Tony Stark is a brilliant inventor who built a suit of armor to become a mechanized warrior. Bruce Banner is a gifted scientist whose experiments turned him into a hulking monster. Peter Parker is a high school student given amazing powers by a spider bite.
But Thor, Marvel's latest big-screen superhero, is a god.
Inspired by Norse mythology, Thor was created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby in 1962. Now, the character is finally coming to the big screen from Marvel Studios, the same company that made the hugely successful "Iron Man" movies.
The studio's grand idea is that both the Thor and Iron Man exist in the same universe, and that eventually they will team up with Hulk and Captain America in "The Avengers." But how will Thor's mythological gods and monsters match up with Iron Man's high-tech (and more realistic) world?
Get the first look at Thor (played by Australian actor Chris Hemsworth) bringing the hammer down in the exclusive trailer premiere below, and keep reading to see how Marvel plans to make him fit into their established reality.
Arthur C. Clarke once wrote, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." And according to Marvel Studios President of Production, Kevin Feige, that's the fundamental philosophy behind the movie version of "Thor." On a visit to the set, Feige revealed that the characters in the movie are the same figures that appear in age-old Norse myths. But that doesn't mean they are gods in the traditional sense.
Feige says that the backstory is Thor is from a race of otherworldly beings who live in a realm called Asgard. But they are able to travel to different worlds, and they arrived on our planet in Scandinavia a thousand years ago. Feige says that since they were so superior to the humans they encountered, "the locals interpreted them as gods and started mimicking some of their clothing and some of their helmet and weapon designs." Since what appears to be mystical is actually technological, Thor's powers aren't that different from Iron Man's or Captain America's.
This is not to say that the movie of "Thor" won't have its own distinct style. Feige says that more than half of the film takes place in locations other than Earth. As you can see in the trailer, Asgard is depicted as having giant, shimmering structures. Most of the ornate interiors were physically built on soundstages and not just constructed in the computer. Action also takes place in the icy realm of the Frost Giants, where a major battle occurs. Even the costumes are a departure from the earlier movies. Thor is the first Marvel movie character to wear a cape, and, of course, he sports his signature winged helmet.
The movie does come down to Earth, though. Odin (played by Anthony Hopkins), the king of Asgard, banishes his son Thor to our planet. There he runs afoul of SHIELD Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg, reprising his role from the "Iron Man" movies), and gets help from a sympathetic scientist, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman). Thor must prove himself worthy to once again wield the mighty hammer Mjolnir, and save his world and ours from his wicked brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston).