Thor Script Discussion - HEAVY SPOILER CONTENT

Discussion in 'Thor' started by Keyser Soze, May 8, 2009.

  1. Keyser Soze

    Keyser Soze AW YEEEAH!

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    I made a thread like this for the Green Lantern movie, back when the first draft of that script was leaked. But it seems like nobody got round to making a similar thread for the Thor script, so here it is. Here's a place where we can freely talk about the leaked Thor script, without fear of spoiling anyone who wants to remain unspoiled.

    Just a disclaimer, though. The leaked script was dated 2007, and we know that not only have there been multiple redrafts since then, but when Kenneth Branagh came onboard, him and screenwriter Mark Protosevich went back to the drawing board and hammered out a script clocking in at over 300 pages. The leaked draft is only 129 pages. So in all likelihood, the movie we get will end up being dramatically different from this script. But still, it could be fun talking about this script, and some of the elements may be retained in the final film.

    First thing that I feel should have been amended in the redrafts is the opening. Starting the film off with the Norse creation myth, bombarding audiences with all these long, hard-to-spell names, it's a level of exposition which could be a bit overwhelming. I get the sentiment behind it, but perhaps tone it down a bit for the film? Maybe limit it to the whirlwind tour of the Nine Realms rather than getting into the respective lineages of Ymir and Buri.

    Those first few pages made me worry the script was going to be a dense, unwieldy read, and so I never got round to reading much more for a couple of months. Yesterday, however, I finally decided to give it another go, and ended up reading the whole thing in one day. Once you get into it, it's surprising how absorbing the story is, and how quickly it flies by.

    I was also surprised by how little we see of Thor in the movie. Don't get me wrong, Thor is the main character and appears throughout the script. But THOR, God of Thunder, is absent for the whole second act, as Thor finds himself turned into a mortal man and banished to Midgard to learn humility. And even in the first act when he is a prince of Asgard, much of the action takes place from Loki's perspective (we'll get to that later), so it's only really with the final battle that we get to enjoy Thor in all his Mjolnir-wielding, giant-slaying Asgardian glory.

    Not that the period where Thor is just a mortal man isn't plenty of fun. The race to find Mjolnir is arguably the highlight of the script, playing out like a kind of demented, bloadsoaked, demon-filled version of Takeshi's Castle. With the various factions - berserkers, archers, vikings, corrupt tribal leader, Thor and Eiric - all chasing one another, and the rescue team of Sif and The Warriors Three in pursuit, it creates a fun, fast-paced dynamic.

    But the weak point through this Midgard-set part of the script is that some of the moralising feels a bit heavy-handed. As it reads in the script, Thor learning humility and humanity plays out across a series of clunky beats, and it would take a hell of a performance to make such a character arc compelling. Which is why they should avoid casting some inexperienced pretty-boy in his mid 20s in the role. A clunky wooden actor performing a clunky wooden character would be a disastrous combo. The way Eiric and Bjarne play into this character development feels similarly contrived at points. However, there are moments where Protosevich ably captures Thor's arrogance, and later his honor, that suggest he does have a good grasp of the character, and with a little more breathing room in the script, the progression of the character would feel less clunky.

    I feel Protosevich does a better job in his characterisation of Loki. Reading the first act of the script, I thought they could have named the film Loki, so much does he dominate proceedings. In this Asgard-set portion of the script, we basically follow Loki's journey to the dark side. In the beginning, we see him as a loyal brother and friend to Thor, and a valuable ally in times of conflict. We are there at the moment he discovers his Frost Giant lineage, and see his initial response is one of horror. We see him struggle with this knowledge, get a sense of his conflicting emotions towards the mother who he now knows is not his mother. We see his shock and anger when he discovers Odin killed his true father, and for selfish reasons. But then I feel we miss a beat in his development, as he suddenly turns into the scheming, ambitious trickster we're all familiar with. Up until here, the script had done a stellar job showing Loki's steady descent into villainy. Again, I think a little breathing room would benefit Loki's character arc, giving us more time to dwell on Loki's conflicted emotions, as well as more time to let his scheming and playing the Asgardians against each other build up to a crescendo.

