‘Avengers: Infinity War’ — Where and How Will the Soul Stone Show Up?

This is it. Thanos, who has been sort of casually trying and failing to gather the six Infinity Stones for the past decade of movies, is finally making his move.

He, and we, know where five of the six stones are. Two of them are on Earth — the green Time Stone in the possession of Doctor Strange and the yellow Mind Stone in the forehead of Vision. Elsewhere, the purple Power Stone has been held by the Nova Corps since the end of the first “Guardians of the Galaxy,” the blue Space Stone is being carried around by the Asgardian survivors of Ragnarok, and the red Reality Stone was last seen in the possession of the Collector at the end of “Thor: The Dark World.”

Which leaves the orange Soul Stone still missing, with no overt hints from any of the movies about where it is. But we assume it will have to appear finally in “Infinity War” because there has to be a real threat that Thanos will manage to actually collect all the stones and achieve absolute power over time and space with this Infinity Gauntlet — and that threat can’t exist without the Soul Stone.

So let’s take a look at the possibilities for where the Soul Stone is and how it might show up in “Avengers: Infinity War.”

Also Read: Tracking the Infinity Stones of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Through ‘Black Panther’

A couple key notes before we get started. First, the the big thing about the Soul Stone is that it can collect souls and place them in a “soul world” inside itself — it basically creates a new dimension. Those who use the gem then have access to those souls and their abilities. These are probably important clues.

Second, a key thing to remember about the Infinity Stones is that they weren’t usually introduced as Infinity Stones — they usually take some other form initially before their true nature is revealed. The Mind Stone, for example, was what powered Loki’s scepter, and the Aether was actually a liquid in “Thor: The Dark World.” So it’s very possible we’ve already seen the Soul Stone without realizing we saw it.

Okay, on to the speculation.

Adam Warlock

So in Marvel lore the character who is most closely identified with the Soul Stone — the Stones are actually referred to as Gems in the comics — is Adam Warlock, who has not appeared thus far in the MCU but who was teased at the end of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” In one of that movie’s mid-credits scenes, Ayesha of the Sovereign (Elizabeth Debicki) explains that she has created a new being that will be the future of her race, and will name him Adam — that’s Adam Warlock. Now, producer Kevin Feige has insisted that Adam Warlock isn’t on the MCU docket until “Guardians 3” in 2020 — which obviously puts him out of reach for either “Infinity War” or the fourth “Avengers” movie scheduled for 2019.

Also Read: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ Post-Credits Scene Explained: Who is Adam?

So we can take them at their word and assume the Soul Stone will survive these next two movies and make its way to Warlock in the future — or we can assume this is misdirection somehow. Honestly, it’s hard to imagine how “Infinity War” could introduce Adam Warlock without having set him up at all before now and no apparent plans to explore him further between this movie and “Avengers 4,” so it’s probably a safe guess that he’s not going to be involved with all this for now.

The problem, though, is that once you get beyond Adam Warlock, you’re left trying to figure out what new way Feige and co. have come up with to introduce the Soul Stone, which is, you know, kinda hard. But we have at least one guess that we’re fairly confident in.

It’s in Wakanda

My favorite theory, which I have held for a while now, is that the Soul Stone is in Wakanda, having crashed to Earth as part of the Vibranium meteor that landed in Africa thousands of year ago. This idea would make probably the most sense, because it would jive with the very real Wakandan afterlife concept. My belief is that the heart-shaped herb which gives the Black Panther his power is an outgrowth of the Soul Stone, and thus the Wakandan ancestral plane, where the souls of dead Black Panthers live, is inside the Soul Stone itself.

While Wakanda seems the most likely possibility at the moment, there are a few other possibilities.

Also Read: ‘Black Panther’: Did We See the Soul Stone in Wakanda?

It gives Captain Marvel her powers

The big one that I’ve come up with involves the wild card that is Captain Marvel, who is sure to show up in some capacity in “Infinity War.” While Captain Marvel, like Black Panther, is not known to have a connection to the stone in the comics, it wouldn’t require a ton of hand-wringing to make it work. The canon story of Captain Marvel, aka Carol Danvers, is that she was a regular human who was turned into a half-Kree superperson through the same kind of comic book magic that turned Bruce Banner into the Hulk — she got caught up in a battle between two Kree supermen, and during that fight she basically fell into a wacky space machine that used wacky space magic to alter her genetic structure based on what she was thinking about at that moment.

My idea is that in the MCU it’s actually the Soul Stone that makes Captain Marvel super — remember, one of its key characteristics is that it can grant users the power of the souls it has collected. If there are a bunch of Kree souls in the Soul Stone, the net effect would be more or less the same.

It’s been assumed that Captain Marvel will make some kind of triumphant appearance at the end of the movie, though of course we have no idea how it will happen. But if she shows up in the third act with the Soul Stone it would be quite a thing.

Also Read: ‘Thor: Ragnarok’: How That Mid-Credits Scene Sets Up ‘Avengers: Infinity War’

It’s powering Iron Man’s Suit

I don’t buy this one at all, but it’s worth noting just because it takes us way back to “Iron Man 2.” One of the key subplots in that movie involved Tony Stark being poisoned by the palladium power core in his chest — until SHIELD gave him some stuff from outer space that allowed him to create a new, previously undiscovered element that would power his suits indefinitely. This new element has not even been referenced since then, so it probably doesn’t matter anymore, but there has been some speculation over the years that this new element is, I guess, the reconstitution of an Infinity Stone — the Infinity Stones are ancient, so Tony would not have created it.

Anyway, there’s only one Infinity Stone still missing, so the Soul Stone is what we’re left with. Nevermind that Tony has certainly never demonstrated anything resembling the power of the Soul Stone. Some fuel was recently added to this fire when Marvel released a series of Infinity Stone-themed posters and Tony was squarely at the center of the Soul Stone.

It’s on Titan

So you know that place in the “Infinity War” trailers that has a totally wrecked landscape where Iron Man and Spider-Man and the Guardians of the Galaxy are doing a big battle? That’s Titan — yes, we’re talking about the moon of Saturn here. That’s also where Thanos is from, way back in the day. If there’s a battle there, it has to have some significance to Thanos’ quest for the Infinity Stones — you might guess that Titan is the endgame, but in the trailers he only has two of the stones while there. (Marvel could be pulling a fast one on us there, but we’re just going off what we have.)

