The might and sculpted pecs of Thor proved enough to top the box-office this past weekend with a $66 million box-office win.
With it, the home-stretch to The Avengers in 2012 has officially gotten underway. It's a sentiment that's certainly proven true if you've managed to catch the film and its plethora of references to Marvel continuity. However, if you were hardcore enough and had the patience to sit through the end credits, then in true Marvel tradition, you were treated to an Easter Egg which shed a new light on the film. Specifically, in the case of Thor's Easter Egg, we have what perhaps may be the most critical game-changer, for its given film.
Director Kenneth Branagh discussed this key scene in an interview with Empire before the weekend. He's a bit guarded, despite the fact that he does get a bit spoiler-happy. However, if you've caught the scene, then you'll be able to read between the lines about what he's implying.
Caution: Spoiler Talk Ahead!
As Branagh tells Empire, Thor's brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is serving as a much more critical component to Marvel's "movie-verse" than one might have thought. The direction where The Avengers films are headed now seem to depend on Loki's motivations:
"We thought that this film would very much be an origin story where, thank God, you and other people feel as though there are interesting questions to ask about Loki.
Is he a good man gone to the bad? Has he gone to the bad? Does he still love Thor? Does he hate Thor? Does he still love Asgard? Does he want to be ruler of Asgard? Does he want to be ruler of Earth? Does he want to be ruler of the rest of the nine realms? So, how does he do that?"
You can probably catch the Easter Egg on some poorly-shot YouTube posts, which will surely be taken down real soon. But, the revelation that Loki survived the epic denouement of the film would end up taking a backseat to the idea that he's infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. by manipulating Stellan Skarsgard's Professor Selvig. (Was he controlled by Loki the whole time?)
Then, it hits you: Sam Jackson's Nick Fury opens up what appears to be a nuclear football of some kind. However, inside it, is Marvel's famed Cosmic Cube: A possible source of unlimited power, which has the ability to alter reality itself.
As Branagh further explains:
"When he (Loki) falls into that wormhole, a rip in the fabric of space at the end of our picture, and then shows up in an unknown location, possibly with the idea of a new and cunning plan, I think think it's a interesting way to indicate how he might be involved in another story from another part of the Marvel Universe."
Translation: "We just set up the plot for The Avengers in a pretty clear way."
Thus far, the speculation about the Cosmic Cube that hit the Internet a few months back has proven accurate. So, in all likelihood, the other half of that story, where Loki takes the device and summons Marvel's iconic alien shape-shifting baddies, the Skrulls is also looking to be the likely inciting incident for Marvel's mega superhero team-up film.
Did you catch Thor over the weekend? Has it whetted your appetite for The Avengers?