According to Chris Hemsworth, the action coordinators experimented with different combat styles, but ultimately the fighting technique Thor utilizes, is an original one, based on boxing: stance low to the ground, with big powerful hip movements.
To prepare of the role of Fandral, Josh Dallas drew inspiration from renowned swashbuckler Errol Flynn and his films: "Flynn had a lot of that boyish charm that Fandral's got all that in him." The comics' characterization of Fandral was also based on Flynn.
According to Kenneth Branagh, the film's biggest challenge was connecting the worlds of Asgard and twenty-first century Earth: "It's about finding the framing style, the color palette, finding the texture and the amount of camera movement that helps celebrate and express the differences and distinctions in those worlds. If it succeeds, it will mark this film as different. The combination of the primitive and the sophisticated, the ancient and the modern, I think that potentially is the exciting fusion, the exciting tension in the film."
Natalie Portman took the role of Jane Foster, because she couldn't resist the opportunity of a comic book film, directed by Kenneth Branagh: "I was just like, Kenneth Branagh doing 'Thor' is super-weird, I've gotta do it."
The film's portrayal of Thor combines the classic Marvel Comics character (Thor is cast down to Earth to as punishment for his arrogance) with the Marvel "Ultimate" character (Thor is dismissed by many on Earth as a crazy, deluded man). Thor's armor also shares a mix of the classic and Ultimate designs.
Colm Feore's make-up as Laufey the Frost Giant, took five hours to apply.
Tom Hiddleston went on to become a comic book fan, especially of Loki.
Alexander Skarsgård was one of the actors in the running for the role of Thor, primarily for his physical appearance. Alexander's father Stellan landed a role in the film, as Professor Erik Selvig.
The Earth town where most of the film is set is named "Puente Antiguo", which means "old bridge", and could be hinting at the Bifrost using it as a frequent destination point.
(At around thirty-two minutes) The crater that is created by the impact of Thor's Hammer, is the same design as Captain America's shield. The center where the Hammer rests, is in the shape of a rough star, which then has two circles around it, intended to be the stripes.
In the DVD audio commentary, Kenneth Branagh reveals that the shot near the end of Jane Foster and her associates working in their lab, was actually meant to be the opening shot of the film, and that the closing title sequence of the Nine Realms, was originally planned to be the film's prologue.
In the film, the casket of Ancient Winters was held by the Frost Giants of Jotunheim. In the comics, it was held by the Dark Elves of Svartalfheim, in particular, their leader Malekith the Accursed. In this film, Loki holds the Casket, and asks Odin if he is accursed, an homage to Malekith.
This is Sir Anthony Hopkins' first comic book film (The Mask of Zorro (1998) is debatable). He was previously offered the role of Alfred in Batman Begins (2005).
A model of the Infinity Gauntlet, an all-powerful weapon capable of controlling aspects of reality (soul, time, space,reality, power, and mind) in the "Marvel Comics" universe, was constructed for this film. The model is made from bronze and copper (with jewels made from resin) and weighs sixty pounds. It was built to be operational, so that animatronics could be built on it.
In April 2006, Screenwriter and "Thor" fan Mark Protosevich wrote a script for the film, which he described as "an Old Testament God who becomes a New Testament God". However, the script was so laden with visual effects sequences, that it would require three hundred million dollars to film, so when Matthew Vaughn signed on, he re-wrote and trimmed the script, to bring the budget down to a more agreeable one hundred fifty million dollars.
In the comics, Jane Foster took over the Mjolnir and assumed the mantle of Thor, replacing the original character in his monthly comic book title.
Throughout this film, The Avengers (2012), Thor: The Dark World (2013) and Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Thor and Loki are referred to as "Asgardians" (Loki, of course, being notably absent in Age of Ultron). While it makes sense to call the inhabitants of Asgard "Asgardians", and is indeed straightforward to pronounce, inhabitants of Asgard are actually called the "Aesir". Only once do we see an Aesir, being referred to by this name.