    That said, what we DO get of that is highly enjoyable to read. Loki does his best Iago impression here, manipulating Thor, Odin and Balder with his silver tongue, and employing Karnilla's aid in his malicious schemes. In the Midgard-set second act, Loki's presence is somewhat more minimal, and when he does appear it seems to be with all-out cackling villainy, right up to the point where he goes to Jotunheim to stir up a Frost Giant invasion of Asgard while Odin is in the Odinsleep.

    But come the third act, the moral ambiguity has returned as suddenly as it vanished. Repeatedly, the script tells us two possible emotions that Loki is feeling. For example, as part of his plan, with Odin in the Odinsleep (Loki is the only one who knows about the Odinsleep), Loki declares Odin dead, and arranges for his body to be burned in the tradition of an Asgardian funeral. As he kneels by the sleeping (but apparently dead) Odin, Loki clutches his "father's" hands and openly sobs, burying his head in his chest. The script tells us it is uncertain whether this is Loki putting on a show of grief for any observers, or if it's genuine remorse for what he's about to do. We get a few similar instances peppered throughout this part of the script, all helping to make Loki into a nuanced, compelling villain.

    One thing I think could be aded to is the Thor/Loki relationship. We are repeatedly told early on that Thor and Loki are close, but there's only really one fleeting scene that illustrates that. And for all the build-up we get of "What's going to happen when Thor find out Loki betrayed him?", the moment where he does find out feels muted and truncated, with Sif actually telling him about it off-screen, and the scene opening with Thor pretty much just saying "Oh, really? Loki?", and swiftly moving on. And also, though the whole film is pretty much building up to a climactic Thor VS Loki battle, there is none. They face each other at the end, trade back and forth a few lines, then Thor fights some random Frost Giant (a REALLY big one) instead, and Loki escapes without one so much as laying a finger on the other. Perhaps this is a thread meant to be carried over into the Avengers movie, seeing that Loki is last seen hiding out in Midgard. But in this script, the Thor/Loki story feels unresolved.

    Supporting parts are generally good. Odin is not as intimidating and tempremental as you'd imagine, the part reading more like a world-weary old man tortured by past mistakes, and blinded by love for his sons. Frigga has a bigger part than I expected Odin's missus to get, sharing a few good scenes with Loki. On the female front, Sif and Karnilla both make worthy foils to their respective love interests. Character-wise, Karnilla is the more interesting of the two, telling a story of innocence corrupted, but Sif does get to have a few badass action moments.

    The Warriors Three are each rendered true to form - Hogun's gruff and tough, Fandral's a ladies' man, and Volstagg's a glutton. And Heimdall, though in a small role, does get one moving little scene, where he says as much as he wants to let Sif and the Warriors Three pass through the Bifrost Bridge to help Thor, in all his time of service he has never let anyone past when Odin has not allowed it, and his honor cannot allow him to disobey an order now. So Sif points to the sky and says, "Is that not Una, Queen of Faeries?" Knowingly, Heimdall looks up, and keeps on looking, and when he looks back down, Sif and the Warriors Three are gone. I didn't know about Heimdall being Sif's father, though. Is he her father in the comics?

    One character who got a bum deal, however, is poor Balder. First, the character is apparently changed into someone considerably older than the Balder of the comics. Then, after comparitively little time to be developed, he gets killed off as the first act draws to a close. I must say I was surprised to see them kill off Balder. To general audiences, it would make sense in terms of the story development, and they wouldn't mind. But I could see some hardcore Thor fans being a bit pissed over Balder's demise.

    The human characters created for this script are mostly a series of broad-strokes stereotypes, functional rather than particularly interesting. But they serve their purpose, I guess.

