Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)

Jake Lipson

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Title: Thor 4

Genre: All

Director: Taika Waititi

Cast: Chris Hemsworth

Plot: The fourth installment of the Marvel Studios' Thor movie series.
 

Jake Lipson

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In the best news I've heard all day, Taika Waititi is returning to write and direct Thor 4. Presumably more details will be revealed this weekend at Comic-Con.

https://deadline.com/2019/07/taika-waititi-thor-chris-hemsworth-1202647108/

I hope this also means that Guardians 3 is actually going to be Guardians 3 and won't be refashioned into Thor 4 like how Captain America 3 was suddenly refashioned into an Avengers movie. To be clear, I'm not saying that I don't like Civil War -- I love it -- and I'm not saying I didn't like Thor with the Guardians in Infinity War and Endgame because I did. But I also love the Guardians more than any other individual subfranchise in the MCU, and I very much want their third movie to be their third movie. I wouldn't object to Thor appearing in it in a supporting capacity, but since he is getting his own next story, he doesn't also need to hijack theirs. Or at least that's what I hope.
 

Sean Bryan

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I’m looking forward to seeing what Valkyrie has done with New Asgard. Probably a good chance we’ll see what it’s grown into in Thor 4.
 
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Jake Lipson

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Do we know how many films Mark Ruffalo is signed for? It seems like he should still have more on his deal because he started later than the other Avengers. Although he successfully merged the Banner and Hulk personalities, Endgame didn't give him an ending, per se, in the sense of Tony or Steve getting an ending. I do hope he shows up in this too.

I would think the goal would be to have most of the core cast of Ragnarok back where possible.
 

Jake Lipson

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Is it time for Thor to replace Thor?
No. Absolutely not. Ragnarok gave the character a new lease on life, and Endgame left him in a place where he has a bright future. There's no reason to replace Hemsworth at this juncture. That would be an utter waste of the great launchpad Endgame gave them to take the existing character somewhere new. Plus, the trades are reporting that Hemsworth is returning.

If you had told me in 2011 when he was introduced that Thor would be the first Avenger to reach four solo movies, I wouldn't have believed you. It's a testament to how well Waititi reinvigorated the franchise in Ragnarok -- as well as how the Russos worked with Hemsworth to keep that version of the character going throughout Infinity War and Endgame -- that this is happening, and that Hemsworth wants to return for it rather than exit at this time like Downy and Evans.
 
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Sam Favate

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Terrific news. I wouldn't worry about the Guardians/Thor connections. I think that James Gunn's script for G3 was written long before that became a thing, and I also think Taika would want to do his own thing. Could be fun to see a cameo from either or both in both films.

As for a female Thor, I have no problem with that, but it should not be Jane Foster. It should, obviously, be Valkyrie. But let Hemsworth shine in the role.
 
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Jake Lipson

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Chris Hemsworth is Thor until he doesn't want to be. Period.

If they want to explore a female version of this franchise, the time for that is later. Ragnarok revitalized this franchise so much, and there's so much more potential in Hemsworth's version of him, that they would be foolish to mess with that until he's ready to be done, which he clearly isn't yet.
 

Wayne_j

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Chris Hemsworth likely recently signed an extension to his contract leading them to make a Thor 4. He isn't going anywhere.
 
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Jake Lipson

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Apart from the fact that he appears to be enjoying himself creatively, I suspect he's also mindful of the difficulty he's been having drawing audiences to his other films. So why not keep going with Marvel as long as they are willing to have him?

It's not like Sony is going to call him for a sequel to Men in Black International anytime soon.
 

Malcolm R

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Apart from the fact that he appears to be enjoying himself creatively, I suspect he's also mindful of the difficulty he's been having drawing audiences to his other films. So why not keep going with Marvel as long as they are willing to have him?

It's not like Sony is going to call him for a sequel to Men in Black International anytime soon.
Yes, Hemsworth seems to be largely box office poison outside of Thor/Avengers, so he'd be smart to ride it as long as it goes.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I don't think he's poison so much as studios that cast him in other roles are misunderstanding how star power works in today's marketplace.

In the old days, movie stars were a big driver in box office revenues. But movie stars, as they were in the golden age of Hollywood, no longer exist. People, for the most part, no longer make decisions on what to see based on who is in the film. They make their decisions based on the intellectual property.

But studio executives are slow to change, and what's happened is they've seen that the Thor and Avengers movies make hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars each, and think that some of that box office was the result of Hemsworth's "star power." But people weren't spending hundreds of millions and billions to see Chris Hemsworth, they were paying to see the next installment in a ten year long theatrical series they had invested in, in which Hemsworth's character was one of many moving parts.

No one is immune from this these days. Tom Cruise is widely considered to be among the last of the movie stars; when he's in a Mission: Impossible movie, he'll gross hundreds of millions of dollars. But when Cruise appears in anything else, no matter how good it is, and no matter how it has potential to appeal to the Mission: Impossible crowd, it just doesn't sell.

It's not that Hemsworth is box office poison. It's that Men In Black International was already not appealing to a wide audience, and the presence of Hemsworth did nothing to persuade people that a movie they weren't that interested in to begin with was worth a second look.

