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Gaze upon the gods in Marvel’s Thor: Love and Thunder BTS video

It’s no secret that the first two Thor movies were not blockbusters on the same level as Iron Man or the Avengers. Arguably, Thor: The Dark World is one of the worst films in the MCU. Fortunately, director Taika Waititi was able to turn the Odinson’s fortunes around in Thor: Ragnarok, a largely comedic take on Chris Hemsworth’s thunder god that struck box office gold. That’s why Waititi was invited back to direct Thor: Love and Thunder. And in a new behind-the-scenes featurette, Hemsworth and the cast of the sequel couldn’t be happier with the light touch that Waititi brings to the set.

Marvel Studios' Thor: Love and Thunder | When Love Meets Thunder Featurette

Perhaps Waititi’s most surprising accomplishment is that he was able to convince Natalie Portman to reprise her role as Jane Foster for the first time since The Dark World hit theaters in 2013. Thor’s ex-girlfriend has a big role in the sequel as the Mighty Thor. If that’s confusing for you, then it’s even more so for the original Thor! But viewers of the first Thor movie witnessed Odin as he enchanted Thor’s hammer with a spell which stated that anyone worthy enough to lift it would have the power of Thor. Jane proved that she was worthy, and thus she is the new Thor. What we don’t know is who reforged the hammer and why.

Natalie Portman and Chris Hemsworth in Thor: Love and Thunder.

While the cast and crew are clearly having a good time in these behind-the-scenes clips, the same can’t be said of Thor and Jane. The former couple will soon face Gorr the God Butcher, as played by ex-Batman actor Christian Bale. It’s interesting to note that Bale didn’t participate in this BTS video, but we do get to see Gorr in action. And unlike some of Marvel’s earliest villains, Gorr comes off as a legitimate threat.

The good news is that Thor has some backup from the Guardians of the Galaxy. Chris Pratt is back as Star-Lord, with Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Pom Klementieff as Mantis, Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot, and Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket. Tessa Thompson and Jaimie Alexander are also reprising their respective roles as Valkyrie and Sif, with Waititi once again voicing Thor’s affable alien friend Korg.

Thor: Love and Thunder will hit theaters on Friday, July 8. To find out how to watch all the MCU movies in order, click here.

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