July 5, 2022
Melinda Head

Thor: Love and Thunder

Welcome to the Lucrative Rinse-Repeat Universe

Ushering in an era of independent (from Hollywood) filmmaking, DreamWorks SKG was established in 1994, followed by Marvel Studios 2 years later – the same year Marvel Comics was forced into bankruptcy.

The SKG (at the end of the name DreamWorks) includes 3 letters taken from the surnames of its founders:  acclaimed writer/director/producer Steven Spielberg, former Disney executive Jeffrey Katzenberg and music hustler David Geffen. What a powerhouse.

Like Marvel Studios, much of the success of DreamWorks has come from the Company’s focus on audience-attracting franchises that have developed loyal followings. Shrek I, II, III, IV, V, VI … Madagascar I, II, III, IV, V, VI … rinse-repeat, as they say.

Marvel Studios has focused its efforts on super-heroes. Same formula but with lots of audience-drawing super talent and special effects, minus the strict animation formula of DreamWorks. Spiderman I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX … and, of course, Thor Odinson, more commonly known as Thor or the God of Thunder. Thor has had his own solo “gig” 4 times now, and has also been sprinkled across the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

According to Marvel, its newest sequel finds Thor (Chris Hemsworth) on a journey unlike anything he’s ever faced – a quest for inner peace. But his retirement is interrupted by a galactic killer known as Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale), who seeks the extinction of the gods. To combat the threat, Thor enlists the help of King Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), Korg (director Taika Waititi) and ex-girlfriend Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) who – to Thor’s surprise – inexplicably wields his magical hammer, Mjolnir, as the Mighty Thor. Together, they embark upon a harrowing cosmic adventure to uncover the mystery of the God Butcher’s vengeance and stop him before it’s too late.

It’s been a while since Christian Bale transformed himself into super-hero Batman in Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy (“Batman Begins” 2005, “The Dark Knight” 2008, “The Dark Knight Rises” 2012). Now it’s super-villain time in “Thor: Love and Thunder”, Bale’s first role in a Marvel movie. Gorr the God Butcher can mold the shapeshifting symbiote to form armor around his body and produce weapons, which are limited only by his thoughts. One of the weapons, All-Black the Necrosword, extends from his arms and is made from living darkness. The symbiote also provides him with the ability to regenerate.

“Come to Daddy” by experimental Irish musician Aphex Twin served as inspiration for Christian Bale as he developed his character, Gorr the God Butcher

I remember another first: Christian Bale’s breakout role in Steven Spielberg’s “Empire of the Sun”. It was a gobsmacking performance. He was only 13 years old. I always wondered how he got that role. As usual, it comes down to connections. In 1986, the unknown child actor had a small part in a television movie in which Spielberg’s ex-wife, Amy Irving, played the lead role … the rest is history.

You’re all grown up now, Mr. Bale. Welcome to the MCU. You know what that is, right, Christian?

Christian Bale in his breakout role, “Empire of the Sun”, and today in “Thor: Love and Thunder”

With a production budget of $185 million, “Thor: Love and Thunder” is expected to deliver $1+ billion in box office receipts.

If you’re a fan of Guns ‘n Roses and Thor, you’ll be rocking to “Welcome to the Jungle”, “Paradise City”, “Sweet Child O’ Mine”, and “November Rain” … no need to wait 3 more days for the unveiling, you can get in the mood now:

Now take what you’ve learned and play today’s Thor: Love and Thunder Quiz of the Day:

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4. Have fun and Strut Your Smart!

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About the Author

A serial entrepreneur, Melinda is a sociologist and statistician who believes there is no currency with greater value than knowledge

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