Avengers Age of Ultron Thor Hemsworth

One of the weirder digressions in Avengers: Age of Ultron has Thor seeking answers to questions that crop up in a nightmare sequence. It feels tacked on, almost as if it were part of a much longer storyline that was whittled down into near-incoherence. As it turns out, that’s exactly what it is.

Director Joss Whedon reveals what we’re missing in the final cut of the movie, and with that added context, it makes much more sense. So why didn’t they excise it completely? Whedon explains that, too. Read about the Avengers Age of Ultron Thor subplot after the jump, with spoilers for Age of Ultron as part of the story. 

Thor, after a vision induced by the Scarlet Witch, teams up with Erik Selvig to journey into a cave in search of answers.

Speaking on the Empire Film Podcast, Whedon explains what was supposed to happen.

There was a 195-minute cut of this movie. The original scene was that Thor went to speak to the Norn and how it would work was that he’d go in the pool and the Norn possess him, basically, and Erik Selvig asks all the questions, and the Norn, speaking through Thor, give the answers. So Chris [Hemsworth] got to do something different, and he really threw himself into it, and he did a beautiful job, but it wasn’t well regarded by the test audiences and I feel it’s probably largely because it was a rough cut with no effects, but also because it’s something that in a Thor movie would work brilliantly, but in this movie is just a little too left of centre.

The Norn are, essentially, goddesses of destiny within the Marvel universe. I’m betting one of them is the mystery woman in the cave who was spotted in early trailers for Avengers: Age of Ultron, but got cut before the film hit theaters.

Whedon admitted that integrating Thor into Avengers: Age of Ultron was a challenge, but thought the subplot he finally came up with was “a huge win.” Unfortunately, the execs didn’t seem to agree:

The dreams were not an executive favorite. The dreams, the farmhouse, these were things I fought [for]. With the cave, they pointed a gun at the farm’s head and ‘Give us the cave’. They got the farm. In a civilized way – I respect these guys, but that’s when it got really unpleasant. There was a point when there was going to be no cave, and Thor was going to leave and come back and say, ‘I figured some stuff out.’ And at that point I was so beaten down, I was like, ‘Sure, okay… what movie is this?’ The editors were like, ‘No no, you have to show the thing, you just can’t say it.’ I was like, ‘Okay, thank you, we can figure this out!’ You can tell it was beaten down, but it was hard won.

The more we hear from Whedon about the process of making Avengers: Age of Ultron, the more stressful it sounds. And when you watch the movie, you can tell there were some big battles being fought behind the scenes. Thor’s subplot isn’t the only thing that feels half-baked about it, even if it’s a fun movie overall.

For now, the most we can probably hope for is that some of this extra Thor material — the Norn, Loki’s cameo — will make it onto the DVD/Blu-ray special features. And that Marvel has learned some lessons as they go into Phase Three of their gazillion-dollar franchise.

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