Director Kenneth Branagh went on stage and immediately geeked out about seeing references to Thor in the footage we saw earlier in Captain America: The First Avenger. He then told the audience that Thor is his favorite American comic book character and went after the project the moment it became available. He said he feels comfortable directing Thor since it deals with a lot of the same issues as his film Henry V; mainly family issues, war, and politics.
Joining Branagh for the panel were cast members Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Kat Dennings, and Clark Gregg.
To prepare for the role of Thor, Chris Hemsworth read Norse mythology and Thor comics to gain an understanding of the character and the world he’s immersed in. Joking, he said he gained muscle by lifting Thor’s hammer . . . a lot.
When asked about Asgard as opposed to the real world, Branagh and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige decided to show instead of tell — presenting footage much to the audience’s overwhelming approval. Asgard had a very ethereal feel with rich environments. It looks like it does the comic justice. The footage was immersing and is shot in 3D, and it really works well with the feel of the film. The crowd loved every minute of the footage we were shown.
Reprising his role as Agent Coulson, Clark Gregg told a story about delivering the line in Iron Man 2 about going to New Mexico, but at first didn’t know what the significance was until Feige told him that it’s the location where Thor is. He went on to tell the audience that he loves that he’s practically “the glue of the Marvel Universe”. Suffice to say, the audience cheered during the footage when the Destroyer is on screen followed by an agent of SHIELD asking Agent Coulson, “One of Stark’s?” and his nonchalant reply, “I don’t know — that guy never tells me anything.”
Branagh decided to go with the classic hammer for Thor and promises that there will be surprises for Thor fans, alluding to Donald Blake. One surprise we were treated to was seeing both Thor and Loki in their helmets from the comic books, which is a nice touch no one was expecting. Thor is turning out to be a very fun film, and the panel was a success getting the audience pumped for it.