DAYS OF THUNDER: We’re counting down to Friday’s release of “Thor” with a month of on-the-set reports, exclusive photos and interviews with the cast and crew of the first truly cosmic Marvel Studios film. Today: The film’s Hollywood premiere.
When “Thor” debuts in theaters over the weekend, it will be the first in a glut of big-budget superhero films to hit the box office this summer.
But after “X-Men: First Class,” “Green Lantern” and “Captain America: The First Avenger” roll out over the next few months, is it possible that audiences will tire of seeing hunky men with supernatural powers on the big screen?
“I think at some point people will get bored of it, but I don’t know if they’ll get bored of the Marvel ones, because they keep hitting them pretty hard,” said Clark Gregg, who has also starred in both of Marvel’s “Iron Man” films and is currently in production for “The Avengers.” “I think they found a really clever model that Jon Favreau helped them come up with, which is they get directors who are really hungry to do it who maybe haven’t done a movie quite on this scope, but who have something else really interesting to bring to the table. Usually they’re actors, and they have a real understanding of character.”
But both Chris Hemsworth, who stars as the Norse god, and director Kenneth Branagh said they believe interest in superhero stories won’t wane anytime soon.
“I think it’s the fantasy element [that people like] – the larger-than-life characters,” said Hemsworth. “All through history, we’ve had heroes of some kind, whether they be folk myths or legends or comic books, now.”
Branagh echoed that sentiment, but said that “Thor” also introduces new ethical dilemmas about what it means to truly be a hero.
“It isn’t just might. It isn’t just position,” the filmmaker said. “A lot of it’s to do with what your interior values and sense of yourself is. What’s nice about this is that it’s wrapped up in a nice big adventure story. So I think when people get both of those things, that’s when they like superhero movies.”
As for Kat Dennings, who plays the goofy sidekick to Natalie Portman’s character in the movie, the allure of superhero films is much more simple.
“I think people just love the idea of being saved by a big strong dude,” she laughed. “Or I do.”
– Amy Kaufman
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