Brad Pitt was rumored for the role of Thor; Channing Tatum and WWE wrestler Paul Levesque (a.k.a. Triple H, a.k.a. Hunter Hearst Helmsley) were considered for the part; Daniel Craig was the first choice; and Charlie Hunnam, Tom Hiddleston, Alexander Skarsgård, Liam Hemsworth, and Joel Kinnaman tested for the role, but finally Liam's brother Chris Hemsworth got the part.
Thor's armor is an amalgamation of the current Thor costume in mainstream Marvel continuity, and the "Ultimate Marvel" comics universe.
Colm Feore described his role of Laufey as "the Napoléon Bonaparte of Frost Giants", and drew inspiration from Sir Anthony Hopkins, Max von Sydow, and Paul Scofield (it was originally going to be all Hopkins, but Kenneth Branagh said they didn't need two Hopkins in the film).
The Enchantress was initially going to appear in the film; concept art of her exists online. Her cousin Lorelei would eventually appear in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2013), with Sif in pursuit of her.
(At around one hour and eighteen minutes) When the S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents track the Asgardians in search of Thor, they spot Sif, Fandral, and Hogun, but not Volstagg. A deleted scene has Volstagg knock out the S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents, having tracked them by their food, and then steal it.
Chapter Four of Phase One in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Zachary Levi was approached for the role of Fandral, but had to turn it down, due to scheduling conflicts. Dominic Cooper was rumored, but Stuart Townsend was then cast in the role. But, a few days before filming began, he left the role because of creative differences with the filmmakers. Finally, Josh Dallas took the role. Levi would later play Fandral in Thor: The Dark World (2013), when Dallas was no longer available. Cooper would go on to play young Howard Stark in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011).
There is a billboard in the town advertising for New Mexico tourism with the slogan "Land of Enchantment - Journey into Mystery". "Land of Enchantment" is the nickname of New Mexico, "Journey into Mystery" is the title of the Marvel comic book where Thor made his debut (Journey Into Mystery #83).
This is Rene Russo's first comic book film. She was previously considered for the role of Chase Meridian in Batman Forever (1995), but was replaced by Nicole Kidman, when Michael Keaton left the project, and was replaced by the younger Val Kilmer.
According to Kevin Feige, the filmmakers placed the Foo Fighters song "Walk" in the film, because they thought its lyrics were strangely appropriate for the film: "If you asked two months ago, if we would have a Foo Fighters song in this movie, I would have said 'I don't think so.' But we heard the song, and it just has these eerily appropriate lyrics and themes. Ken, in particular, just loved it with these lyrics about learning to walk again, and the way that fit the themes of the movie about redemption, and learning to be a hero."
The Science & Entertainment Exchange collaborated with the filmmakers on the film design, and production, with three physicists (Sean Carroll, Kevin Hand, and Jim Hartle, as well as physics student Kevin Hickerson) to provide a realistic scientific background for the film. This collaboration resulted in changing Jane Foster's profession from nurse to physicist, and used the terminology "Einstein-Rosen bridge" (named after Albert Einstein and Nathan Rosen) to describe the Bifrost.
The final Marvel Studios feature shot entirely on 35mm film.
In the 2014 "Thor" comics, Loki was designed to look like Tom Hiddleston.
For his role as the warrior Volstagg, Ray Stevenson wore a specially designed fat suit, that gave Volstagg a round but tough appearance: "What we've done is kind of sex Volstagg up. He has every bit of that Falstaffian verve and vigor, and a bit of a beer gut, to suggest an enormous appetite, but he's not the Weeble-shaped figure in the comics. He's Falstaff with muscles!"
(At around one hour and one minute) Agent Coulson asks Thor if he received his training with Special Forces. Chris Hemsworth was trained by a former Navy S.E.A.L. for his role as Thor.
This was the first film to get a theatrical release after it was released on home video in Indonesia.
Tom Hiddleston was chosen after previously collaborating with Kenneth Branagh on the theatrical play "Ivanov" and the television series Wallander (2008).
According to Screenwriter Don Payne, Dr. Jane Foster was more of a stereotypical scientist (dry and skeptical), but Natalie Portman wished to revise the character to make her more poetic: "She thought Jane could be someone who thinks outside of the box, someone whose theories are considered outlandish, and are frowned upon by the scientific community. But it's the kind of thinking that leads to great discoveries. When Thor arrives, she's willing to take a leap of faith, and she has to pay the consequences for it."
