It feels like the Japanese just know how to make everything look cooler. Not that Thor: Ragnarok needed any help, but the Japanese version of the trailer and poster have a couple of nice additions. This version has Doctor Strange in it, confirming his presence in the film and adding a bit more foreshadowing to all of the world ending danger headed Thor’s way. The rest of the trailer is basically the same except for the final title card. I imagine ‘Ragnarok’ doesn’t translate too smoothly into Japanese and so they changed the subtitle to read Thor: Battle Royale.
I might argue that this is actually a better sounding title, but the nerds out there will know that Thor and his people have some pretty important tie-ins to the word Ragnarok. It is basically another version of an apocalypse or directly translates into “Doom of the Gods.” It speaks to a time when the universe will be destroyed and reborn. You can’t deny that Battle Royale does sound cool and is probably more of a reference to the gladiator type battles that will be in the film rather than the apocalyptic doom and gloom that the villainous Hela will bring down on Thor and friends.
Speaking of Hela, the Japanese version of the poster knows where the star power is. Cate Blanchett as Hela is the focus. The live-action world of Marvel comics has never had a female villain like this. They’ve rarely given any female villains a chance to do much on the big screen. There are some big stars in the movie, but Cate Blanchett is clearly bringing the heat here. I mean with that spiky headdress and green background she looks like a full-on anime villainess.
If you’re curious about what other Marvel comics deserve to see the big screen someday, check out this episode of AllTime Movies where they broke down which comic book story lines still out there that could make great movies.