One of the most jaw-dropping moments of the teaser trailer for Thor: Ragnarok occurred when Hela not only caught the thunder god's enchanted hammer Mjolnir as it was hurled at her, but then dramatically shattered it in her bare hand, depriving the Avenger of his signature weapon. That scene has been played over and over again since April, but while we see it once more in the latest promos for the Marvel sequel, it's suddenly undergone a significant change.
In that first trailer, and countless subsequent promos, the sequence takes place in what appears to be a New York City alley or warehouse, as Chris Hemsworth begins to recount in voiceover the "long story" of how Thor ended up in chains, the prisoner of Cate Blanchett's goddess of death. However, in a promo released Thursday and a featurette that debuted today, the backdrop has shifted from Manhattan to something far more pastoral.
What's more, Tom Hiddleston's Loki, who was nowhere to be seen in the original version, now stands beside his adoptive brother on a grass-covered plateau overlooking the ocean.
It's been long presumed the scene takes place early in the film, not only because of the New York setting (Thor paid a visit to Stephen Strange in Doctor Strange's post-credits, and Benedict Cumberbatch's Strange is part of Ragnarok's expansive cast) but because of the thunder god's long hair and the destruction of Mjolnir: We know he's without his weapon when he arrives on far-flug Sakaar, where he also loses his locks.
Clearly, the sequence changed during reshoots -- Screen Rant spotted a photo by Hemsworth's personal trainer that seems to depict the same scene being shot outdoors near Atlanta, against a blue screen -- but the question remains why.
It's possible that, following principal photography, director Taika Waititi decided it made more sense for the scene to unfold in a different, and more picturesque, location. There's little disputing that Hela catching Mjolnir in mid-air looks even more impressive against this new backdrop. There's also a chance that Loki bearing witness to the hammer's destruction (and Thor's defeat) ends up playing a larger role later in the film, requiring his proximity here.
There are a lot of questions about the change, with no definitive answers, but we can likely rest assured that the scene still takes place early in the sequel. How else would you explain the existence of both Thor's hammer and his long hair?
Arriving Nov. 3, director Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok stars Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Cate Blanchett as Hela, Idris Elba as Heimdall, Jeff Goldblum as Grandmaster, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, Karl Urban as Skurge, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/the Hulk and Anthony Hopkins as Odin.