An all female superhero movie? Kevin Feige says “yes!”
Now, I don’t know how serious he was considering the situation, but it sounds like an awesome idea. At the press conference for Thor: Ragnarok, Tessa Thompson who portrays Valkyrie was asked about the possibility of a solo movie for her character. She told us how recently she went up to Kevin with a couple of other Marvel women and asked him about a movie featuring some of the female superheroes. Kevin recalls, “It’s a pretty amazing moment to be somewhere and feel your shoulder tapped and turn around and every female hero we have was standing there going ‘How ’bout it?’ and I said, ‘Yes.'” Out of nowhere, Mark Ruffalo says, “The Femengers!” and everyone starts laughing. Tessa looks over at Mark quizzically, “The Femengers?” as if to say, you couldn’t do better than that? Mark explains, “We’ve been improvising a lot. It’s really hit or miss.” And the laughter grows.
The levity among this group of stars, any of whom could all carry a movie on their own, was a testimony to the close knit bond they formed not only on this film, but for Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Mark Ruffalo (Hulk), and Tom Hiddleston (Loki), over a number of films. They were all easy going with one another and that translated so fluidly onto the film. It helped that director Taika Waititi was a very collaborative guy who injected a sense of fun and energy onto the set. All of the stars mentioned how he was open to ideas and often allowed them to improvise and develop their characters. Chris mentioned how Taika would “encouraging us to improvise, explore, and take risks. It was one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had on a set.” Cate Blanchett (Hela) hopes the reference to “god of Dumbos” will see the light of day. “Taika would just keep throwing lines (while filming) and there was one day where I had to say, ‘I’m the goddess of Death! What are you the god of?’ and Chris said, ‘I’m the god of…’ and Taika said, ‘Dumbos!'” That fun and energy was evident all throughout the film (and Kevin promised it would be on the DVD).
Being a huge Hulk fan, it was great to see the big, green guy get such a prominent role in the film. I had to ask Mark about the possibility of a standalone movie. I was fortunate to get called upon and said to him, “Mark, first of all I have to tell you that my wife is extremely jealous I even get to be in the same room with you.” At which point Chris Hemsworth smiled and patted Mark on the knee. “Are you interested in doing a full Hulk movie and if so what aspect of the character would you be most interested in exploring?” Mark explained that he had a discussion with Kevin Feige about where he would like to take the character and Mark enthusiastically had these wonderful plans for the Jade Giant. Kevin told him “I love that!” and over the next three films they would cover it. “And that’s my standalone Hulk movie!” Mark exclaimed, “And Taika is going to take all three of those movies and cut it into one movie and that will be on DVD.”
Tessa was asked about how it felt to take a character who was white in the comics and portray her in the film. She answered that didn’t concern her. She was more concerned about her diminutive size compared to Chris (but then everyone is small compared to Chris). “She’s arguably as strong as Thor and how will I stand next to a person like Chris Hemsworth and feel like it’s true.” She commented how someone on line had made the comment, “Tessa Thompson playing Valkyrie is white genocide!” to which she said, “is just as mystifying as Norse mythology.” Then she said something very poignant. She said, “The thing I’m tasked to do with any character that has it’s own iconography is to capture the spirit of the character and at the risk of sounding cheesy has very little to do with what color we are.” To which the whole cast and the rest of us in the room couldn’t help but applaud. A classy, thoughtful answer.
The entire press conference had an air of levity, fun, and friendship. It was obvious how well the cast related to one another. Taika is clever, witty, and fun which translates well into the film (his reference to the faux Australian / New Zealand war between Chris and Cate was hilarious). When you see how much fun the movie is and how the synergy between characters feels real it’s because it is. After the conference, I’ve never seen so many of the film’s actors stay and talk to press afterward. Many of them including Chris and Mark stopped to take selfie’s so graciously and were very kind with their time. When you see the film the character of these people will shine through in their performance. Make sure to get your tickets to see Thor: Ragnarok and enjoy the energy these talented, wonderful people bring to the film.
- Thor: Ragnarok opens on Friday, November 3, 2017