    There are less big action set pieces than I thought there would be. But the fight scenes that are here would look great on film, provided the CGI budget was up to scratch. The final battle between the Aesir and the Frost Giants within the walls of Asgard, in particular, would just be CRAZY on film, and trying to pull it off without a monster budget would be very ambitious. But certainly worth it, if they could pull it off.

    I'm sure I'll have more thoughts to post up later. But for now, I'll finish off by saying overall I liked this first draft of Thor. It has its fair share of flaws, but like I said with the Green Lantern first draft, it's certainly a foundation upon which a great blockbuster could be built.
     
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  2. Dev

    Dev Well-Known Member

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    Summarize please. :)
     
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  3. Keyser Soze

    Keyser Soze AW YEEEAH!

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    Oh, and I should also add - PLEASE don't ask me to PM you the script in this thread. That's against the rules, and you could get banned if you do it.
     
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  4. Chewy

    Chewy REDACTED

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    I think they're taking a few cues from the actual mythology with Balder and his story/death
     
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  5. Keyser Soze

    Keyser Soze AW YEEEAH!

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    Maybe later. My hands are still aching from writing that essay above. :oldrazz:
     
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  6. Chewy

    Chewy REDACTED

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    Agreed 100%. I believe this was this particular draft's biggest fault
     
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  7. Still A ThorFan

    Still A ThorFan Well-Known Member

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    I want the 2nd draft.
     
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  8. Vartha

    Vartha Mod of Thunder

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    lol Thorfan, it's on it's FORTH draft I THINK. They just mentioned more rewrites when Fieng announced the Actor tryouts will be done soon.
     
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  9. bossman550

    bossman550 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah Kevin Feige said we should have cast with in next month or so because Thor starts shooting in January (first quarter) which allows enough time for there to be a Thor cameo in Iron Man 2.
     
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  10. Keyser Soze

    Keyser Soze AW YEEEAH!

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    I do have a feeling we're going to get a Thor cameo in Iron Man 2.
     
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  11. Canis Sapiens

    Canis Sapiens Ragnarök and roll!

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    I really, really hope so. If not Thor, at least have Mjolnir found by some SHIELD dudes.
     
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  12. chiefchirpa

    chiefchirpa Haaa-rooooooo

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    Thanks Keyser Soze.

    This is the script that shoots way above $150 million budget, right? I think it's over-complex while focusing little on who Thor is. Unlike established superhero names, Thor needs a more intimate introduction just as the Iron Man movie does with Tony Stark. I'm not saying that Loki shouldn't get heavy exposition, but Thor is the #1 priority. The others are secondary except for Odin.

    Some observations:
    1) I could go without the Vikings. The whole Thor series has to be about either Asgard or modern day Midgard or 21st century Earth. Adding another setting is a waste, to me.
    2) Why not go with Amora instead of Karnilla? Are they saving Amora for the 2nd movie so Karnilla can be acted by 2nd rate actresses?
    3) I believe settings dominated far-off fantastical settings like Asgard & Jotunhiem can be a little "heavy" to most audiences who are expecting a more down-to-earth scenes like most superhero movies. Rustic down-to-earth Broxton, Oklahoma is a remedy. Put it toward the end.
    4) Loki needs to show off his magical & staff fighting moves. He's not just a Joker, he's much dangerous than that.
    5) I think Sif should get killed, instead of Balder. We know that Asgardian deaths would get nullified in the next cycle, so this is a plot for Thor to look for Sif's next resurrection & make the audience moved by emotion.
     
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  13. Chewy

    Chewy REDACTED

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    The script heavily focuses on who Thor is in an intimate way, so I don't know what you are talking about there

    To respond to your other points
    1) Since you give no reason for your train of thought on this one, i suppose I don't have to give a reason when I say I disagree
    2) Because Enchantress doesn't have the ties to the Norn Stones that Karnilla does, which play a pivotal role early on
    3) That doesn't make any sense
    4) I agree with this
    5) Balder being killed comes straight from the mythology
     
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  14. chiefchirpa

    chiefchirpa Haaa-rooooooo

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    I respond on what Keyser Soze writes about in the summary. So I'm sorry if I can't be more closer to the details because I have indirect information on the script.