I think he's actually a fine actor and that some of his flops deserved to be seen by bigger audiences, but it's an uphill climb these days to get anyone to go out to a theater and pay to see anything, especially if it doesn't have some kind of a "spoiler" element where the audience feels compelled to see it immediately for fear of it being ruined by others.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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The sequel will be titled Thor: Love and Thunder.

Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson and Natalie Portman star. Taika Waititi is officially returning as director.

See it only in theaters November 5, 2021.
 
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Jake Lipson

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The return of Natalie Portman and the whole female Thor thing surprises me. It just feels like Ragnarok gave Hemsworth's version of Thor so much more juice that any transition would seem to be a while off. That they are doing it now, after so successfully setting up Hemsworth to have more adventures as the male Thor throughout his last few appearances, is unusual.

Also, I'm a big fan of Natalie Portman when she's working in dramatic roles like Black Swan and Jackie. She is obviously an incredibly talented actress, and I don't intend my following comment to take that away from her. However, based on her work in the Star Wars prequels and in the first two Thor films, she has been less successful in acting naturally opposite large amounts of CGI than her costars like Hemsworth or Ewan McGroger. So it's a bit surprising that they would bring her back in a leading, title role capacity. I would have expected this transition to happen with Thompson more than Portman. Hopefully Waititi can direct a more grounded performance out of her than the previous directors she has worked with on these types of films. I do like Portman, so we'll see what happens.

On another note, the November 2021 date actually means that we will see Thor next in this film, rather than in Guardians 3, which is going to have to be later due to Gunn's commitment to Suicide Squad. That's interesting, after Endgame went out of its way to place Thor leaving with the Guardians.
 

Sean Bryan

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Looking forward to seeing what Marvel And Waititi bring with this new Thor film.

It’s interesting that they are bringing back Jayne Foster in a significant role. It seemed like Natalie Portman was done with her time with Marvel. I could be completely wrong, but while it seems like they will do something with the “female Thor” from the comics I can’t believe that they are doing a “passing of the torch” type of thing. That just doesn’t make much sense to even consider that Hemsworth would no longer be Thor in the MCU. Hemsworth is just on fire with the role, and he has flat out said he would be happy to continue playing him. So they aren’t taking him out of the role.

ENDGAME and Thor comics SPOILERS BELOW!!!!!!

Thor is not a mantle to be passed. Thor is an Asgardian person, born thousands of years ago. Kinda looks like the Australian actor Chris Hemsworth. His power is his. His weapons (Mjölnir and Stormbreaker) help to channel his power and can have enchantments on them that bestow the “worthy” bearer with the powers Thor naturally possesses. But I can’t see Thor ever not being Thor. I can see another person, through interesting circumstances, also obtaining Thor’s powers through enchantment like Steve Rogers did in the battle against Thanos (and Beta-Ray Bill did in the comics before Jayne Foster). But Steve wasn’t “Steve Rodgers Thor”. He was Steve Rodgers that momentarily had the power of Thor due to the enchantment on Mjölnir. If the MCU does a version of the “Jayne Foster Thor” I would expect that it would just be that she can step into a role where she has his power, like Steve did, but that Thor still remains Thor.

Since this comes out before Guardians 3, it will be interesting to see how they weave those stories together.
 
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Jake Lipson

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Since this comes out before Guardians 3, it will be interesting to see how they weave those stories together.
The thing is that Guardians 3 was written with the expectation that it would come out after Endgame. Marvel never announced it as such, but James Gunn said it was targeted for 2020. As you know, Marvel originally had placeholder dates in May, July and November 2020, but they quietly vacated the July 2020 one when Guardians was pushed.

It seems clear to me that the original intention was for Guardians 3 -- at one time, their biggest 2020 title and previously-established franchise -- to launch on May 1. Black Widow would have been the July slot, but got called up to May because it was more important to Marvel to have a movie in May than in July. And The Eternals was probably always going to be November. (Black Widow is an interesting case because it's a character that we've known for a long time, so it's not exactly a brand new property, but she's never had her own movie before either, so it doesn't have exactly the same level of built-in awareness as Guardians 3 does. The marketing team is also going to have their hands full explaining to audiences who don't follow movie production news that the character is back in a new movie a year after we saw her die.)

If they are going to use the exact same script that James Gunn wrote before he was temporarily fired, then that script cannot include references to Thor 4, because we were supposed to see it before Thor 4. It's always possible that they could make adjustments to the Guardians 3 script to account for things that happen in Thor 4, but based on comments made last year, everybody seemed very happy with what Gunn turned in before he was let go. So I kind of doubt they will radically alter it.

I would not be surprised if Thor 4 exists as its own thing and he does not appear in Guardians 3, or if he does, it's a brief cameo (along the lines of what Strange had in Ragnarok) which wouldn't have to make a ton of direct references to the events of Thor 4.

Also, you hit the nail on the head as to why I'm puzzled by the whole female Thor thing. Hemsworth will never not be Thor in the MCU, just like Tony will never not be Iron Man. It's part of their identity. So, if Jane gets powers, fine, I'm cool with that. But it can't erase or supplant who Hemsworth's character is. So we'll see how this plays out. I'll assume that Waititi knows what he's doing and will give him the benefit of the doubt on this until I see what happens in the movie. I suspect he will execute this in a credible and exciting way.
 
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