Inspiration or total rip-off?
Yesterday, Esquire Philippines’ editor Kristine Fonacier told Pep.ph that she is standing by the site’s article titled Alden Richards is Definitely Not Thor in His Next TV Series.
Published late last week, the article argues that the show Victor Magtanggol was too similar to Marvel’s Thor films.
Said Fonacier: “If people see the similarities between their character and the Thor of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), then that’s the risk they run for basing it off the same source material [Norse mythology].”
Produced by local TV network GMA, the title character of Victor Magtanggol is played by actor Alden Richards in what could be his biggest television role to date. This is his first major solo project without love team partner Maine Mendoza since the two were paired up in 2015.
Fonacier’s statement comes at the heels of GMA president Annette Gozon Valdes’ sharp criticism of Esquire‘s article, where she admitted that like Thor, the character Victor Magtanggol is based on Norse mythology.
In her Facebook post that appeared earlier this week, Valdes posted a link to Esquire‘s article then wrote: “Your [Esquire] article lacks research. Even before Thor was a comic book character…he already existed in mythology. Thor is a Norse God [therefore] part of Norse mythology. They [Norse mythology] belong to the public domain.”
Visibly piqued, Valdes continued: “Dont you even wonder why so many movies and shows have been made in the past with Thor in it? Because anybody can make it without violating copyright laws for as long as their (sic) [is] factual basis is (sic) the original mythology. Maybe you should have waited for the show to launch so you would understand what the show is about.”
Valdes stated categorically that Victor Magtanggol is not Thor.
“However, the hammer he has IS the hammer of Norse mythology called the (sic) Mjolnir. How he is able to get it is part of what will be revealed in the show Victor Magtanggol,” she wrote.
In its article, Esquire addressed Richards, telling him sarcastically that an “indie movie” titled Avengers: Infinity War was shown earlier this year.
“We won’t spoil the plot for you, since you still might want to see it in a microcinema or something,” wrote Esquire. “But one of the characters in that movie is named Thor, and he looks just like your new character, Victor Magtanggol.”
The article, bylined to “Esquire Philippines,” then shows several photos that supposedly illustrate the similarities between Thor and Magtanggol.
The starkest similarities, as it appears, is that Richards is holding a hammer similar to Thor’s Mjolnir and the logo of the Filipino show appears inspired by the seal of Asgard, Thor’s home.
Needless to say, some people on Twitter are taking Esquire‘s side in this tiff.
One Twitter user even brought up previous allegations that GMA copied the American show Arrow when it produced the Dingdong Dantes show Alyas Robinhood two years ago.
Wrote the netizen named @joshuatyrone_: “From ‘alyas robin hood’ ripping off Oliver Queen to ‘victor magtanggol’ doing the same thing with Thor. Originality? GMA doesn’t recognize that word.”
From “alyas robin hood” ripping off Oliver Queen to “victor magtanggol” doing the same thing with Thor. Originality? GMA doesn’t recognize that word HAHAHAHAHAHAHA kadiri amputa
— Joty (@joshuatyrone_) June 28, 2018
Adding his take on the controversy, netizen @tomhilland wrote: “[W]ho needs thor when you’ve got victor magtanggol [sneezing emojis].”
who needs thor when you’ve got victor magtanggol pic.twitter.com/2eO9m46YFl
— lexie! (@tomhllland) July 2, 2018
Wrote @hooliewebhead: “Victor Magtanggol looks like Thor with a mask.”
parang thor na may mask lang ang peg netong Victor Magtanggol
— esther egg (@hooliewebhead) July 3, 2018
Valdes, of course, is not without supporters. Naturally, the show’s most vocal defenders are Richards’ fans.
For the unaware, Richards has one of the most loyal and vocal fanbases. This is a group of people who regularly post on Twitter to ensure that Richards is a daily trending topic. And while his partnership with Mendoza is on the down low, these people are supportive of their individual projects.
Addressing Esquire, @bryanllamado in Filipino and English: “Don’t be stupid. Thor is not Marvel’s original concept.”
— bry. (@bryanllamado) July 2, 2018
User @rubz01 wrote: “Alden’s costume as Victor Magtanggol is allegedly copied from Marvel’s Thor bt (sic) take a closer look. If you’re woke, you should open your eyes more. They’re different, no?”
Alden’s costume as Victor Magtanggol is copied dw from Marvel’s Thor bt take a closer look. Kung mulat ka dapat imulat pa more mga mata mo. Magkaiba no? GMA’s teaser said “ang kalasag ni Victor Magtanggol” IMO, VM’s costume is a sort of a shield for him
— rubyA (@rubz01) June 29, 2018
Passionately addressing Esquire and other critics, fan @untilthend716 wrote: “Such hypocrite[s]. You should realize that myths are public domain. No one owns myths and stories. They are owned by the human race. There were Thor stories even before there was Marvel. YOU JUST WANT TO HUMILIATE ALDEN AND GMA.”
Such hypocrite. You should realize that myths are public domain. Walang may ari ng myths amd stories. Pag aari ng human race. Wala pang Marvel company may Thor stories na. YOU JUST WANT TO HUMILIATE ALDEN AND GMA
— Alden is Victor Magtanggol (@UntilTheEnd716) June 28, 2018
GMA hasn’t announced Victor Magtanggol‘s airing date as of today, so it remains to be seen if the character is indeed copied from Thor.