The $87 million that Thor: The Dark World made at the box office over the weekend, shows that the Marvel Cinematic Universe still has what it takes to pack them in at the local multiplex. In fact, it made more money opening weekend than the original Thor. That’s good news for Marvel Studios, who have projects in the pipe through 2014, 2015 and beyond. The future of Marvel movies is a topic that Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige can’t stop talking about (or being asked about) during the promotion of any Marvel film. So obviously, as Thor: The Dark World goes global, Feige let some more hints about the future of the MCU drop.
But first a word of warning, if you haven’t seen Thor: The Dark World yet, particularly the tags at the end, be careful what you read below.
The new details come from a video interview Feige did with Screen Rant and covered a lot of ground including what lies ahead for Avengers: Age of Ultron, the fallout from Thor: The Dark World, and the significance of… something spoilery. We’ll go into that in a minute.
First, how does the mythology and fantasy of Thor fit into the technologically-driven villainy of the robot Ultron in the upcoming Avengers sequel?
Finding that balance has always been what that cinematic universe has been about. Iron Man is a very technological hero his movies are always technologically based. The first ‘Thor’ was all about introducing Asgard and Thor in that more fantastical realm into the more reality-based MCU, and explain that obviously it might look like magic, but it’s another form of science and technology. As we go into Ultron clearly he does come out of technology, but we’re using all of our tools at our disposal that we’ve established so far as part of the MCU to build the storyline of ‘Age of Ultron.’
How about Marvel films beyond Age of Ultron, when might we hear about what other Marvel projects will come out in 2016 and beyond?
Well we’ll see. It won’t be until probably sometime next year before we announce the 2016 movies and the 2017 movies, and a lot of that will depend on the reception to the next batch of movies. What we’re actively working on is Thor’s next appearance in ‘Age of Ultron.’ Where he goes beyond that we have a lot of ideas. You’re right that where we leave the characters in this movie sort of hints what could happen in the future, but we’ll see where that goes after ‘Avengers 2.’
So now’s the time we’re going to get into some spoilers, so it you want to bail, do it now! Countdown to spoilers in…
So here we go. If you’ve seen the mid-credits tag of Thor: The Dark World, there was a tease about a certain all-powerful weapon with Lady Sif and Volstagg bringing the Aether to The Collector, and him identifying it as an “Infinity Gem” and saying, “One down, five to go.” So is this where we’re going? Are we looking at all this leading to an Avengers 3 showdown between the heroes and an Infinity Gauntlet wielding Thanos?
I don’t know that I would spell it out that clearly, necessarily, but certainly fans of the comics could surmise that all of this is leading somewhere. Joss’ decision to have Thanos turn around, smile to the audience at the end of ‘Avengers’, it was always the plan to show that the Tesseract was indeed an infinity stone. A lot of that will tie first into ‘Guardians of The Galaxy’ which comes out next year and then where it goes from there we’ll see.
In other Thor: The Dark World spoiler news, /Film broke down the other lingering thread from the film: the supposed-to-be-dead Loki usurping the throne of Asgard from Odin (off screen) and accepting Thor’s decision to return to Earth on Odin’s behalf. Obviously, that opens the door wide for storyline potential for Thor 3, but for movie fans, the twist kind of comes out of left field. Well, according to director Alan Taylor the original scene was shot a little differently.
“There were definitely more stages where he was a lot more dead than we took him, because a lot of that is visual effects that we were doing on him at the time,” he says. “The original intention there was very different. There was a lot more dying. I’m really curious to see how it plays for an audience, whether they feel… I’m surprised that it makes sense at the end or whether it’s like ‘What the fuck?'”
Feige adds that there was no intention to create a cliffhanger with the twist, but it all turned out delightfully well. “There are no specific plans, but if in specific movies somebody references Odin, that means that something else is going on up there, which I think is cool,” he said.
Of course, there’s one person who couldn’t be more pleased with the development, Loki’s portrayer Tom Hiddleston. “I love that it leaves you hanging there,” he says. “I don’t know [what happens next]. It’s one of those things where it’s a constantly evolving map or a jigsaw puzzle where the picture keeps changing and he keeps me on my toes, believe me. You know I’ve had such a good time playing him, I have absolutely no idea if I’ll ever get to play him again.”
I think fans who have seen the movie are hoping he will, and considering the fan reaction to Hiddleston in the role, Marvel would be crazy not to have Loki back sooner or later (hopefully sooner).