    1. My reason is budgetary. Thor in the comics has largely drawn in 2 settings, the Asgardian realm & current Earth. Adding another fantastical setting (even if it's ancient Scandinavia), for me, seems to be a burden to the budget & screen time.

    2. Ok. I see a reason of a Loki henchwoman. Hopefully they don't burn the budget on the casting.

    3. Thor supposed "achilles heel" that most superhero movies don't have is that it's not actually an ordinary superhero movie. People are accustomed to Superman in Metropolis or Spider-Man in fictional New York. Real, current world with superhero characters. Now Thor #1 seems to be fantasy-world heavy. A setting change to something more familiar to the audiences would be welcomed.

    5. I know, but does Balder's death has any better meanings to Thor than supposedly Sif's death? Sif's death actually trigger a standing quest for Thor to resurrect Sif before the next cycle. In casting for the second movie, lead female Sif can be replaced by Amora in the 2nd movie.
     
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    Last edited: May 11, 2009
  15. Vartha

    Vartha Mod of Thunder

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    Well the whole idea of Thor being a superhero in 1963 was to teach him humility CC. They just moved the teaching a few hundred years into the past. It's necessary to show this.

    For the MOST part you see more of Midgard than Asgard which can easily be filmed in any country with mountains, I heard maybe eastern Canada. Asgard from the outside would be Costly, interiors and stages on the other hand are pretty much reusable from any similar movie.

    Sif is more a part of Thor's life than Balder. Sure in the Comic Balder Sif and Loki hung out, but, since Thor and Sif met Thor was attracted to her. Sif's been alittle more interesting over the years than Balder has, other than Walt Simonson's run, Amora and Skurge would be a GREAT 2nd movie idea.



    OH both myth AND comic Balder's death was a signal for Ragnarok's begining. WHY Mark wrote it like that is beyond me. Mark could have had Thor kill someone else and still come up with Thor getting banished.
     
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  16. UltimateJustin

    UltimateJustin The Hype's Black Purist

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    Can anybody answer whether this movie is going to be good or not? I don't want to bother getting hyped for some movie I'm not even going to like in the end.

    Thanks.
     
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  17. Canis Sapiens

    Canis Sapiens Ragnarök and roll!

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    All signs point to "Yes, it's gonna be good".

    The 1st draft of the script rocks, and it seems as they've improved on that. Kenneth Branagh is capable of impressive work when in his habitat (ie: epic movies, medieval movies, Shakespearean movies). And by the news we had, it seems he's heavily immersed in classic Marvel comics and Norse mythology, and interested in having a good young actor for the lead role.

    Come on. Don't be shy. Join the bandwagon. :yay:


    EDIT: by the way, loved your TDK sig.
     
    #17
    Last edited: May 12, 2009
  18. Vartha

    Vartha Mod of Thunder

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    Those of us who've read the First draft of the script it does READ like it should be amazing.
    We just hope the FX and filming do it justice.
     
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  19. UltimateJustin

    UltimateJustin The Hype's Black Purist

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    Thanks. Well, it's about time a creative team takes a Marvel property seriously. It's so rare but funny since these characters write themselves. I actually saw Thor as being one of the more harder to adapt properties.
     
    #19
  20. Vartha

    Vartha Mod of Thunder

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    Well one of the Things Marvel's wanting to accomplish is Making a Fantasy Film such as Lord of the Rings, Thor just happens to be the one character that can accomplish that for Marvel.
     
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  21. Spider-ManHero12

    Spider-ManHero12 Web-Slinger

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    It sounds fantastic/amazing, IMO! Really sounds epic. :up:
     
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  22. Therefore I Am

    Therefore I Am Well-Known Member

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    None of us can answer that until we see the movie which is a long time from now.

    All we can do is hope.

    So far though, off to a good start. At least they're taking they're time with this movie.
     
    #22

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