Avengers screenwriter

Everybody loves Thor now, primarily due to Chris Hemsworth‘s charming, slightly goofy take on the character, and Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok. But folks at Marvel weren’t always convinced of Thor’s durability. The Avengers screenwriter Zak Penn confirms that early Avengers scripts attempted to reduce Thor’s screentime – until the casting of Chris Hemsworth changed everyone’s mind.

The Thor films, with the exception of Ragnarok, aren’t exactly the best entries in the MCU. But Chris Hemsworth sure as hell makes for a charismatic (and good looking) God of Thunder. Zak Penn, who is out making the rounds promoting Ready Player One, recently revealed that before Hemsworth came along, there was a real sense that Thor just wasn’t going to work in the MCU. Penn, who has a story credit on the Avengers script with director Joss Whedon, told THR that early Avengers drafts tried to limit Thor’s role – and then Chris Hemsworth’s audition changed all that:

“I remember Chris Hemsworth walking through the Marvel offices and being, ‘Oh, my god, that guy is Thor.’… Originally I was trying to reduce how much Thor was in the movie. Once it was clear that, no, this is going to work and they were excited about it, then I did not [reduce Thor in the script]. I stopped doing that.”

I will say that while Hemsworth is pretty stellar as Thor, the Thor films often leave a lot to be desired. Marvel seems to have realized this too, which is why they handed the series over to Taika Waititi and let him go wild with Thor: Ragnarok.

Penn also reveals that he was one of the first to push for a cinematic universe, back when he was scripting X-Men 2:

“It wasn’t just me. I would say myself, Kevin Feige, Avi Arad, Ari Arad, all of us [said], ‘This is going to last. This isn’t going anywhere,'”

Despite this, when Marvel was just getting started with their cinematic universe, Penn confirms that many people had some doubts about the durability of the concept:

“It was considered risky, believe it or not. I know that seems crazy right now, but a number of people said, ‘You’re really going to to go with this startup company and they’re going to make [and finance] their own movies? That never works out.'”

Of course, we all know now that it did work out, and we’re about to see the release of the 19th entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, when Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters on April 27, 2018.

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