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The MCU’s Rules For Valhalla Are Worse Than The Multiverse

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The MCU’s Rules For Valhalla Are Worse Than The Multiverse

The MCU’s multiverse has been inconsistent throughout Phase 4, but Thor: Love and Thunder’s Valhalla may be an even more unclear concept.

Warning! SPOILERS for Thor: Love and Thunder.

The MCU’s rules for the multiverse have been notably inconsistent, but Thor: Love and Thunder introduces an even more vague concept in the form of Valhalla. The Infinity Saga only relied on a handful of fictional concepts such as superpowers, magic, and the Infinity Stones. They are all outlandish, but they’re still clear enough to let viewers enjoy all of the MCU’s first 23 installments to the fullest. Once the Infinity Saga ended, the MCU’s Phase 4 took an ambitious step further with the debut of the multiverse and the afterlife.

The rules of the MCU multiverse are difficult to define. Loki established that the TVA eliminated all the people who threatened the Sacred Timeline. However, the Avengers were inexplicably spared even though their Time Heist from Avengers: Endgame resulted in Loki’s escape with the Tesseract, which in turn spelled the end of the TVA, the Sacred Timeline, and He Who Remains. Variants — who somehow can look identical or completely different from each other — can travel to other universes and go back home peacefully, like the many characters of Spider-Man: No Way Home. Soon after, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness explained that multiversal visitors cause catastrophic “incursion” events, even though Gamora, Steve Rogers, and Vulture apparently stayed in other universes without a problem. Steve Rogers, for that matter, shouldn’t have been able to stay in the past and return to the present without passing through the Quantum Realm. There’s also the fact that What If…? gave the Infinity Stones the power to affect the multiverse, even though they’re supposed to work exclusively in their home universe.

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Related: Wait, Did Thor: Love & Thunder Bring Back The Soul Stone?

Now, Thor: Love and Thunder does something similar with its idea of the afterlife. Sif, Valkyrie, and Thor talk about Valhalla as if it were a common belief in the MCU. However, no Asgardian ever mentioned it before, and death was treated like a definitive end in all of Thor’s previous appearances. Thor also says that admittance to Valhalla is reserved for Asgardians who suffer a brutal, painful death in battle. Yet, Thor‘s Jane Foster, a human-turned-god, enters Valhalla after peacefully succumbing to cancer well after the fight against Gorr the God Butcher is over. By the same logic, Odin couldn’t have entered Valhalla, but the golden sparks that signaled his and Jane Foster’s deaths suggest otherwise. Moon Knight had also established that in the MCU, all versions of the afterlife exist inside the same dimension, and that their manifestation depends on each person’s beliefs. Even if Mjolnir made Jane Foster an honorary Asgardian, there’s no reason why she would end up in Valhalla.


Why The MCU’s Valhalla & Multiverse Rules Are Both So Unclear

The multiverse, death, and the afterlife are all very complex concepts, even without the context of the MCU. They have had countless different interpretations throughout the ages, and each storyteller can have an original take on them. Likewise, each MCU writer and director can give them a twist that works for the specific installment they’re working on, but that also causes continuity problems for other installments. Settling on one solid definition from the start can limit individual characters and stories. It’s more simple to make them malleable ideas that allow other movies to adapt accordingly. For instance, the Sacred Timeline’s destruction makes the multiverse possible at every point in time, and Thor: Love and Thunder‘s vague explanation of Valhalla lets future MCU releases decide whether to bring back every fallen Asgardian or let them rest in peace.

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This is probably why Thor: Love and Thunder‘s second post-credits scene only features Heimdall. Valhalla leaves the door open for Odin, Frigga, and the Warriors Three (and even the original Loki), but it also doesn’t force the MCU to bring them back. Meanwhile, Idris Elba’s character receives a well-deserved opportunity to return to the MCU. These possibilities suggest Phase 4 is only setting the foundations of the MCU’s new saga. Future releases may solve all of the conflicting details regarding the multiverse and Valhalla.

