With Avengers: Endgame behind us, everyone wants to know what’s going to happen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe going forward. Luckily, Marvel isn’t interested in wasting any time getting to work on their next Avengers projects. While a lot of focus is currently on the multiple upcoming Disney Plus series they will launch over the next few years, in the world of movies, the big news is the production of Thor: Love And Thunder, a followup to Thor: Ragnarok and the last Avengers movie Avengers: Endgame.
Thor Love And Thunder will be one of the first Marvel Cinematic Universe movies taking place after Endgame. At this point, the team behind the film is still trying to keep their cards close to their chest. That doesn’t stop the rest of us from picking up clues here and there to put together a bigger picture on what will be happening with the next big movie for the hammer-wielding god of thunder.
Russell Crowe Reveals His Thor: Love And Thunder Role
In April 2021, Russell Crowe let it slip who he’ll be playing in Thor: Love and Thunder. While being interviewed by an Australian radio station, Crowe said he was playing the king of the gods from ancient Grecian myth — Zeus. The powerful god has appeared in Marvel Comics for years, both as an ally to Marvel’s heroes and an enemy. In fact his sons Ares and Hercules have both been Avengers, the latter of whom is an old friend of Thor’s.
When Will Thor: Love And Thunder Be Released?
In August 2019, it was reported that Taika Waititi completed the script for Thor: Love and Thunder. Filming on the Avenger’s next movie was set to begin in Sydney, Australia in August 2020. That has now been pushed back and instead shooting will commence in the beginning of 2021.
Thor: Love and Thunder’s release date had been set for February 11, 2022 in the United States of America. However in October 2021 news broke that Marvel’s entire post-2021 movie line-up — with the sole exception of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 — had been pushed back. Now, Thor: Love and Thunder is due for release five months later on July 8, 2022.
Thor: Love And Thunder’s New Actors
Christian Bale has been officially confirmed as the villain of Thor: Love And Thunder. He’s playing a character from the comics known as Gorr: The God Butcher. As his name suggests, Gor has made something of a career out of going around the galaxy killing gods. So Thor seems like a prime target for him.
Here’s one fan’s mockup of what Bale could look like as that character…
Natalie Portman Becoming Thor
The plot of Thor: Love And Thunder will involve Natalie Portman becoming the new Mighty Thor.
And to prepare, Natalie Portman is planning to get jacked. She says of her Jane Foster character…
“She’s actually The Mighty Thor. The comics had the female Thor when Jane becomes Thor, and she’s The Mighty Thor. We haven’t started. More time to get jacked. Which I have not. I’ve got the carbo-loading down, but not the exercise part. Obviously everything is weird because of pandemic time, who knows what’s happening. It will be exciting and I’m interested to see if I can gain muscle.”– -Natalie Portman on Instagram
Does anyone want to see Natalie Portman get jacked? One of the best things about Portman has always been the delicate vulnerability she brings to her roles. A lot of that is physical, it’s something she’s able to do that few other actresses can achieve. Getting “jacked” really doesn’t play to her strengths. I’m not sure anyone really wants to see a “jacked” Natalie Portman, but apparently it’s happening.
Love And Thunder Promotion
Marvel has yet to give us anything from the movie and fans, tired of waiting, have taken matters into their own hands. This fan made Thor: Love And Thunder poster brings Odin’s son together with the Guardians of the Galaxy. I’m hyped already…
Will the Guardians actually be in the movie? Read on to find out.
It should come as no surprise that Thor: Love and Thunder’s script is being kept tightly under wraps at this early stage in the game. With so many releases in the MCU franchise, through Disney Plus or major motion pictures, revealing too much about the plot of an upcoming story can easily spill the beans on something else releasing sooner.
Thor: Love And Thunder director Taika Waititi did offer this update to the BBC on what he’s planning for the movie’s plot: “I think it’s going to be really good. We’ve finished, we’ve been writing the script off and on for over a year and I’m just, actually this week, doing another pass on it. It is so insane and it’s also very romantic. I’m into romances now. I just want to make a romance. I just want to make something that I’ve never done or never cared for. I would like to attack something like that.”
Making Love And Thunder a romance movie is a pretty big departure from what Waititi did on Thor: Ragnarok. That previous movie was more an irreverent, almost slapstick comedy. It sounds like Thor: Love And Thunder may be a move in a totally different direction.
