Marvel Reveals Why the Fate of the MCU Once Rested on Thor’s Shoulders

AbraxasNovember 4, 2021

The Avengers’ Thor was still an unknown MCU character when the film started production, which initially concerned Marvel Studios executives.

Asgardian powerhouse Thor is arguably the most powerful hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and studio executives once feared the God of Thunder might have also had the power to tank the MCU in its infancy.

When The Avengers went into production in 2011, Thor was just hitting theaters, and there was some trepidation regarding inclusion of the largely unknown character in the film, according to Tara Bennett and Paul Terry’s recently published The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe from Abrams Books. “Chris Hemsworth was on set in Thor costume, standing next to the other Avengers,” said producer Stephen Broussard, “But he was just being introduced in a movie that’s opening and we have no idea how he’s going to be received.”

RELATED: Civil War Made Chris Hemsworth Think Thor Was Written Out of the MCU

Writer Craig Kyle was a little more optimistic. “The trailers were received pretty well, but I think everyone was in ‘let’s wait and see’ mode,” said Craig, and noted that optimism was well founded when the producers went to see Thor in theaters. “To go into a theater where you heard the first laughs in the right places? And the cheers you were hoping and praying for but were never sure if they would come? It was extraordinary.”

“We went around to all the theaters with [Thor director Kenneth Branagh], and we got to hear that response, and it was amazing. Because that’s when you know. It was a really special occasion because it was another notch to show maybe we can pull any of these kinds of movies off.”

RELATED: Tom Hiddleston Reveals the Reason Chris Hemsworth Was Cast as Thor

Audience reaction and box office earnings proved Thor was a success, and the characters from the film were deserving of being featured in The Avengers. “I’m very proud of the casting and the performances,” said Branagh, “And I have to say, hats off to all who made that possible. Chris Hemsworth is a magnificent Thor, and Tom Hiddleston is a superb Loki. They will live forever in Marvel and movie history as indelible characters.”

Hemsworth’s Thor wasn’t the only unfamiliar major character starring in The Avengers when the movie started production — Captain America: The First Avenger featuring Chris Evans’ super soldier Steve Rogers wouldn’t hit theaters until three months later.

The Avengers was the culmination of Marvel Studios’ Phase One series of cinematic endeavors, integrating the characters featured in the four previous MCU films, dating back to Iron Man in 2008.

KEEP READING: A Thor Alternate Ending Could Have Introduced SWORD To The MCU Years Earlier

Source: The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

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