More: Thor: Love & Thunder’s Unanswered Questions

Want more Thor: Love & Thunder articles? Check out our essential content below…





  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
  • The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2023)Release date: Jul 28, 2023

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Review: SAMARITAN, A Sly Stallone Superhero Stumble

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Review: SAMARITAN, A Sly Stallone Superhero Stumble

Hitting the three-quarter-century mark usually means a retirement home, a nursing facility, or if you’re lucky to be blessed with relatively good health and savings to match, living in a gated community in Arizona or Florida.

For Sylvester Stallone, however, it means something else entirely: starring in the first superhero-centered film of his decades-long career in the much-delayed Samaritan. Unfortunately for Stallone and the audience on the other side of the screen, the derivative, turgid, forgettable results won’t get mentioned in a career retrospective, let alone among the ever-expanding list of must-see entries in a genre already well past its peak.

For Stallone, however, it’s better late than never when it involves the superhero genre. Maybe in getting a taste of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) with his walk-on role in the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel several years ago, Stallone thought anything Marvel can do, I can do even better (or just as good in the nebulous definition of the word).

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The property Stallone and his team found for him, Samaritan, a little-known graphic novel released by a small, almost negligible, publisher, certainly takes advantage of Stallone’s brute-force physicality and his often underrated talent for near-monosyllabic brooding (e.g., the Rambo series), but too often gives him to little do or say as the lone super-powered survivor, the so-called “Samaritan” of the title, of a lifelong rivalry with his brother, “Nemesis.” Two brothers entered a fire-ravaged building and while both were presumed dead, one brother did survive (Stallone’s Joe Smith, a garbageman by day, an appliance repairman by night).

In the Granite City of screenwriter Bragi F. Schut (Escape Room, Season of the Witch), the United States, and presumably the rest of the world, teeters on economic and political collapse, with a recession spiraling into a depression, steady gigs difficult, if not impossible, to obtain, and the city’s neighborhoods rocked by crime and violence. No one’s safe, not even 13-year-old Sam (Javon Walker), Joe’s neighbor.

When he’s not dodging bullies connected to a gang, he’s falling under the undue influence of Cyrus (Pilou Asbæk), a low-rent gang leader with an outsized ego and the conviction that he and only he can take on Nemesis’s mantle and along with that mantle, a hammer “forged in hate,” to orchestrate a Bane-like plan to plunge the city into chaos and become a wealthy power-broker in the process.

Schut’s woefully underwritten script takes a clumsy, haphazard approach to world-building, relying on a two-minute animated sequence to open Samaritan while a naive, worshipful Sam narrates Samaritan and Nemesis’s supposedly tragic, Cain and Abel-inspired backstory. Schut and director Julius Avery (Overlord) clumsily attempt to contrast Sam’s childish belief in messiah-like, superheroic saviors stepping in to save humanity from itself and its own worst excesses, but following that path leads to authoritarianism and fascism (ideas better, more thoroughly explored in Watchmen and The Boys).

While Sam continues to think otherwise, Stallone’s superhero, 25 years past his last, fatal encounter with his presumably deceased brother, obviously believes superheroes are the problem and not the solution (a somewhat reasonable position), but as Samaritan tracks Joe and Sam’s friendship, Sam giving Joe the son he never had, Joe giving Sam the father he lost to street violence well before the film’s opening scene, it gets closer and closer to embracing, if not outright endorsing Sam’s power fantasies, right through a literally and figuratively explosive ending. Might, as always, wins regardless of how righteous or justified the underlying action.

It’s what superhero audiences want, apparently, and what Samaritan uncritically delivers via a woefully under-rendered finale involving not just unconvincing CGI fire effects, but a videogame cut-scene quality Stallone in a late-film flashback sequence that’s meant to be subversively revelatory, but will instead lead to unintentional laughter for anyone who’s managed to sit the entirety of Samaritan’s one-hour and 40-minute running time.