Also Read: 10 Big Takeaways From That Bananas Final ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Trailer

So the Soul Stone could be on Titan, or Titan itself could be the Soul Stone, or Captain Marvel may have it on Titan while frozen in ice for decades like Captain America was — remember, the “Captain Marvel” movie out next year takes place two decades in the past, so anything is possible.

And that’s all we’ve got. Fortunately, it’s not long now until we get to find out for sure, because “Avengers: Infinity War” is out on April 27.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ Post-Credits Scene Explained: Who is ‘Adam’?

‘Thor: Ragnarok’: How That Mid-Credits Scene Sets Up ‘Avengers: Infinity War’

‘Black Panther’: Did We See the Soul Stone in Wakanda?

This is it. Thanos, who has been sort of casually trying and failing to gather the six Infinity Stones for the past decade of movies, is finally making his move.

He, and we, know where five of the six stones are. Two of them are on Earth — the green Time Stone in the possession of Doctor Strange and the yellow Mind Stone in the forehead of Vision. Elsewhere, the purple Power Stone has been held by the Nova Corps since the end of the first “Guardians of the Galaxy,” the blue Space Stone is being carried around by the Asgardian survivors of Ragnarok, and the red Reality Stone was last seen in the possession of the Collector at the end of “Thor: The Dark World.”

Which leaves the orange Soul Stone still missing, with no overt hints from any of the movies about where it is. But we assume it will have to appear finally in “Infinity War” because there has to be a real threat that Thanos will manage to actually collect all the stones and achieve absolute power over time and space with this Infinity Gauntlet — and that threat can’t exist without the Soul Stone.

So let’s take a look at the possibilities for where the Soul Stone is and how it might show up in “Avengers: Infinity War.”

A couple key notes before we get started. First, the the big thing about the Soul Stone is that it can collect souls and place them in a “soul world” inside itself — it basically creates a new dimension. Those who use the gem then have access to those souls and their abilities. These are probably important clues.

Second, a key thing to remember about the Infinity Stones is that they weren’t usually introduced as Infinity Stones — they usually take some other form initially before their true nature is revealed. The Mind Stone, for example, was what powered Loki’s scepter, and the Aether was actually a liquid in “Thor: The Dark World.” So it’s very possible we’ve already seen the Soul Stone without realizing we saw it.

Okay, on to the speculation.

Adam Warlock

So in Marvel lore the character who is most closely identified with the Soul Stone — the Stones are actually referred to as Gems in the comics — is Adam Warlock, who has not appeared thus far in the MCU but who was teased at the end of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” In one of that movie’s mid-credits scenes, Ayesha of the Sovereign (Elizabeth Debicki) explains that she has created a new being that will be the future of her race, and will name him Adam — that’s Adam Warlock. Now, producer Kevin Feige has insisted that Adam Warlock isn’t on the MCU docket until “Guardians 3” in 2020 — which obviously puts him out of reach for either “Infinity War” or the fourth “Avengers” movie scheduled for 2019.

So we can take them at their word and assume the Soul Stone will survive these next two movies and make its way to Warlock in the future — or we can assume this is misdirection somehow. Honestly, it’s hard to imagine how “Infinity War” could introduce Adam Warlock without having set him up at all before now and no apparent plans to explore him further between this movie and “Avengers 4,” so it’s probably a safe guess that he’s not going to be involved with all this for now.

The problem, though, is that once you get beyond Adam Warlock, you’re left trying to figure out what new way Feige and co. have come up with to introduce the Soul Stone, which is, you know, kinda hard. But we have at least one guess that we’re fairly confident in.

It’s in Wakanda

My favorite theory, which I have held for a while now, is that the Soul Stone is in Wakanda, having crashed to Earth as part of the Vibranium meteor that landed in Africa thousands of year ago. This idea would make probably the most sense, because it would jive with the very real Wakandan afterlife concept. My belief is that the heart-shaped herb which gives the Black Panther his power is an outgrowth of the Soul Stone, and thus the Wakandan ancestral plane, where the souls of dead Black Panthers live, is inside the Soul Stone itself.

While Wakanda seems the most likely possibility at the moment, there are a few other possibilities.

It gives Captain Marvel her powers

The big one that I’ve come up with involves the wild card that is Captain Marvel, who is sure to show up in some capacity in “Infinity War.” While Captain Marvel, like Black Panther, is not known to have a connection to the stone in the comics, it wouldn’t require a ton of hand-wringing to make it work. The canon story of Captain Marvel, aka Carol Danvers, is that she was a regular human who was turned into a half-Kree superperson through the same kind of comic book magic that turned Bruce Banner into the Hulk — she got caught up in a battle between two Kree supermen, and during that fight she basically fell into a wacky space machine that used wacky space magic to alter her genetic structure based on what she was thinking about at that moment.

My idea is that in the MCU it’s actually the Soul Stone that makes Captain Marvel super — remember, one of its key characteristics is that it can grant users the power of the souls it has collected. If there are a bunch of Kree souls in the Soul Stone, the net effect would be more or less the same.

It’s been assumed that Captain Marvel will make some kind of triumphant appearance at the end of the movie, though of course we have no idea how it will happen. But if she shows up in the third act with the Soul Stone it would be quite a thing.

It’s powering Iron Man’s Suit

I don’t buy this one at all, but it’s worth noting just because it takes us way back to “Iron Man 2.” One of the key subplots in that movie involved Tony Stark being poisoned by the palladium power core in his chest — until SHIELD gave him some stuff from outer space that allowed him to create a new, previously undiscovered element that would power his suits indefinitely. This new element has not even been referenced since then, so it probably doesn’t matter anymore, but there has been some speculation over the years that this new element is, I guess, the reconstitution of an Infinity Stone — the Infinity Stones are ancient, so Tony would not have created it.

Anyway, there’s only one Infinity Stone still missing, so the Soul Stone is what we’re left with. Nevermind that Tony has certainly never demonstrated anything resembling the power of the Soul Stone. Some fuel was recently added to this fire when Marvel released a series of Infinity Stone-themed posters and Tony was squarely at the center of the Soul Stone.

