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.
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.
Thor: Love And Thunder’s New Actors
Christian Bale has been chosen to appear in Thor: Love and Thunder. His role in the film and we know he’s playing the movie’s villain. His part was confirmed by Thor: Love and Thunder co-star Tessa Thompson who had this to say: “Christian Bale is gonna play our villain, which is gonna be fantastic. Yeah, it’s gonna be good.“
What villain he’ll be playing has not been officially announced yet. According to new information from Illuminerdi Bale’s bad guy character is described as being an alien and “otherworldly” He’d be following in the footsteps of other big name actors who’ve stepped in to play iconic Marvel bad guys like Robert Redford and Josh Brolin.
Many of the rumors swirling around his casting have suggested he may take on the character of Beta Ray Bill. The character has already been teased, subtly, in Avengers: Endgame and is confirmed to be in the movie, though we don’t know who will play him.
However, Beta Ray Bill is not traditionally a villain in Marvel comics lore. He’s a hero. It’s possible he could start out as a bad guy in Thor: Love and Thunder, though. And he is an alien and a particularly otherworldly looking one. Here’s what he looked like in the comics…
That means that if it is Beta Ray Bill, most likely Bale will simply end up voicing the character or at best, doing motion capture for a CGI character. Think Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy.
Other rumors suggested he might end up playing a comic book villain called Gorr the God Butcher. Here’s one fan’s mockup of what Bale could look like as that character…
This prolific source claims Hercules will be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and he’ll get his start with a cameo on Thor: Love and Thunder. What’s more they say Marvel wants Suicide Squad star Jai Courtney to play the part of Hercules.
In the Marvel comics, the mythical figure Hercules actually is a long-time member of The Avengers. And though including him seems kind of silly… is it any sillier than Thor? Hercules is basically Thor just from some other culture’s mythology. Given that all indications are that Chris Hemsworth will end his time with the Marvel Universe soon, maybe they feel they need another really handsome muscle guy in the mix to take his shirt off still.
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.
Every plot detail we have for the upcoming Taika Waititi film is born of rumors. 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.
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.
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 will begin in Sydney, Australia in August 2020.
Thor: Love and Thunder’s release date is currently set for November 5, 2021 in the United States of America. With the date being so specific, and filming beginning in early 2020, it seems safe to set this date on your calendar.
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.