A newly released Thor design pitch for Avengers: Infinity War shows that the character could have looked his Ultimate Universe counterpart on the big screen.
Marvel Studios’ Head of Visual Development Ryan Meinerding posted the design pitch to his Instagram. The image shows a mock-up of Chris Hemsworth as Thor with long hair, no cape and a large, double-edged weapon. The weapon is likely Jarnbjorn, a Dwarven battleax that Thor wielded long before his beloved Mjolnir. This detail is in line with an image of the character in Avengers: Art of Infinity War book.
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Ultimate Thor! This was an early design pitch I proposed before we knew Thor's hair would be short at the beginning of Infinity War. It's always a blast to translate something as directly as possible from the comics! The awesome comic design is by the insanely talented Bryan Hitch. #thor #infinitywar #avengers #godofthunder #conceptart #costumedesign #marvelstudios
"This was an early design pitch I proposed before we knew Thor's hair would be short at the beginning of Infinity War,” Meinerding explained.
For those yet to see Thor: Ragnarok, the hair is an issue because a razor-happy barber with bad eyesight (Stan Lee) trims it down in that film. Thus, he wasn't able to have the shoulder-length hair shown in the design pitch.
Comics fans may recognize the design as resembling the iteration of the character in Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch's The Ultimates, a thirteen-issue limited series that ran from March 2002 through April 2004. This was the first appearance of Thor in the Ultimate Universe.
“It's always a blast to translate something as directly as possible from the comics!” Meinerding continued. “The awesome comic design is by the insanely talented Bryan Hitch.”
Thor's Avengers: Infinity War ended up giving him a smaller weapon in Stormbreaker (his enchanted hammer Mjolnir having been destroyed by Hela in Ragnarok), which is created by the giant dwarf Eitri (Peter Dinklage). His breastplate, however, carried over from the design, glowing with the power of the God of Thunder, which he would use in Infinity War to battle Thanos (Josh Brolin).
Ultimate Thor is a drastically different take on the character than the Earth-616 counterpart. His name is Thorlief Golmen, who turns out to be a reincarnation of the Norse warrior. He is an unstable, self-involved character without a clear sense of heroism. His reliance on Mjolnir is significantly reduced, which is similar to Thor's position in Infinity War. As all variations on the character are different, it makes sense that the MCU Thor would build off the various comics' characterizations, as well as the persona given to the character by Hemsworth.