What we do know is that Natalie Portman is returning as Jane Foster. Word is that in a twist, she’ll be dating one of the Avengers in Thor: The Dark World, but it won’t be Thor. Instead at some point along the way she’s going to end up dating Anthony Mackie’s Falcon. This is a storyline that also played out in the world of Marvel comics, so their relationship becoming a thing makes sense.
Natalie Portman is also listed as “Thor”. At San Diego Comic Con in July 2019, where the title of the film was revealed, Tessa Thompson was announced to be reprising her role as Valkyrie, and it was announced that Natalie Portman would be playing Jane Foster, who will become the goddess of Thunder, Mighty Thor, in this movie.
With a title like “Thor: Love and Thunder,’’ everyone has guesses on where the story may go from there. Will Jane Foster and Thor return to Asgard together now that she is Thor? What does it mean if she is Thor? Will their relationship be taking center stage in this story? We have more questions than answers but the questions are interesting ones.
We do know that the plot will somehow involve the character of Beta Ray Bill. His appearance in Thor: Love and Thunder has been confirmed. In the Marvel comic world, Beta Ray Bill was the first superhero besides Thor who was ever worthy to wield his hammer. Given the events of Avengers: Endgame he won’t be the first this time around, but maybe he’ll end up swinging Thor’s hammer nonetheless. Thor: Love and Thunder will apparently center at least in part around who gets to wield Thor’s hammer, with Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster character likely to take a turn as the Almighty God of Thunder.
Thor: Love And Thunder’s Team Behind The Scenes
After the premiere of Thor: Ragnarok, people had a lot to say about Taika Waititi. The director took Ragnarok in a new direction for a Marvel Cinematic Universe film, a direction that stood out and resonated with audiences.
Waititi will return to co-write and direct Thor: Love and Thunder. He will also be starring in it as the voice of Korg, so we can expect to see just as heavy an influence from him here as we did in Thor: Ragnarok.
Jennifer Kaytin Robinson will co-write the film with Waititi. Marvel brought her in mid-stream to help out, given that Waititi has a busy schedule. Jennifer Kaytin Robinson doesn’t have a lot of experience, but she did write and direct a Netflix movie called Someone Great.
Since his work on the previous Thor film, Taika Waititi voiced the character of Korg for the film Avengers: Endgame. He also gained awards attention for his work directing Jojo Rabbit, a film he also starred in. JoJo further established him as a unique voice in movies. After the events of Avengers: Endgame, it will be interesting to see how he takes the MCU franchise into a new time for the Marvel movies.
According to early reports, Taika’s Thor: Love and Thunder script has already been drafted and is being looked at by the behind-the-scenes team. Previously, Taika Waititi wrote the script for Jojo Rabbit, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, and What We Do In The Shadows. He also wrote a video short in 2016 for MCU called Team Thor.
Thor: Love And Thunder’s Returning Cast Members
The returning cast for Thor: Love and Thunder includes Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, and Taika Waititi as the voice of Korg. While these names are important, none of them are particularly surprising. What may be more surprising to fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that Natalie Portman will return as Jane Foster.
While Natalie Portman was briefly in Avengers: Endgame she has been absent from Thor films since Thor: The Dark World (2013).
Recently, a deleted scene from Thor: The Dark World was released on The Infinity Saga box set. The scene shows the moment Jane and Thor break up, where she explains that she has a life on Earth and if she went to Asgard with Thor, all she would have was their relationship. Thor needed to go back to Asgard because he has a responsibility to succeed his father on the throne. This scene was only briefly mentioned in Thor: Ragnarok to explain Jane’s absence. There is a rumor that this scene will carry more weight into the Thor: Love and Thunder film and Natalie Portman’s appearance certainly suggests that is likely.
Guardians Of The Galaxy In Love And Thunder
All signs point to the Guardians of the Galaxy showing up in Thor: Love and Thunder at some point. Vin Diesel, who voices Groot, all but confirmed it when talking here. Whether it will be all of them or just some of them, and exactly how many of them, remains unknown. But they’d be insane not to pair Thor and Star Lord together, given that in their brief interactions so far they’ve had tremendous chemistry.
