Everything we know about the Marvel phase 4 movie Thor: Love and Thunder

Marvel Studios’ god of thunder will do what no Marvel Cinematic Universe character has yet done and return for a fourth installment of his solo series when Thor: Love and Thunder hits theaters November 5, 2021.

Set to be written and directed by Taika Waititi, the filmmaker who wrote and helmed Thor: RagnarokThor: Love and Thunder will bring back Chris Hemsworth as Thor, along with a host of other familiar faces from the MCU. Here’s everything we know about Thor: Love and Thunder so far.

The god herself?

In one of the biggest announcements to come out of Marvel’s panel at San Diego Comic-Con, the studio revealed that actress Natalie Portman will not only reprise her role as Jane Foster in Love and Thunder, but will also become a new, female Thor.

Portman made a surprise appearance on stage during the event to announce her return to the role — a character she hasn’t portrayed in a featured role since 2013’s Thor: The Dark World.

How Portman’s new god of thunder will be integrated into the MCU remains a mystery, one that’s already generating quite a bit of buzz.

Asgardians assemble

Although Hemsworth is expected to reprise his role as Thor, he won’t be the only prominent Asgardian featured in the film.

thor love and thunder release date cast news null

Tessa Thompson, who made her debut as Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok (see above) and reprised the role in Avengers: Endgame, will also return to play a key role in Love and Thunder.

The film will reportedly feature Valkyrie’s search for a partner to rule Asgard beside her, after having been given the throne in Endgame. Valkyrie will become the first, official LGBTQIA+ character in the MCU.

Behind the camera

For Marvel fans, Waititi’s return as director is welcome news. Thor: Ragnarok, Thor’s third solo adventure, charmed audiences with its unique mix of humor and action and its colorful, Jack Kirby-inspired production design. Thor: Ragnarok earned $854 million at the global box office, and helped pave the way for Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, in which the beer-guzzling, pot-bellied “Bro Thor” quickly became a fan favorite.

Taika Waititi Akira

Waititi’s Thor encore comes with at least one casualty. Warner Bros.’ live-action take on Akira, Katsuhiro Otomo’s seminal manga and anime film, has been put on hold. Previously, Waititi was expected to direct the adaptation, but delays stemming from script problems pushed Akira‘s production date too close to Love and Thunder, forcing Waititi to leave the project.

Love and Thunder isn’t the only big project on Waititi’s plate, either. The small-screen adaptation of Waititi’s What We Do in the Shadows, which Waititi both produces and occasionally directs, has already been renewed for a second season. Waititi will also be directing an episode of the Disney+ Star Wars spinoff The Mandalorian, and will play one of its supporting characters, the assassin droid IG-11.

The story

We last saw Thor at the conclusion of Avengers: Endgame, when the thunder god headed into space alongside the Guardians of the Galaxy, his shiny new ax in hand. Right now, it’s not clear if the highly anticipated “Asgardians of the Galaxy” team-up will continue, or if Thor and the Guardians will go their separate ways for their respective sequels.

Reports so far suggest that Thor: Love and Thunder might actually shift its focus to the characters around Hemsworth’s Thor, with Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) inheriting the “Mighty Thor” mantle and Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) serving as the ruler of Asgard.

Still, as one of the few founding Avengers still standing, Thor is poised to play a major role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s fourth phase. With Tony Stark and Black Widow gone, the Hulk injured, and both Captain America and Hawkeye retired, it’s up to Thor to bridge the gap between the members of the old-school MCU and newcomers like the Eternals and Shang-Chi.

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