It’s on Titan

So you know that place in the “Infinity War” trailers that has a totally wrecked landscape where Iron Man and Spider-Man and the Guardians of the Galaxy are doing a big battle? That’s Titan — yes, we’re talking about the moon of Saturn here. That’s also where Thanos is from, way back in the day. If there’s a battle there, it has to have some significance to Thanos’ quest for the Infinity Stones — you might guess that Titan is the endgame, but in the trailers he only has two of the stones while there. (Marvel could be pulling a fast one on us there, but we’re just going off what we have.)

So the Soul Stone could be on Titan, or Titan itself could be the Soul Stone, or Captain Marvel may have it on Titan while frozen in ice for decades like Captain America was — remember, the “Captain Marvel” movie out next year takes place two decades in the past, so anything is possible.

And that’s all we’ve got. Fortunately, it’s not long now until we get to find out for sure, because “Avengers: Infinity War” is out on April 27.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2' Post-Credits Scene Explained: Who is 'Adam'?

'Thor: Ragnarok': How That Mid-Credits Scene Sets Up 'Avengers: Infinity War'

'Black Panther': Did We See the Soul Stone in Wakanda?

‘The Cloverfield Paradox’ Actress Elizabeth Debicki on How Her Height Affects Her Roles

For Australian actress Elizabeth Debicki, who appeared in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and Netflix’s surprise release “The Cloverfield Paradox,” theater and film are two sides of the same coin. On one hand, she loves the immediacy and rigor of theater and believes the medium is a pressure cooker that creates refined actors. But she […]

For Australian actress Elizabeth Debicki, who appeared in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and Netflix’s surprise release “The Cloverfield Paradox,” theater and film are two sides of the same coin. On one hand, she loves the immediacy and rigor of theater and believes the medium is a pressure cooker that creates refined actors. But she […]

What Exactly Is the Paradox in ‘The Cloverfield Paradox’?

(Major spoilers ahead for “The Cloverfield Paradox”)

Netflix’s newly released entry into the “Cloverfield” franchise, “The Cloverfield Paradox,” finds itself in space where all kinds of weird stuff starts to happen.

Fans of the franchise know it has a lot of weird monsters and aliens popping up in its seemingly unconnected movies, and “The Cloverfield Paradox” has a lot to do with alternate dimensions that could be the source of those creatures. What’s not exactly clear as you’re watching it, however, is the title.

So what’s the paradox of “The Cloverfield Paradox,” exactly?

German physicist Schmidt (Daniel Bruhl) has the answer, expounding on an explanation given earlier in the movie by a doomsayer played by Donal Logue. Logue’s character, Mark Stambler, worries about the experiments being conducted on the Cloverfield space station. He postulates that the station’s particle accelerator could tear a hole in the fabric of spacetime, causing multiple “dimensions,” or alternate universes, to collide and intermingle.

Also Read: How Does ‘The Cloverfield Paradox’ Fit With the Other Two ‘Cloverfield’ Movies?

That’s exactly what happens when the experiment finally goes through. As Schmidt describes it, the experiment causes two or more dimensions to crash into each other, destroying one dimension’s version of the Cloverfield station and causing all sorts of weird anomalies to happen on the other.

Schmidt explains that the Cloverfield Paradox is the idea of particles — in this case, smaller-than-atoms quantum particles — from the two dimensions are interacting with each other. It causes all kinds of strange happenings, none of which make any sense, like a disembodied arm crawling around on its own and writing a message, or a bunch of earthworms disappearing from one part of the station and appearing inside the body of one of the crew.

Things on the Cloverfield don’t seem to make sense or follow the laws of physics because the scientists on the station are only seeing one side of the (at least) two-dimensional interaction. How the two dimensions interact doesn’t make sense based on what we know of our universe. Things seem to happen for no reason, because the reason they’re happening might be occurring in the other dimension, the other universe, and the two universes might not operate on the same set of physical laws.

We can’t quite take Schmidt’s explanation at face value, though, because when the Cloverfield station moves from its original dimension to this other one, it’s not in the same place as the station in the new dimension — it appears on the other side of the solar system from Earth. The station from that version of Earth was also destroyed and its debris fell to the planet, the result of sabotage by the second dimension’s version of Schmidt. So in fact, there’s probably (at least) a third alternate dimension at play here. Perhaps this third dimension’s version of the Cloverfield station also successfully fired its particle accelerator and moved into this dimension at the same time, or earlier, as the one from the first dimension, and the first and third stations merged.

We know there was some sort of merging going on between multiple versions of the station because of how the Russian scientist Volkov (Aksel Hennie) behaves after the particle accelerator incident. He seems to have merged with a version of himself from another dimension, with the two men occupying the same body. Volkov’s eye twitches in a way that suggests he’s not fully in control of himself, and he later talks to himself in the mirror. The implication there is that the Volkov from the second dimension informs the first about the traitorous Schmidt. Of course, in the dimension we’ve been watching from the start of the film, Schmidt isn’t a traitor — but in the second dimension, Schmidt sabotaged the experiment.

Also Read: ‘The Cloverfield Paradox’ Scores 15 Percent From Critics on Rotten Tomatoes: ‘Utterly Convoluted’

The idea of three dimensions interacting would follow with the idea that each of the three “Cloverfield” movies take place in three different versions of the universe, with this film’s implication that the particle accelerator on the Cloverfield station is what caused the events of the other two movies. If all of that is true, then it would follow that “The Cloverfield Paradox” depicts more than just two parallel versions of Earth interacting with each other. For that matter, if they also somehow unleashed monsters on multiple versions of Earth, then we could be seeing any number of different Cloverfield stations existing on top of each other here.

This would, interestingly, mean that Elizabeth Debicki’s character, Jensen, was also from that that third dimension rather than that Earth she tried to kill everyone for.

For more on how this movie fits with the other two, including an explanation for why the monster at the end of “The Cloverfield Paradox” is not the same monster from the original movie, you can read our in-depth discussion right here.

“The Cloverfield Paradox” is currently streaming on Netflix following its surprise release after the Super Bowl.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘The Cloverfield Paradox’ Scores 15 Percent From Critics on Rotten Tomatoes: ‘Utterly Convoluted’

How Does ‘The Cloverfield Paradox’ Fit With the Other Two ‘Cloverfield’ Movies?

