Asguardians of the Galaxy

Here’s some good news. Empire magazine is reporting that Chris Pratt has signed up to play Star-Lord in Thor: Love and Thunder.

Of course, Thor joined the Guardians of the Galaxy at the end of Avengers: Endgame, so it’s not surprising that there will be (at least some) overlap in Thor’s next outing. But this confirms that at least one of the Guardians will be involved, and I think it’s safe to assume that more (hopefully all of them) will be joining the film soon.

Natalie Portman is back as Jane Foster, who will take on her own Thor personality and attendant powers, while Tessa Thompson returns as Valkyrie and Christian Bale joins the MCU as an unspecified villain. Thor: Ragnarok’s Taika Waititi is once again behind the camera and is likely to be performance capture suiting up as Korg.

2022 can’t come soon enough.

Five More Things

I mentioned Whoops Apocalypse, the TV series, some time ago. At the weekend I finally found the time to watch the film. In this version the plot is updated somewhat to reflect the fact that it was made in 1986 — four years after the TV series — but the humour is still as dark and bitingly effective as an increasingly farcical sequence of events drags the world ever closer to nuclear armageddon.

As a satire made and set during the Cold War, the film is very much of its time and you probably need to have lived through the 1980s for some of the jokes to work. It does, however, manage an accidentally contemporary moment when the US president (played by Loretta Swit) incredulously asks: “You’re telling me that the entire population of Great Britain went and elected a deranged psychotic to the highest office of the land? Again?”

Remaining with the ongoing disaster that is British politics, N Piers Ludlow asks whether the UK ever understood how the EU works. Given that the UK has been a member of the bloc for over 40 years, the conclusion is damning, to say the least.

On a more positive note, Jo Swinson was elected leader of the Liberal Democrats this week and Timothy Garton Ash is optimistic about her chances of leading a fightback for liberal Britain. We live in hope.

Returning to the subject of films, for a moment, Marvel has revealed their Phase 4 MCU lineup and Den of Geek has the details. Ignoring the Disney+ releases — I absolutely am not going to get tied into signing up to endless streaming services — the upcoming Black Widow film is long overdue and I am really looking forward to seeing how they handle Thor: Love And Thunder. Also: Blade is coming back!

And finally, Ian Stewart’s article on social physics reminded me of a book I read some time ago, namely Critical Mass by Philip Ball. The takeaway from both is that you may be an individual but, in aggregate, we are a lot more predictable than we realise.