Thor’s friend and keeper of the Rainbow Bridge Heimdall was killed by Thanos at the beginning of Avengers: Infinity War. But rumor has it he’s being resurrected for Thor: Love And Thunder and that Idris Elba will be back as the character.
How did Heimdall survive? Well he didn’t, at least not exactly. The thing to remember here is that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will be released before Thor: Love and Thunder. That movie will bring in different versions of characters from alternate universes. In some cases we’ll see alternate versions of characters who are dead in our universe. So it’s possible that the Heimdall who appears in Love and Thunder will be an alternate universe version pulled in by Doctor Strange.
Another rumor currently circling is who will take on the roll of Loki in Thor: Love and Thunder? Loki will be appearing as played by Tom Hiddleston in an upcoming series for Disney Plus. It is rumored he will not be playing Loki in the film, however.
In the Marvel comics, and in the original Norse mythology, Loki was able to change shape. Loki was often seen as both male and female forms. The current rumor circling about new possible actors to take on the role for Loki is Sophia Di Martino, a British actress recently seen in the movie Yesterday.
Resurrecting Tony Stark?
During a recent Instagram live even, Thor Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi showed fans pages of the script for his upcoming movie. Sharp eyed fans spotted the name of Tony Stark on them and assumed Iron Man was being resurrected. But, they got trolled.
The pages Taika showed off were actually an elaborate joke. And a closer examination of the words on them reveals it was one big fake. Here’s some of the dialogue that was actually on the script…
Thor: You’re back!
Tony: In the sack, baby!
Thor: But how? I saw you die.
Tony: Science. Also, Thanos is back.
Thor: Mother Frigga, no. So… we’re assembling again?
Tony: Again, again. It’s GO TIME. Everyone who died is coming back. And this tim we’re avenging even more than ever. From now on we’ll be known as… The Avengerers.
Obviously, Taika is having fun messing with us. Well done sir, well done. Now get back to work on Thor Love And Thunder.
Are We Getting Fat Thor?
The last time we saw Thor in Avengers: Endgame he was, well, fat. Like really fat. So fans have been wondering if he’ll lose the pounds before Thor: Love and Thunder.
Director Taika Waititi answered that very question during his recent Instagram Live. When asked if Fat Thor will be back, he had this to say: “We haven’t figured that out, but I feel like that’s done.“
We also got something of an answer from Chris Hemsworth, who posted the following video of the work he’s doing to get in shape for Love and Thunder…
Given that his Thor training doesn’t involve eating pizza and pounding donuts, I think it’s safe to assume that the Thor we see next will be the jacked, heavily-muscled Thor we were used to before Endgame. I’ll miss that pot belly.
The Future Of Thor
Thor Love And Thunder is, essentially, being used as a way for Marvel to replace Chris Hemsworth as Thor with Natalie Portman. And Chris Hemsworth may not be happy about it.
According to this source he’s pretty unhappy that he’s being shoved out of his own franchise in the name of diversity. It’s particularly stinging since it was with the last movie, Thor: Ragnarok, that the character really seemed to hit his stride. Just when Marvel has Thor figured out, they’re showing him the door and giving his job to someone else.
The good news here is that maybe Hemsworth will actually fight to keep his job, and that could push Marvel to keep him around. But it seems more likely that if he pushes too hard, he’ll end up being cancelled for refusing to embrace diversity the way other actors have.
Marvel Cinematic Universe Connections
In the time since the release of Avengers: Endgame, Marvel has gotten control of Deadpool back from Fox, thanks to the Disney acquisition. That means Marvel is looking for a way to integrate the strange, R-rated, comedy style of Deadpool into the very different tone of the Avengers universe. It could happen in Thor: Love and Thunder.
Word is that Thor: Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi wants Deadpool’s first MCU appearance to happen in his movie. He’s rumored to be pushing to give the character a cameo.
If you saw Thor: Ragnarok, also directed by Taika Waititi, then you know what that makes a lot of sense. Ragnarok is by far the funniest, most meta Marvel movie. It’s the closest Marvel has even gotten to matching Deadpool’s dark, deadpan sense of humor. If Deadpool is going to fit in anywhere in the Marvel universe, it’ll be in a Thor movie directed by Taika Waititi.