(Major spoilers ahead for “The Cloverfield Paradox”)

Netflix’s newly released entry into the “Cloverfield” franchise, “The Cloverfield Paradox,” finds itself in space where all kinds of weird stuff starts to happen.

Fans of the franchise know it has a lot of weird monsters and aliens popping up in its seemingly unconnected movies, and “The Cloverfield Paradox” has a lot to do with alternate dimensions that could be the source of those creatures. What’s not exactly clear as you’re watching it, however, is the title.

So what’s the paradox of “The Cloverfield Paradox,” exactly?

German physicist Schmidt (Daniel Bruhl) has the answer, expounding on an explanation given earlier in the movie by a doomsayer played by Donal Logue. Logue’s character, Mark Stambler, worries about the experiments being conducted on the Cloverfield space station. He postulates that the station’s particle accelerator could tear a hole in the fabric of spacetime, causing multiple “dimensions,” or alternate universes, to collide and intermingle.

That’s exactly what happens when the experiment finally goes through. As Schmidt describes it, the experiment causes two or more dimensions to crash into each other, destroying one dimension’s version of the Cloverfield station and causing all sorts of weird anomalies to happen on the other.

Schmidt explains that the Cloverfield Paradox is the idea of particles — in this case, smaller-than-atoms quantum particles — from the two dimensions are interacting with each other. It causes all kinds of strange happenings, none of which make any sense, like a disembodied arm crawling around on its own and writing a message, or a bunch of earthworms disappearing from one part of the station and appearing inside the body of one of the crew.

Things on the Cloverfield don’t seem to make sense or follow the laws of physics because the scientists on the station are only seeing one side of the (at least) two-dimensional interaction. How the two dimensions interact doesn’t make sense based on what we know of our universe. Things seem to happen for no reason, because the reason they’re happening might be occurring in the other dimension, the other universe, and the two universes might not operate on the same set of physical laws.

We can’t quite take Schmidt’s explanation at face value, though, because when the Cloverfield station moves from its original dimension to this other one, it’s not in the same place as the station in the new dimension — it appears on the other side of the solar system from Earth. The station from that version of Earth was also destroyed and its debris fell to the planet, the result of sabotage by the second dimension’s version of Schmidt. So in fact, there’s probably (at least) a third alternate dimension at play here. Perhaps this third dimension’s version of the Cloverfield station also successfully fired its particle accelerator and moved into this dimension at the same time, or earlier, as the one from the first dimension, and the first and third stations merged.

We know there was some sort of merging going on between multiple versions of the station because of how the Russian scientist Volkov (Aksel Hennie) behaves after the particle accelerator incident. He seems to have merged with a version of himself from another dimension, with the two men occupying the same body. Volkov’s eye twitches in a way that suggests he’s not fully in control of himself, and he later talks to himself in the mirror. The implication there is that the Volkov from the second dimension informs the first about the traitorous Schmidt. Of course, in the dimension we’ve been watching from the start of the film, Schmidt isn’t a traitor — but in the second dimension, Schmidt sabotaged the experiment.

The idea of three dimensions interacting would follow with the idea that each of the three “Cloverfield” movies take place in three different versions of the universe, with this film’s implication that the particle accelerator on the Cloverfield station is what caused the events of the other two movies. If all of that is true, then it would follow that “The Cloverfield Paradox” depicts more than just two parallel versions of Earth interacting with each other. For that matter, if they also somehow unleashed monsters on multiple versions of Earth, then we could be seeing any number of different Cloverfield stations existing on top of each other here.

This would, interestingly, mean that Elizabeth Debicki’s character, Jensen, was also from that that third dimension rather than that Earth she tried to kill everyone for.

For more on how this movie fits with the other two, including an explanation for why the monster at the end of “The Cloverfield Paradox” is not the same monster from the original movie, you can read our in-depth discussion right here.

“The Cloverfield Paradox” is currently streaming on Netflix following its surprise release after the Super Bowl.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'The Cloverfield Paradox' Scores 15 Percent From Critics on Rotten Tomatoes: 'Utterly Convoluted'

How Does 'The Cloverfield Paradox' Fit With the Other Two 'Cloverfield' Movies?

‘Peter Rabbit’ Movie Review: Beatrix Potter’s Bunny Reduced to Flopsy Sweat

Parents crossing their fingers for another sly all-ages delight after “Paddington 2” will likely have their hopes dashed with “Peter Rabbit,” Will Gluck’s noisy, woefully self-aware adaptation of Beatrix Potter’s leporine protagonist.

Suffering under a tirelessly “hip” script by Gluck (2014’s “Annie”) and Rob Lieber, not to mention James Corden’s typical desperation to please in the title role, poor Peter is only slightly less appealing than “The Simpsons”‘ focus-grouped pup Poochie, and destined for an imminent journey back to his home planet while human star Domhnall Gleeson recovers from an exhausting battery of “Itchy & Scratchy”-style abuse.

Narrated by Margot Robbie, who also plays the voice of Flopsy, “Peter Rabbit” follows the misadventures of Peter, his three siblings Flopsy, Mopsy (Elizabeth Debicki) and Cottontail (Daisy Ridley) and their cousin Benjamin (Matt Lucas) as they try to steal vegetables from cranky old Mr. McGregor (Sam Neill) without finding themselves cooked in a pie. After McGregor suffers a heart attack, he bequeaths his farm to his fussy nephew Thomas (Gleeson), who knows little about gardening but harbors aspirations to sell the land in order to raise money for his own toy store.

Watch Video: James Corden’s Parents Did a Better Job Hosting the Grammys Than James Corden

Before Thomas can fully appraise the farm’s value, however, he finds himself waylaid: first by Peter and his animal friends, who feel entitled to share in the spoils of the McGregor garden, and then by Bea (Rose Byrne), a cheerful, slightly daft artist who lives next door, and encourages him to take a more bohemian approach with the local fauna. Soon, Thomas and Peter find themselves in a showdown for both the farm and for Bea — who the rabbit sees as a surrogate mother — turning the bucolic landscape of these two country homes into a battleground where the winner takes all, at all costs.