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Samaritan is now streaming worldwide on Prime Video.

Samaritan

Cast
  • Sylvester Stallone
  • Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton
  • Pilou Asbæk

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Matt Shakman Is In Talks To Direct ‘Fantastic Four’

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According to a new report, Wandavision’s Matt Shakman is in talks to direct the upcoming MCU project, Fantastic Four. Marvel Studios has been very hush-hush regarding Fantastic Four to the point where no official announcements have been made other than the film’s release date. No casting news or literally anything other than rumors has been released regarding the project. We know that Fantastic Four is slated for release on November 8th, 2024, and will be a part of Marvel’s Phase 6. There are also rumors that the cast of the new Fantastic Four will be announced at the D23 Expo on September 9th.

Fantastic Four is still over two years from release, and we assume we will hear more news about the project in the coming months. However, the idea of the Fantastic Four has already been introduced into the MCU. John Krasinski played Reed Richards aka Mr. Fantastic in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The cameo was a huge deal for fans who have been waiting a long time for the Fantastic Four to enter the MCU. When Disney acquired Twenty Century Fox in 2019 we assumed that the Fox Marvel characters would eventually make their way into the MCU. It’s been 3 years and we already have had an X-Men and Fantastic Four cameo – even if they were from another universe.

Deadline is reporting that Wandavision’s Matt Shakman is in talks to direct Fantastic Four. Shakman served as the director for Wandavision and has had an extensive career. He directed two episodes of Game of Thrones and an episode of The Boys, and he had a long stint on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. There is nothing official yet, but Deadline’s sources say that Shakman is currently in talks for the job and things are headed in the right direction.

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To be honest, I was a bit more excited when Jon Watts was set to direct. I’m sure Shakman is a good director, but Watts proved he could handle a tentpole superhero film with Spider-Man: Homecoming. Wandavision was good, but Watts’ style would have been perfect for Fantastic Four. The film is probably one of the most anticipated films in Marvel’s upcoming slate films and they need to find the best person they can to direct. Is that Matt Shakman? It could be, but whoever takes the job must realize that Marvel has a lot riding on this movie. The other Fantastic Four films were awful and fans deserve better. Hopefully, Marvel knocks it out of the park as they usually do. You can see for yourself when Fantastic Four hits theaters on November 8th, 2024.

Film Synopsis: One of Marvel’s most iconic families makes it to the big screen: the Fantastic Four.

Source: Deadline

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Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase Star in ‘Zombie Town’ Mystery Teen Romancer (Exclusive)

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Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase have entered Zombie Town, a mystery teen romancer based on author R.L. Stine’s book of the same name.

The indie, now shooting in Ontario, also stars Henry Czerny and co-teen leads Marlon Kazadi and Madi Monroe. The ensemble cast includes Scott Thompson and Bruce McCulloch of the Canadian comedy show Kids in the Hall.

Canadian animator Peter Lepeniotis will direct Zombie Town. Stine’s kid’s book sees a quiet town upended when 12-year-old Mike and his friend, Karen, see a horror movie called Zombie Town and unexpectedly see the title characters leap off the screen and chase them through the theater.

Zombie Town will premiere in U.S. theaters before streaming on Hulu and then ABC Australia in 2023.

“We are delighted to bring the pages of R.L. Stine’s Zombie Town to the screen and equally thrilled to be working with such an exceptional cast and crew on this production. A three-time Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award winner with book sales of over $500 million, R.L. Stine has a phenomenal track record of crafting stories that engage and entertain audiences,” John Gillespie, Trimuse Entertainment founder and executive producer, said in a statement.

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Executive producers are Trimuse Entertainment, Toonz Media Group, Lookout Entertainment, Viva Pictures and Sons of Anarchy actor Kim Coates.  

Paco Alvarez and Mark Holdom of Trimuse negotiated the deal to acquire the rights to Stine’s Zombie Town book.

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