First the look of the costumes and Thor's short hair, now we've got some concrete info on the plotline, as EW has been doing a series of reveals for Marvel's Thor: Ragnarok this week. The Planet Hulk storyline from the comics looms large here, obviously. Doctor Strange also makes an appearance, and as one might presume, it leaves off with some set up for Avengers: Infinity War in 2018. Here's some other tidbits:
When we last saw Thor, he was flying off to figure out who was manipulating the Avengers at the end of Age of Ultron. Eventually, he hears rumblings of trouble in Asgard: His evil brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), has been impersonating their missing father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins). Loki's rather lax governing leads to the reemergence of an imprisoned Hela (Cate Blanchett). Thor's initial encounter with Hela gets him blasted to Sakaar, a barbaric planet ruled by the charming but nefarious Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum). Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), a tough, hard-drinking warrior hiding out on Sakaar brings the god to the Grandmaster. "Thor is a bit of a fanboy for the Valkyrie, the elite women warriors," Hemsworth says. Thor is then forced into becoming a gladiator, which leads to his haircut and the loss of his trusty hammer. (His replacement weapons include a pair of swords seen on EW's cover.)
Sakaar's most popular and successful gladiator? Bruce Banner, a.k.a. the Hulk.
Once Thor and Hulk unite, Ragnarok becomes a sort of road-trip film, with director Taika Waititi drawing inspiration from movies like 48 HRS., Withnail and I, and even Planes, Trains and Automobiles. The director particularly wanted to show off Hemsworth's comedic abilities, only recently exploited in films like Vacation and Ghostbusters. "He's so good and underutilized in that department," Waititi says. "He's legitimately one of the funniest things in this film."
Fans will also see some familiar faces, like Benedict Cumberbatch's Stephen Strange. The New York-based sorcerer met with Thor in the post-credits epilogue of Doctor Strange, and he will help the Asgardian locate Odin. Teases Feige.