A big part of the appeal of Potter’s source material was that she anthropomorphized Peter and his kin with clothes and a humanlike home but still made them subject to their animal instincts; drawn from a ground-up perspective, there was an irresistible vulnerability that made them sympathetic even when getting into trouble. Gluck’s film wants to have its (carrot) cake and eat it too, classifying certain behaviors as naively animalistic (such as a rooster whose morning crow is, amusingly, a reflection of marveling at another new day) while transforming Peter and company into a willful, clumsy, obnoxious pack of mischief-makers.

Also Read: ‘The Cat in the Hat’ Animated Movie to Kick Off Dr Seuss Franchise at Warner Bros

Whatever argument the film hopes to make about the coexistence of man and animal feels repeatedly undermined when the bunnies not only pillage McGregor’s land of its vegetables but also make a mess of Thomas’ house and, eventually, attack him in his own bedroom.

Unfortunately, Gluck and Lieber “update” Potter’s timeless, unassuming tale by acknowledging many — too many — of the conventions and storytelling devices they’re otherwise shamelessly exploiting in their adaptation, pausing repeatedly to point out character flaws one by one, or articulating the emotional stakes of a moment in ways that even children will find on the nose.

But in trying to think through, and verbalize, every objection an audience member might have (from not giving Peter pants to making fun of a blackberry allergy), they undercut anything that could actually make the movie interesting, kowtowing to the broadest possible appeal by being conspicuously bland and safe.

Also Read: ‘The Boss Baby’ Gets Oscar Nod, Twitter Shakes Head: ‘What Have You People Done?’

There’s scarcely a moment that passes without the most obvious possible song playing, but Gluck goes the extra step and enlists everyone from Fort Minor to Vampire Weekend to re-record their lyrics to suit the characters, who sometimes sing their own story. The movie’s self-awareness eventually comes destructively full circle when the animals are called upon to actually communicate with the humans, and Gluck is either unsure or refuses to choose whether or not they can actually speak, further confusing the foundations of a story that really did not need to be this complicated.

As an actor, Corden has all of the appeal of late night’s least interesting talk show host — all enthusiasm, no nuance — and he delivers every one of Peter’s lines with the same energy and inflection: “Aren’t I as adorable as I think I am?” (He isn’t.) Much like with his “Carpool Karaoke” segments, where he makes the mistake of thinking he’s as interesting as the person in the passenger seat, he somehow steamrolls through each scene until his co-stars’ performances all run together, wasting the considerable charm and personality of three of Hollywood’s most gifted young actresses.

Only Byrne and (especially) Gleeson emerge with some sense of personality and dignity intact, owning Bea and Thomas’ one-dimensional quirks and turning their fledgling romance into a genuine emotional journey that becomes the film’s brightest spot.

Will Gluck isn’t a bad filmmaker, but by accident or design he seems to have catapulted himself into Hollywood’s family-filmmaker rotation with 2014’s “Annie” and cannot get himself unstuck. (At least he gives Byrne something to do this time, and finds her a co-star with some chemistry.) Beatrix Potter would likely have melted down at a version of her stories (and her hero) this crass and rambunctious, but the problem with Gluck’s adaptation is, ironically, that it’s too safe, splitting the difference between a loving tribute to a classic work of children’s literature and an irreverent piece of family-friendly entertainment.

“Peter Rabbit” feels obligated to point out all of the clichés that it’s rehashing, in the mistaken belief that doing so absolves itself from coming up with anything better to replace them.



Related stories from TheWrap:

Move Over ‘Lady Bird’ – ‘Paddington 2’ Is Now Best-Reviewed Movie on Rotten Tomatoes

‘She-Ra’ Reboot, ‘Boss Baby’ Score Netflix Series Through DreamWorks Animation

Women Animators Pen Open Letter on Sexual Harassment: ‘This Abuse Has Got to Stop’

Disney Cancels ‘Jack in the Beanstalk’ Animated Film ‘Gigantic’

Parents crossing their fingers for another sly all-ages delight after “Paddington 2” will likely have their hopes dashed with “Peter Rabbit,” Will Gluck’s noisy, woefully self-aware adaptation of Beatrix Potter’s leporine protagonist.

Suffering under a tirelessly “hip” script by Gluck (2014’s “Annie”) and Rob Lieber, not to mention James Corden’s typical desperation to please in the title role, poor Peter is only slightly less appealing than “The Simpsons”‘ focus-grouped pup Poochie, and destined for an imminent journey back to his home planet while human star Domhnall Gleeson recovers from an exhausting battery of “Itchy & Scratchy”-style abuse.

Narrated by Margot Robbie, who also plays the voice of Flopsy, “Peter Rabbit” follows the misadventures of Peter, his three siblings Flopsy, Mopsy (Elizabeth Debicki) and Cottontail (Daisy Ridley) and their cousin Benjamin (Matt Lucas) as they try to steal vegetables from cranky old Mr. McGregor (Sam Neill) without finding themselves cooked in a pie. After McGregor suffers a heart attack, he bequeaths his farm to his fussy nephew Thomas (Gleeson), who knows little about gardening but harbors aspirations to sell the land in order to raise money for his own toy store.

Before Thomas can fully appraise the farm’s value, however, he finds himself waylaid: first by Peter and his animal friends, who feel entitled to share in the spoils of the McGregor garden, and then by Bea (Rose Byrne), a cheerful, slightly daft artist who lives next door, and encourages him to take a more bohemian approach with the local fauna. Soon, Thomas and Peter find themselves in a showdown for both the farm and for Bea — who the rabbit sees as a surrogate mother — turning the bucolic landscape of these two country homes into a battleground where the winner takes all, at all costs.

A big part of the appeal of Potter’s source material was that she anthropomorphized Peter and his kin with clothes and a humanlike home but still made them subject to their animal instincts; drawn from a ground-up perspective, there was an irresistible vulnerability that made them sympathetic even when getting into trouble. Gluck’s film wants to have its (carrot) cake and eat it too, classifying certain behaviors as naively animalistic (such as a rooster whose morning crow is, amusingly, a reflection of marveling at another new day) while transforming Peter and company into a willful, clumsy, obnoxious pack of mischief-makers.

Whatever argument the film hopes to make about the coexistence of man and animal feels repeatedly undermined when the bunnies not only pillage McGregor’s land of its vegetables but also make a mess of Thomas’ house and, eventually, attack him in his own bedroom.

