After two middling entries in his solo series, Marvel’s Thor finally found his voice with Taika Waititi’s Ragnarok – and he’s not going to be piping down anytime soon.
Chris Hemsworth’s hammer-wielding hero will be back for another blockbuster adventure and he’ll be joined by another familiar face from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Chris Pratt will be reprising his Guardians of the Galaxy role of Star-Lord for the upcoming flick, last seen in a power struggle with Thor over who gets to lead his oddball team in Avengers: Endgame.
With this in mind, fans are already wondering whether other Guardians could join him, with Groot voice actor Vin Diesel hinting earlier in the year that he was also in talks to appear.
Also returning for the fourth Thor movie, titled Love and Thunder, is Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster, who has been absent from the Marvel franchise since 2013’s The Dark World.
The storyline is set to be based on a popular arc from the comic books, where Foster became worthy of wielding Thor’s hammer and takes on his identity, all while receiving treatment for cancer.
Chris Hemsworth has also assured fans that this won’t be his last MCU outing, so the God of Thunder is likely to remain a powerful player for many years to come.
There are plenty of rumours about how Thor: Love and Thunder could tie into upcoming Marvel movies, so read on for everything we know so far.
When is Thor: Love and Thunder released in cinemas?
Thor: Love and Thunder will be released on 11th February 2022, having been pushed back from its original planned release of 5th November 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The movie was announced at San Diego Comic-Con in July 2019 as part of Marvel’s huge Phase 4 reveal, with Portman’s appearance on-stage proving to be one of the most memorable moments of the convention.
Filming is currently scheduled to begin in Australia in January 2021 and will reportedly use the same groundbreaking visual effects technology as Disney Plus series The Mandalorian.
This will prove particularly helpful at the moment, as travelling to real-world locations is made more difficult by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Who’s in the Thor: Love and Thunder cast?
Marvel boss Kevin Feige announced at Comic-Con that Natalie Portman will return to the MCU as Jane Foster. But this time around, she will become a female God of Thunder herself, when Thor is unable to lift his hammer due to apparent unworthiness (a theme previously explored in Avengers: Endgame and in a popular comic-book run that the film is inspired by).
“[She’s] a Thor,” Waititi told ET. “There’s still the other Thor, the original Thor. She’s not called Female Thor. In the comics, she’s called the Mighty Thor. It comes from that comic run.”
Explaining how he convinced Portman to return to the Thor series, Waititi explained (via Variety), “I just said to her ‘Are you interested in coming back to this thing, but doing something really different?’ No one wants to keep repeating themselves, and no one wants to play the same characters all the time.
“And I think for her, just coming back, reprising that character in a whole fresh new way was really what would interest anyone. Especially in most of these films, if you’re not a superhero… do you really wanna keep doing that? I mean, I wouldn’t. I’d want to come back and change things up.”
— Variety (@Variety) August 24, 2019
Batman star Christian Bale has been confirmed for the fourthquel, though it’s unclear what role he’ll be playing. Recent rumours suggest that Bale could be set to take on the MCU’s next big bad, with The Illuminerdi claiming that he is in talks to play an “intergalactic villain.”
Based on a set photo from Disney Plus series Loki, fans have also suggested Bale could be playing Dario Agger, aka The Minotaur, who is the corrupt president of Roxxon Energy Corporation.
On top of this, it’s been confirmed that Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson will return as Thor and Valkyrie, the latter still serving as the new ruler of Asgard.
Vin Diesel, who voices walking and talking tree Groot on Guardians of the Galaxy, apparently let slip while promoting his movie Bloodshot that some of his alien team will be appearing in the Thor sequel.
“I am waiting and excited for my friend James Gunn to knock this next one out of the park,” Diesel said according to ComicBook. “He took The Suicide Squad so he’s about to embark on it. Thor will also, the director talked to me about Thor will incorporate some of the Guardians of the Galaxy. That’ll be very interesting, nobody knows, maybe I shouldn’t have said anything.”
Behind the scenes, it has been reported by Variety that writer and director of Netflix’s Someone Great, Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, could be joining the project as a writer to help Waititi shape up the script.
Jeff Goldblum has also hinted at a potential comeback for the hilarious Grandmaster, telling Entertainment Weekly: “I can’t reveal any secrets, not that I know anything definitively, but there’s a whisper of a thought or notion that I might have some participation in it.”
In November 2020, it was reported that Chris Pratt had joined the cast of Thor: Love and Thunder as Star-Lord, his character from the Guardians of the Galaxy movies.
While Portman is returning as Jane Foster, it seems that her frequent associate Darcy Lewis might not be accompanying her, according to actress Kat Dennings, in an interview with Entertainment Tonight.
“I don’t think I’m in it, I feel like I would’ve heard by now, so literally my answer is I have no idea,” she said.
Many of Thor’s other supporting characters – including his friends the Warriors Three, his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins), his mother Frigga (Rene Russo), Heimdall (Idris Elba) and others – have been killed in recent Marvel movies, making it unlikely they would appear, unless through use of flashback or visions.
And then there’s the question of Loki (see below).
Will Loki be in the Thor sequel?
Obviously, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki died during the events of Avengers: Infinity War – but an earlier, 2012-era version of the God of Mischief escaped during the time-travel shenanigans of Avengers: Endgame, and now the character is set to appear in his own streaming series for Disney+.
Presumably, this Loki will be the earlier version freed in Endgame – but could he also turn up in Thor 4? Frankly, we can’t imagine a Thor movie without Hiddleston in it, so we wouldn’t be surprised if Thor does end up tracking down this alternate version of his brother even if he is stuck in a different time period.
And we wouldn’t be surprised if the Loki series ended up teasing this possibility. After all, Stranger Things 3 already proved that streaming dramas are a good fit for post-credits scenes.
What’s the story of Thor 4?
The film will adapt a story arc from a recent Marvel series called The Mighty Thor, written by Jason Aaron with artwork by Russell Dauterman.
In the comics, the original Thor was deemed unworthy to wield his hammer, Mjolnir, paving the way for Jane Foster to wield the formidable ancient weapon.
However, Foster is also battling breast cancer during this story, and every time she undergoes her physical transformation into Thor, it counteracts the effects of her chemotherapy treatment and perpetuates her illness.
So, there is a very powerful angle to the story, exploring the personal sacrifice that Jane makes in order to protect the people of Earth from harm.
“That storyline is incredible, is full of emotion, love and thunder and introduces for the first time female Thor,” Waititi said at Comic-Con. “For us there’s only one person who could play that role… Natalie Portman.”
Thor: Love and Thunder will be released in 2022. While you’re waiting, visit our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight, or check out our guide to new TV shows 2020 to find out what’s airing this autumn and beyond.