Charlie Cox auditioned for the role of Loki. While he didn't get the part, he did end up being cast as the main character in Daredevil (2015).
Jim Carrey was a long-time favorite and candidate for the role of Loki since The Mask (1994), which indirectly featured Loki. Josh Hartnett was also rumored for the role.
According to Tadanobu Asano, he is of part-Norwegian descent and so he felt it was a "necessity" for him to work on a film based on Norse mythology.
In 2005, Matthew Vaughn was going to direct this film, describing it as "the birth of a hero, interweaving Gladiator (2000) with Norse mythology." He went on to direct the comic book films Kick-Ass (2010) and X: First Class (2011) for Marvel, and Stardust (2007) for DC Comics.
This is Natalie Portman's second comic-book film after V for Vendetta (2005).
A Thor cartoon was planned to air in 2010 as a precursor to this film, but it never came to pass.
A few minutes after Thor smashes the coffee cup in the diner, you can see the truck that Stan Lee was driving pass by the diner. You can tell because the back half is missing from being pulled off when trying to move Mjolnir at the crater.
The film takes place in 965 and 2011.
A Roman God (Nabil Nona) is seen in the banquet at the end of the film. In the Marvel comics, the Norse and Greco-Roman gods (Asgardians and Olympians respectively) know of each other. The gods Thor and Hercules are best friends, and fellow Avengers.
(At around one hour and twenty-nine minutes) Thor mentions that he "would have words" with Loki. This is a famous line Thor said in regards to confronting the Avengers' villain Ultron: "Ultron, we would have words with thee."
Chris Hemsworth has had prior experience with wielding a hammer, having worked as a builder in Australia for a few years.
Although Tadanobu Asano has starred in several Japanese films based on animé and manga comics, this is his first adaptation of an American comic book.
When looking at the overhead view of the site where Thor's Hammer landed, you can see the temporary complex built by S.H.I.E.L.D. to surround the Hammer, actually spells out the word "SHIELD".
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According to the film's Science Advisor Sean Carroll, the Bifröst is, and was meant to be called, a wormhole, but Kevin Feige felt it was "too 1990s" a term to use (given that the Stargate series had popularized the phrase, and had also featured Norse gods). So a new phrase was used: "an Einstein-Rosen Bridge".
Josh Dallas described his role of Fandral as "the R. Kelly of Asgard."
In the 1990s, Sam Raimi had planned to direct this film after Darkman (1990). He later went on to do Spider-Man (2002), another Marvel hero, and its sequels.
Stellan Skarsgård played a character who encounters Norse gods in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Stellan's son Gustaf played Loki's descendant Floki in Vikings (2013).
(At around thirty-four minutes) When Thor's silhouette is seen in the lightning storm photographs, a variety of film equipment can be seen, such as a 2K tungsten light, and a waveform monitor.
This is the first appearance of S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Jasper Sitwell (Maximiliano Hernández), who is a recurring character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Jessica Biel was rumored for, and Diora Baird auditioned for, the role of Sif.
The filmmakers cite the work and art of "Thor" writers Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Walter Simonson, and J. Michael Straczynski as an influence on the film.
A model of the Destroyer armor was constructed for the film.
Dr. Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård) doesn't believe in the Norse myths. Skarsgård is an atheist in real-life.
Thor is played by Chris Hemsworth, who starred as James T. Kirk's father in Star Trek (2009). His love interest Jane Foster is played by Natalie Portman, who played Luke Skywalker's mother in the Star Wars saga.
Around 2000, the film was going to be a made-for-television special to be produced by UPN, and Tyler Mane was approached to play Thor.
There are one thousand three hundred nine visual effects shots in the film.
Brian Blessed was rumored for the role of Odin.
The Volstagg character is loosely based on Falstaff from William Shakespeare's "Henry IV" (Parts 1 and 2). Falstaff frequently exaggerates or lies about his bravery, strength and accomplishments on the battle field, to the amusement of his friends. In the banquet scene near the end of the film, Volstagg can be seen doing the same thing.
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Ray Stevenson's second Marvel comic book movie, his first was Punisher: War Zone (2008).