Unfortunately, Gluck and Lieber “update” Potter’s timeless, unassuming tale by acknowledging many — too many — of the conventions and storytelling devices they’re otherwise shamelessly exploiting in their adaptation, pausing repeatedly to point out character flaws one by one, or articulating the emotional stakes of a moment in ways that even children will find on the nose.

But in trying to think through, and verbalize, every objection an audience member might have (from not giving Peter pants to making fun of a blackberry allergy), they undercut anything that could actually make the movie interesting, kowtowing to the broadest possible appeal by being conspicuously bland and safe.

There’s scarcely a moment that passes without the most obvious possible song playing, but Gluck goes the extra step and enlists everyone from Fort Minor to Vampire Weekend to re-record their lyrics to suit the characters, who sometimes sing their own story. The movie’s self-awareness eventually comes destructively full circle when the animals are called upon to actually communicate with the humans, and Gluck is either unsure or refuses to choose whether or not they can actually speak, further confusing the foundations of a story that really did not need to be this complicated.

As an actor, Corden has all of the appeal of late night’s least interesting talk show host — all enthusiasm, no nuance — and he delivers every one of Peter’s lines with the same energy and inflection: “Aren’t I as adorable as I think I am?” (He isn’t.) Much like with his “Carpool Karaoke” segments, where he makes the mistake of thinking he’s as interesting as the person in the passenger seat, he somehow steamrolls through each scene until his co-stars’ performances all run together, wasting the considerable charm and personality of three of Hollywood’s most gifted young actresses.

Only Byrne and (especially) Gleeson emerge with some sense of personality and dignity intact, owning Bea and Thomas’ one-dimensional quirks and turning their fledgling romance into a genuine emotional journey that becomes the film’s brightest spot.

Will Gluck isn’t a bad filmmaker, but by accident or design he seems to have catapulted himself into Hollywood’s family-filmmaker rotation with 2014’s “Annie” and cannot get himself unstuck. (At least he gives Byrne something to do this time, and finds her a co-star with some chemistry.) Beatrix Potter would likely have melted down at a version of her stories (and her hero) this crass and rambunctious, but the problem with Gluck’s adaptation is, ironically, that it’s too safe, splitting the difference between a loving tribute to a classic work of children’s literature and an irreverent piece of family-friendly entertainment.

“Peter Rabbit” feels obligated to point out all of the clichés that it’s rehashing, in the mistaken belief that doing so absolves itself from coming up with anything better to replace them.

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Laura Dern’s ‘The Tale’ Sells to HBO Films

Buzzy Sundance drama “The Tale” has sold to HBO Films.

Laura Dern, Jason Ritter, Elizabeth Debicki and Common star in the true story drama about a woman who has to confront her past when she realizes her relationship with a 40 year old man when she was just 13 was anything but a consensual romance.

Jennifer Fox wrote and directed the shocking tale, based on her own experiences. The film premiered against the backdrop of the #MeToo movement. In an interview with TheWrap, Fox said, “Now with the #MeToo movement, we are so blessed to be coming out at a moment when people can actually take this story and begin to grapple with the truth about child sexual abuse.”

See Video: How #MeToo Movement Set Stage for Laura Dern’s ‘The Tale’ About Child Sex Abuse

In a Friday statement, Fox said, “It has always been my intent to find an engaged distribution partner who deeply understands the wide reach of the project, not just as a film, but also for the impact it can have on a larger global conversation. In a world in which stories like mine have often been pushed into the darkness, no one has been better at shining a light on storytelling and important social issues than HBO. I am overjoyed to be able to take ‘The Tale’ out into the world with such a vibrant and engaged team.”

“I can’t imagine a more timely and relevant film for HBO to have bought at Sundance,” added Len Amato, president of HBO Films.  “‘The Tale,’ a courageous and deeply effective memoir from acclaimed filmmaker Jennifer Fox – and starring Laura Dern in a career-defining role – is a personal journey that embraces the truth of one survivor’s experience and the power of memory.  We’re honored to bring this groundbreaking and revelatory film to the HBO audience”.

“The Tale” was produced by Oren Moverman, Laura Rister, Lawrence Inglee, Mynette Louie, Sol Bondy, Simone Pero, Reka Posta, Regina K. Scully and Lynda Weinman.

The deal was negotiated by ICM Partners and Laura Rister on behalf of the filmmakers.

Related stories from TheWrap:

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Sundance 2018 Augmented Reality Art: Inside the NSX Gallery at the Acura Lounge

Sundance: Every Movie Sold So Far – And It Ain’t Much

Buzzy Sundance drama “The Tale” has sold to HBO Films.

Laura Dern, Jason Ritter, Elizabeth Debicki and Common star in the true story drama about a woman who has to confront her past when she realizes her relationship with a 40 year old man when she was just 13 was anything but a consensual romance.

Jennifer Fox wrote and directed the shocking tale, based on her own experiences. The film premiered against the backdrop of the #MeToo movement. In an interview with TheWrap, Fox said, “Now with the #MeToo movement, we are so blessed to be coming out at a moment when people can actually take this story and begin to grapple with the truth about child sexual abuse.”

In a Friday statement, Fox said, “It has always been my intent to find an engaged distribution partner who deeply understands the wide reach of the project, not just as a film, but also for the impact it can have on a larger global conversation. In a world in which stories like mine have often been pushed into the darkness, no one has been better at shining a light on storytelling and important social issues than HBO. I am overjoyed to be able to take ‘The Tale’ out into the world with such a vibrant and engaged team.”

“I can’t imagine a more timely and relevant film for HBO to have bought at Sundance,” added Len Amato, president of HBO Films.  “‘The Tale,’ a courageous and deeply effective memoir from acclaimed filmmaker Jennifer Fox – and starring Laura Dern in a career-defining role – is a personal journey that embraces the truth of one survivor’s experience and the power of memory.  We’re honored to bring this groundbreaking and revelatory film to the HBO audience”.

“The Tale” was produced by Oren Moverman, Laura Rister, Lawrence Inglee, Mynette Louie, Sol Bondy, Simone Pero, Reka Posta, Regina K. Scully and Lynda Weinman.

The deal was negotiated by ICM Partners and Laura Rister on behalf of the filmmakers.

