When Kapow! Comic Con announced a Thor panel with the mighty Norse God himself Chris Hemsworth and the utterly delightful Tom Hiddleston (scheming villain Loki), a dilemma of epic proportions arose. Well, when I say epic I mean to say ‘epic to me a fan of Thor with a ticket to the sizzling hot and very sold-out play Frankenstein that just happened to clash with the one panel I wanted, no, needed to be in’. What to do? The lure of footage from Thor is too much and so I bid a tearful farewell to Franky and pledge allegiance to Asgard.
The panel began with three exclusive clips, the first of which was a mighty 20 minutes long. We begin in Asgard with a heated exchange between ruler Odin (Anthony Hopkins) and his son Thor (Hemsworth) resulting in the big blond being stripped of his powers and banished to Earth (or Midgard for you pedants). We see our hero meeting Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), and her companions played by Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Dennings. It’s here that we see what a gifted comic actor Hemsworth appears to be. The crowd react to his comedic moments with some hearty laughter, which is in stark contrast to the tumbleweed reaction to Dennings’ many one liners. I’d like to point out that I’m a big fan of Dennings, I think she’s a gifted and charming performer, but the fanboy bitching towards the small clips of her online seem - at least from the footage seen at the panel - to be somewhat sadly justified. I do hope I am wrong. None of this is a fault of her performance; she can’t be blamed if her character has a succession of dumb, ‘quirky’ one-liners.
We see a neat little nod to Donald Blake for the comic book fans - it certainly make me smile - after Thor escapes hospital. During this 20 minute segment we see the obligatory and welcome Stan Lee cameo: cue much cheering and applause. Damn, I love Stan Lee. The really big, talked about cameo in Thor, however, is that of soon-to-be Avenger Jeremy Renner as master archer Hawkeye. Again, the crowd go wild and my inner fangirl soils herself. This is followed by Thor finally getting his hands in his missing hammer Mjolnir. Hemsworth here is pure Thor, he really nails it. At first smirking and arrogant, his inability to lift the hammer, his realisation that he is unworthy to wield it, is actually pretty heartbreaking. To see this God, this warrior so low is quite a sight. I’m not ashamed to say I got a little misty-eyed.
Our second clip at long last shows us a short but sweet exchange between the Warriors Three, Sif and Loki, who is now seemingly King of Asgard. The scene may be short but Hiddleston owns it as is evidenced in the final clip - a moment between a broken Thor and his brother. Loki is one of Marvel’s best and most intriguing villains, and on this evidence he could potentially steal the show.
Photo: Becky Reed
The crowd certainly seemed enthusiastic about the footage, I know I felt any fears I had evaporate. With the clips done we began on the panel with Empire Magazine’s Chris Hewitt introducing the lithe Hiddleston and the frankly huge and impressive looking Hemsworth. They prove to be genial and funny company - Hiddleston states that the pair of them saw the finished film for the first time the night before. Lucky buggers.
I got to ask the first question and decided to plump for the obligatory Avengers question, knowing full well I was unlikely to get a straight answer. Indeed Hemsworth stated he cannot say anything except that they start in May and Hiddleston still doesn’t know, or cannot say, if Loki is to make an appearance. Someone needs to get Joss Whedon drunk and extract the information from him; the lack of villain is slowly driving the fans insane.
A question from the audience about the physical training involved results in an anecdote about Hemsworth elbowing Hiddleston accidentally during a fight scene. Having seen the size of his elbows I can only sympathise with Hiddleston’s poor, damaged face. If the chemistry between these two on screen comes even remotely close to the clear bromance they have in real life, then Thor and Loki together will surely be a sight to behold come April 27th.