Ragnarok Odin

If you thought Anthony Hopkins‘ role as Odin in Thor: Ragnarok seemed a bit small, there’s a reason for that: his scenes were drastically changed after test audiences reacted poorly. In a new interview, Ragnarok director Taika Waititi confirms that the original plan for Odin bothered early test audiences, resulting in a drastic change. Learn more about the Thor Ragnarok deleted scenes involving Odin below.

One of the biggest problems I had with Thor: Ragnarok was that the first half of the film seemed like it was in a rush, not allowing the narrative a chance to catch its breath. Case in point: the film quickly breezes through a re-introduction of Anthony Hopkins’ character Odin, a decision that robs a moment meant to be emotional of all its power.

Early set photos from Ragnarok hinted at a lot more Hopkins in the film, including moments where Hopkins’ Odin was somewhere in New York. None of that showed up in the finished version that hit theaters this month. In an interview with Empire, director Taika Waititi confirms that the originally Odin plotline was changed for the final film after test audiences reacted poorly to it:

“What we wanted originally was for Thor and Loki to find Odin in New York, living on the streets, Fisher King style… There was something really cool and interesting about that, and I think that might be on the DVD, that version. But something about having him there and then dying made a lot of audiences in our test screenings feel too sorry for him. It was such a bummer seeing the great king of Asgard stuck in New York. We preferred the idea he’d be in some mystical Norse environment.”

This coincides with Waititi’s earlier comments about various reshoots for the film. Early trailers for Ragnarok showed Cate Blanchett‘s big bad Hela crushing Thor’s hammer Mjolnir in an alley, but later trailers (and the final film) shifted this action to a cliff in Norway. Here’s how Waititi previously commented on that location shift:

“Everything up until then had been so fast-paced and all over the place, we wanted to go somewhere peaceful and chill out with those characters, and be with Odin while he imparts this wisdom and not have to hear stupid yellow cabs in the background…It just felt like a terrible environment to have a scene which could be very emotional for what happens with Odin and the boys, the first time we’ve seen the three guys together and him telling them he loves them. It was very important for us just to be in a beautiful, peaceful environment.”

It definitely seems like there’s a much different cut of Thor: Ragnarok floating around out there, and I’d be very curious to see it. While I thought the final film was very funny and entertaining, it also felt at times like it was missing something, and it would be interesting to see how these alternate scenes might change that.

Thor: Ragnarok is now playing in theaters everywhere.

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