Related stories from TheWrap:

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Sundance 2018 Augmented Reality Art: Inside the NSX Gallery at the Acura Lounge

Sundance: Every Movie Sold So Far – And It Ain't Much

Netflix in Talks to Take Over 3rd ‘Cloverfield’ Movie From Paramount

The third film in producer J.J. Abrams’ “Cloverfield” franchise may not be coming to a theater near you.

Paramount is in talks with Netflix to take over rights in most territories for the space station-set film starring Elizabeth Debicki, Daniel Brühl, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and David Oyelowo, according to an individual with knowledge of the project.

Director Julius Onah’s film — which was once titled “God Particle” — has bumped around Paramount’s release schedule. It was pushed last summer from October 27, 2017 to February 2, 2018. It was later moved to April 20 — still with no confirmed title, trailer or promotional materials.

Paramount had no comment; Netflix has not responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Also Read: ‘Cloverfield’ Movie Bumped to February 2018

The film follows a team of astronauts aboard a space station who find themselves in danger after an experiment involving a particle accelerator makes Earth disappear.

The movie was re-engineered to be the third in Abrams’ series of “Cloverfield” films, which began with Matt Reeve’s 2008 found-footage monster-in-Manhattan movie and followed with Dan Trachtenberg’s 2016 thriller “10 Cloverfield Lane” starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead (pictured above).

Last month, Paramount forged a deal to give Netflix international streaming rights to the upcoming Natalie Portman-Oscar Isaac sci-fi thriller “Annhilation.”

Also Read: JJ Abrams’ ‘God Particle’ Is Nothing Like ‘Interstellar,’ Says Star David Oyelowo

Under that deal, Netflix will be able to stream director Alex Garland’s movie overseas less than three weeks after its North American theatrical release.

The “Cloverfield” maneuver is all the more surprising given that it risks alienating Abrams, who has served as a producer of two of Paramount’s biggest movie franchises, “Star Trek” and “Mission: Impossible.”

According to an individual who attended a Paramount town hall last fall, new studio chief Jim Gianopolos assured employees the studio was stable and would not be losing Abrams despite the sought-after filmmaker’s commitment to future “Star Wars” movies, including as director of next year’s “Episode IX.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Cloverfield’ Movie Bumped to February 2018

JJ Abrams’ ‘God Particle’ Is Next Film in Cloverfield Series (Exclusive)

Mary Elizabeth Winstead Dishes on Extreme ’10 Cloverfield Lane’ Secrecy, Self-Deleting Script

The third film in producer J.J. Abrams’ “Cloverfield” franchise may not be coming to a theater near you.

Paramount is in talks with Netflix to take over rights in most territories for the space station-set film starring Elizabeth Debicki, Daniel Brühl, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and David Oyelowo, according to an individual with knowledge of the project.

Director Julius Onah’s film — which was once titled “God Particle” — has bumped around Paramount’s release schedule. It was pushed last summer from October 27, 2017 to February 2, 2018. It was later moved to April 20 — still with no confirmed title, trailer or promotional materials.

Paramount had no comment; Netflix has not responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.

The film follows a team of astronauts aboard a space station who find themselves in danger after an experiment involving a particle accelerator makes Earth disappear.

The movie was re-engineered to be the third in Abrams’ series of “Cloverfield” films, which began with Matt Reeve’s 2008 found-footage monster-in-Manhattan movie and followed with Dan Trachtenberg’s 2016 thriller “10 Cloverfield Lane” starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead (pictured above).

Last month, Paramount forged a deal to give Netflix international streaming rights to the upcoming Natalie Portman-Oscar Isaac sci-fi thriller “Annhilation.”

Under that deal, Netflix will be able to stream director Alex Garland’s movie overseas less than three weeks after its North American theatrical release.

The “Cloverfield” maneuver is all the more surprising given that it risks alienating Abrams, who has served as a producer of two of Paramount’s biggest movie franchises, “Star Trek” and “Mission: Impossible.”

According to an individual who attended a Paramount town hall last fall, new studio chief Jim Gianopolos assured employees the studio was stable and would not be losing Abrams despite the sought-after filmmaker’s commitment to future “Star Wars” movies, including as director of next year’s “Episode IX.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Cloverfield' Movie Bumped to February 2018

JJ Abrams' 'God Particle' Is Next Film in Cloverfield Series (Exclusive)

Mary Elizabeth Winstead Dishes on Extreme '10 Cloverfield Lane' Secrecy, Self-Deleting Script

There’s One Infinity Stone Left After ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ – Here’s Where It Could Be

(Spoilers ahead for “Thor: Ragnarok.”)

Now that “Thor: Ragnarok” is out, there’s only one movie left in the Marvel Cinematic Universe between us and “Avengers: Infinity War” — February’s “Black Panther.” Nearly all the pieces appear to be in place for Thanos (Josh Brolin) to make his big move and wage all-out war on Earth and the Avengers. But one missing piece is a doozy: the Soul Stone, the only Infinity Stone that the MCU hasn’t yet put in play.

There are six Infinity Stones in all, and Thanos’ plan is to use a cool golden glove called the Infinity gauntlet to channel the power of the stones to wield essentially unlimited power over time, space and the beings that inhabit them. Over the past six years the stones have been gradually rolled out and passed through a number of hands. The first of those, the blue cube known as the Tesseract, was introduced in “Captain America: The First Avenger,” was used by Loki (Tom Hiddleston) to open that big portal in the sky in the first “Avengers” movie and then was stored on Asgard, and in “Ragnarok” and it’s implied that Loki grabbed it on his way out the door before Asgard was destroyed.

Also Read: ‘Thor: Ragnarok’: Marvel Boss Kevin Feige Explains That Mid-Credits Scene

But fans who had been hoping for the Soul Stone to finally be revealed in the third “Thor” movie were disappointed because it was nowhere to be found. Though it’s possible it appeared in disguise — the Mind Stone, for example, was seen in several movies in the head of Loki’s staff before its identity was revealed in “Age of Ultron” — we didn’t notice anything that might secretly have been the Soul Stone. So we’re operating under the assumption that its introduction is still to come.

While pretty much anything is possible because these movies have played fast and loose with comics lore in assembling this movieverse, there are two main possibilities as I see it — one that relies heavily on Marvel Comics lore and one which would be an original twist in the movies.