The set used for the town, was the same modernized town and set used for Silverado (1985).
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Mel Gibson turned down the role of Odin.
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Selvig researches Thor's mythical history, finding that "Thursday" is derived from "Thor's Day". Thor's mother is named Frigga. "Frigga's Day" became "Friday".
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Sam Raimi planned on directing a Thor film in the 1990s, but never came to it. He would eventually direct Spider-Man (2002).
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There are nine Realms. Above the door of Jane's lab is the street address 1001. Translated from binary, that is the number nine. Also, you often see the 7-11 store in the middle of town. Halfway between 7 and 11, is nine.
Around September 2008, D.J. Caruso was discussing taking on the project.
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In December 2004, David S. Goyer was in negotiations to write and direct the film.
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Chris Hemsworth bulked-up to such an extent before his screen-test that the original costume (which was designed for a specific size) began cutting the circulation in his arms and legs when he tried it on for the first time.
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Cameo 

J. Michael Straczynski: (At around thirty-three minutes) A writer who worked on the "Thor" comics, appears as the first person to try to lift Mjölnir.
Stan Lee: (At around thirty-six minutes) The Creator of Thor in 1962, appears as the truck driver who attempts to tow Mjölnir out of the crater, in which it landed.
Walter Simonson: (At around one hour and forty minutes) A comic book writer and artist, whose work on "Thor" was highly renowned and acclaimed, has a cameo appearance in the banquet scene near the end of the film, sitting between Sif and Volstagg.

Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

At around three minutes) The Norwegian village, seen in the flashback, is the same one the Red Skull invades, to steal the Tesseract, in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011).
The film and comic's version of Norse mythology has certain differences from actual Norse myth: Odin lost an eye in a battle with the Jotuns. In Norse legend, he gave up an eye to obtain cosmic wisdom. In Norse legend, Loki is Odin's adopted brother, not Thor's. Loki was also the god of fire, and not a Frost Giant. Laufey was originally Loki's mother, and not his father (this change was found amusing in Iceland, since Laufey is still a popular female name there).
At around fifty minutes) When Dr. Selvig is in the library looking at the book of Norse Mythology, there is an illustration of Odin walking across the Bifröst bridge with his Gungnir spear in one hand and the Tesseract in the other. In Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), the Red Skull mentions that the Tesseract was the jewel of Odin's treasure room.
According to Kenneth Branagh, Odin runs the Marvel Universe. It was Odin who hid away the Tesseract in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), and an Infinity Gauntlet in The Avengers (2012).
The post-credits scene was directed by Joss Whedon to connect The Avengers (2012) with this film.
In Iron Man 2 (2010), Thor's Hammer Mjölnir was first seen lying in a crater in New Mexico. This was based on the comics (Fantastic Four #536), wherein the aftermath of an apocalyptic event on Asgard, Mjölnir was cast out to land in Oklahoma, where it lay until Thor came to reclaim it.
In the original script, Loki revealed himself to Laufey as his son, and Laufey then admitted his abandonment of him. This was left out, to make Loki more devious.
Jane Foster is seen wearing a special top when the Destroyer attacks; on it is a sun partially covered with a thundercloud. This foreshadows the return of Thor's power.
The artifact that Nick Fury shows to Dr. Selvig in the post-credits scene (which played a major part in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) and The Avengers (2012)), is the Tesseract, identified to be the Infinity Gem of Space (a component of the Infinity Gauntlet). It is also based on the Cosmic Cube, a cube-shaped artifact of power.
Samuel L. Jackson describes his Nick Fury post-credits scene as "connective tissue to The Avengers (2012)."
At around one hour and twenty-eight minutes) When Thor gets Mjölnir back, for a brief second he is seen upright and surrounded by lightning. This is an homage to He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983), where Prince Adam's transformation into He-Man, featured him in a similar position surrounded by lightning. Earlier on (at around fifty minutes), Thor also asked for a cat to ride. He-Man rides a tiger called Battle Cat.
The early part of the film, which sees Thor banished to Earth with lesser powers as punishment for disobeying his father, is from the comic The Mighty Thor #145 (1967), though the plot lines diverge from that point.
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