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Everything We Know About Thor: Love And Thunder

While Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe began with a focus on introducing new characters like Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh) in Black Widow, the Eternals in their self-titled feature film debut, and Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Marvel Studios always intended to continue a handful of film series from earlier phases. That part of the plan began with Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and continues with July’s Thor: Love and Thunder. Notable for being one of just two Marvel Studios film titles to reach a fourth installment (Avengers: Endgame being the other), it also promises to follow up on ideas from the soft-reboot that was Thor: Ragnarok and at least one concept from the earlier Thor films. But how do you continue the story when Asgard has been destroyed and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has abdicated his throne?

Let’s take a look at everything we know about Love and Thunder and see what we can suss out about its place in Phase Four and the ongoing evolution of Thor Odinson.


What Happens After The End Of The World?

Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson in Avengers: Endgame

(Photo by ©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/©Marvel Studios)

Since the film is set after Ragnarok and Endgame, it will start with Thor palling around with the Guardians of the Galaxy and still trying to find his way after Endgame. As Korg notes in a trailer released toward the end of May, he will also work off his beer gut. Of course, we imagine other aspects of his time with the group will be slightly different than originally planned, as his decision to leave Earth aboard the Milano (the Guardians’ ship) at Endgame’s conclusion was meant to lead into his role in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. But after Guardians director James Gunn was temporarily fired from that project, it traded places on the Marvel Studios release calendar with Love and Thunder.

Based on that, we’re inclined to believe Thor will leave the Guardians during the film — a notion backed up by the teaser trailer released in mid-April. In it, he discusses how he will stop being a superhero and learn who he truly is. Juxtaposed with footage of Thor literally stepping away from the Guardians as a battle begins, it seems he may be considering more than quitting the Guardians. Although, other glimpses of his adventures in the preview suggest he may retreat to his hedonistic tendencies. Also changing his worldview: another person worthy of holding Mjolnir aloft and harnessing the power of Thor. That person is, naturally enough, Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster – an idea pulled straight from The Mighty Thor comics written by Jason Aaron — but some online chatter suggests her debut as Thor will have some Multiversal shenanigans behind it. At the same time, though, the hammer appears to have cracks in it, consistent with its destruction in Ragnarok. No matter the why of Jane’s Thor, the Odinson (as he ends up calling himself back in the comics) will have to come to terms with her presence while still trying to find a new way to be. Also, if the May trailer is to be believed, some lingering feelings between them may end up rekindled.

Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie in Thor: Love and Thunder

(Photo by Marvel Entertainment)

Of course, Odinson’s plans are upended when a new threat emerges to take on all of the gods, forcing Thor to ally with Jane and King Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) of New Asgard. And though the brief glimpses of her domain in the teaser suggest she’s doing a great job — minus the attack glimpsed in both the teaser and full trailers —  talk in the years since Endgame suggests Valkyrie will, at the very least, search for a queen to share her power as the leader of the remaining Asgardians.

It all leads to an adventure which will span from the Nordic shores of New Asgard to the far realms of space. And if Jane is from another reality, it is also possible we’ll see the old Asgard again, even if a restoration of that realm isn’t exactly necessary at this point. We’d even argue Thor’s journey for inner peace is more interesting if he never finds a way back to his homeland.


Who Returns For This Adventure?

Natalie Portman in Thor: Love and Thunder

(Photo by Marvel Studios)

Hemsworth, of course, returns as Thor. This time, though, he finally has a better idea of what he wants – even if the Mutliverse itself demands he be a king. Also back from Ragnarok are Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, New Asgard’s current king, and writer-director Taika Waititi as the legendarily cool rock creature Korg. Additionally, Matt Damon, Sam Neill, and Luke Hemsworth return as the Asgardian actors who played Loki, Odin, and Thor in the bizarre play Loki (Tom Hiddleston) commissioned that Thor glimpsed at the beginning of Ragnarok.