The first of those two involves the arrival of Adam Warlock on the scene. His coming was teased in one of the post-credits stingers in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” in which Ayesha Elizabeth Debicki) of the Sovereign says she’s using a birthing pod to create a new kind of being that she called Adam. However, Marvel boss Kevin Feige said earlier this year that Adam Warlock wouldn’t appear in the MCU until the third “Guardians” movie (which will be after the whole Thanos thing is dealt with in the next two “Avengers” movies).

Also Read: All 48 Marvel Movies Ranked, Including ‘Thor: Ragnarok’

But that could be a misdirect, because the Soul Stone is tied so closely to Adam Warlock in the comics — the stone actually gives him his powers. It would make a lot of sense for Adam Warlock to show up in “Infinity War” with the Soul Stone in tow.

Probably more likely would be that the the Soul Stone will make its debut in “Black Panther.” The stone is not traditionally tied to the hyper-advanced nation of Wakanda in the comics, but it would make sense for Black Panther’s (Chadwick Boseman) home country to be harboring the stone. Wakandan technology is driven by a large cache of vibranium that flew to Earth as an asteroid that crashed there. It’s not too much of a stretch to imagine that the vibranium asteroid also carried the Soul Stone — weirder things have happened in comics, and such a thing could have been done on purpose.

It would fit with Wakandan religious beliefs — the Soul Stone could be home to the literal afterlife, since one of the stone’s properties is absorbing souls. In “Captain America: Civil War” T’Challa (Black Panther’s real name) referred to death as being “a stepping off point” to them, and the Soul Stone could explain what that means.

Also Read: ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Features Marvel’s First Bisexual Superhero, Tessa Thompson Says

It also would make sense given that, in the “Infinity War” trailer that was shown at D23 and Comic-Con this summer, we saw what looked like Wakandans preparing to defend their homeland against Thanos’ forces — they could be mounting an invasion to go after the stone.

Or maybe the Soul Stone is somewhere else entirely. This is all guesswork, after all. But if I were to put my money on where the stone is, I’d put it on Wakanda. I guess we’ll find out in February.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Thor: Ragnarok’: Marvel Boss Kevin Feige Explains That Mid-Credits Scene

Every Marvel Post-Credits Scene Leading Up to ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ (Videos)

All 48 Marvel Movies Ranked, Including ‘Thor: Ragnarok’

(Spoilers ahead for “Thor: Ragnarok.”)

Now that “Thor: Ragnarok” is out, there’s only one movie left in the Marvel Cinematic Universe between us and “Avengers: Infinity War” — February’s “Black Panther.” Nearly all the pieces appear to be in place for Thanos (Josh Brolin) to make his big move and wage all-out war on Earth and the Avengers. But one missing piece is a doozy: the Soul Stone, the only Infinity Stone that the MCU hasn’t yet put in play.

There are six Infinity Stones in all, and Thanos’ plan is to use a cool golden glove called the Infinity gauntlet to channel the power of the stones to wield essentially unlimited power over time, space and the beings that inhabit them. Over the past six years the stones have been gradually rolled out and passed through a number of hands. The first of those, the blue cube known as the Tesseract, was introduced in “Captain America: The First Avenger,” was used by Loki (Tom Hiddleston) to open that big portal in the sky in the first “Avengers” movie and then was stored on Asgard, and in “Ragnarok” and it’s implied that Loki grabbed it on his way out the door before Asgard was destroyed.

But fans who had been hoping for the Soul Stone to finally be revealed in the third “Thor” movie were disappointed because it was nowhere to be found. Though it’s possible it appeared in disguise — the Mind Stone, for example, was seen in several movies in the head of Loki’s staff before its identity was revealed in “Age of Ultron” — we didn’t notice anything that might secretly have been the Soul Stone. So we’re operating under the assumption that its introduction is still to come.

While pretty much anything is possible because these movies have played fast and loose with comics lore in assembling this movieverse, there are two main possibilities as I see it — one that relies heavily on Marvel Comics lore and one which would be an original twist in the movies.

The first of those two involves the arrival of Adam Warlock on the scene. His coming was teased in one of the post-credits stingers in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” in which Ayesha Elizabeth Debicki) of the Sovereign says she’s using a birthing pod to create a new kind of being that she called Adam. However, Marvel boss Kevin Feige said earlier this year that Adam Warlock wouldn’t appear in the MCU until the third “Guardians” movie (which will be after the whole Thanos thing is dealt with in the next two “Avengers” movies).

But that could be a misdirect, because the Soul Stone is tied so closely to Adam Warlock in the comics — the stone actually gives him his powers. It would make a lot of sense for Adam Warlock to show up in “Infinity War” with the Soul Stone in tow.

Probably more likely would be that the the Soul Stone will make its debut in “Black Panther.” The stone is not traditionally tied to the hyper-advanced nation of Wakanda in the comics, but it would make sense for Black Panther’s (Chadwick Boseman) home country to be harboring the stone. Wakandan technology is driven by a large cache of vibranium that flew to Earth as an asteroid that crashed there. It’s not too much of a stretch to imagine that the vibranium asteroid also carried the Soul Stone — weirder things have happened in comics, and such a thing could have been done on purpose.

It would fit with Wakandan religious beliefs — the Soul Stone could be home to the literal afterlife, since one of the stone’s properties is absorbing souls. In “Captain America: Civil War” T’Challa (Black Panther’s real name) referred to death as being “a stepping off point” to them, and the Soul Stone could explain what that means.

It also would make sense given that, in the “Infinity War” trailer that was shown at D23 and Comic-Con this summer, we saw what looked like Wakandans preparing to defend their homeland against Thanos’ forces — they could be mounting an invasion to go after the stone.

Or maybe the Soul Stone is somewhere else entirely. This is all guesswork, after all. But if I were to put my money on where the stone is, I’d put it on Wakanda. I guess we’ll find out in February.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Thor: Ragnarok': Marvel Boss Kevin Feige Explains That Mid-Credits Scene

Every Marvel Post-Credits Scene Leading Up to 'Thor: Ragnarok' (Videos)

All 48 Marvel Movies Ranked, Including 'Thor: Ragnarok'