Thor: Ragnarok represents somewhat of a clean slate for the series, and that can partly be credited to Kevin Smith.
Ragnarok is getting some pretty rave reviews, in part because it takes chances and brings a new energy to the franchise. That might not have been the case if Chris Hemsworth hadn't spoken up, something he was inspired to do after hearing Smith bash the Thor franchise on a podcast.
“Hearing someone like Smith, who represents the fanboy world, was such a kick in the ass to change gears,” Hemsworth told Vanity Fair. “We sort of had nothing to lose. People didn’t expect what we did with it this time around.”
In fact, before Ragnarok, it seemed Hemsworth had doubts about his place in the Marvel cinematic universe.
“I thought maybe I might be in the first Avengers,” Hemsworth said. “But I never thought there’d be a second one. I didn’t look that comfortable on my first three films. I gotta say, recently, it felt more concrete. But before, it always felt like any minute, it all might be pulled out from under me.”
Even though he had his doubts, fans have wholly embraced Hemsworth's Thor over the course of multiple movies. As Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige explains, that allowed Marvel to be more comfortable with really shaking things up for the character in Ragnarok.
“When we started Hemsworth on Thor,” Feige said, “he has blond hair; he has a hammer; he has a cape. These are the things that make Thor. He has now appeared as that character so many times [that] Chris Hemsworth is Thor. So we cut his hair, we got rid of his hammer, and it’s still him.”
That's not the only thing the film changes. As fans know, Jane Foster's involvement is wrapped up in the film as well, and several characters like Darcy Lewis, Erik Selvig, and the Warriors Three are either not in the film at all or limited to small cameos.
The change in direction seems to have worked though, as Thor: Ragnarok is on track to bring in over $120 million. You can see if the film is worth the wait for yourselves, as Thor: Ragnarok is now in theaters.