There are also a handful of actors returning from earlier Thor films coming back for film four. Jamie Alexander returns as Lady Sif, hopefully to explain her absence when Hela (Cate Blanchett) wiped out much of the Asgardian defense force and all of the Warriors Three. But the big headline-making return is Natalie Portman as Jane Foster. After discussing Waititi’s interest in adapting The Mighty Thor comic book (in which a cancer-stricken Jane becomes Thor), she signed on. Presumably, the film will maintain Jane’s more earthly malady even as set photos (and the recent teaser) prove the actor has a Thor-like physique for the film. Portman has even suggested the cancer fight will be part of the story. Waititi also recently told Total Film that the film will “stick pretty closely” to what happens to Jane in the comics.


Who’s New To The Series?

The Guardians of the Galaxy in Avengers: Infinity War

(Photo by ©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/©Marvel Studios)

Love and Thunder continues the crossover theme of films like Shang-Chi and No Way Home with Guardians cast members Chris Pratt, Karen Gillan, and Sean Gunn reprising their roles as Peter Quill, Nebula, and Kraglin. Dave Bautista and Pom Klementieff will also appear as Drax and Mantis, and Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel are also said to be voicing Rocket and Groot. It is unclear if the Guardians will appear throughout the film or if circumstances will force them onto their next film while Thor flies off to face Jane and their new foe, Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale). As the name implies, he will be a serious threat to the Asgardians and other pantheons as he “seeks the extinction of the gods,” according to the film’s official synopsis. In the May trailer, he also vows that “all gods will die.” And how do we know non-Asgardians gods will be in Gorr’s sights? Russell Crowe let slip on a radio show back in 2021 that he was playing the Greek god Zeus in the film; he is seen, complete with a Greek accent, in the May trailer disrobing Thor to determine his identity. Additionally, Akosia Sabet will play a part credited as “Bastet God,” which suggests the Egyptian gods troubling Moon Knight (Oscar Isaac) over on his Disney+ show may also put in an appearance in the film.

Russell Crowe as Zeus in Thor: Love and Thunder

(Photo by Marvel Entertainment)

Additionally, Melissa McCarthy will also put in an appearance as a performer playing Hela in a new Asgardian play – it is unclear if she is Asgardian or if Damon’s character reached out to Earthly actors – and rumors indicate Simon Russell Beale will have a role somewhere in the film.

But for all these cast additions, there is one surprising subtraction: Hiddleston as Loki. Granted, the character isn’t exactly close to New Asgard or space itself at the moment — and that’s still a variant of the Loki seen in the Thor film series, who eventually died at the beginning of Avengers: Infinity War. Presumably, the sacrifice of that prime Loki will be honored by a complete absence of the character throughout Love and Thunder’s runtime. That said, it’s pretty easy to think the variant Loki or Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) might show up to let Thor (or Jane for that matter) know that a bigger problem looms in the Multiverse.


Godcraft Behind The Scenes

Taika Waititi and Chris Hemsworth on the set of Thor: Ragnarok

(Photo by Jasin Boland/©Marvel/©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Beyond voicing Korg, Waititi returns as director and co-writer – a first for the series as both Thor director Kenneth Branagh and Thor: The Dark World’s Alan Taylor declined the chance to return. This time around, Jennifer Kaytin Robinson joins Waititi in the script department, replacing Ragnarok writing team of Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle, and Christopher Yost. According to Waititi, the film is “the craziest film I’ve ever done.” The moments glimpsed in both previews seem to back up this claim.

Other people behind the camera include director of photography Baz Idoine of The Mandalorian fame, editor Maryann Brandon (Venom and its sequel), and production designer Nigel Phelps (Pokemon Detective Pikachu). Doctor Strange composer Michael Giacchino will bring his talents to Love and Thunder’s score.

Familiar Marvel Studios names Victoria Alonso and Louis D’Espostio serve as executive producer alongside Todd Hallowell, while Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige serves as producer.


When Does The Love and Thunder Start?

Chris Hemsworth as Thor in Thor: Love and Thunder

(Photo by Marvel Entertainment)

After the now-customary shifting of release dates that all Marvel projects endured in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Thor: Love and Thunder, originally meant for release last November, is currently set to bow on July 8, 2022.

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