Warning: Spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War are in play. If you haven't seen the film yet, and want nothing spoiled for you, bookmark this page and flee like lightning.
Writing, like most careers, teaches us not to get too attached to any idea or concept we're about to fall in love with; one quick edit and it's gone in a moment's notice. The goal is to positively improve the product, leading to something even better. Plenty of rewrites happened for The Russ Brothers with Avengers: Infinity War, including almost making Chris Hemsworth's Thor the straight-man to the Guardians of the Galaxy's comedic beats. This changed the moment that Thor: Ragnarok came into play, as co-writer Stephen McFeeley recently revealed:
Apparently, the more jocular nature of Thor: Ragnarok's script was the catalyst for reformatting Thor's fateful meeting with Star-Lord and his rock star Guardians. Because the script to Avengers: Infinity War was already underway some time before Taika Waititi's triumphant threequel was released. Keeping the God of Thunder with the more serious tone of the previous Thor films would have been an error, and Vulture noted that Chris Hemsworth himself was a huge proponent of keeping this approach to his character in his most recent outings. Two days of conferencing with Hemsworth and Taika Waititi, and Stephen McFeeley and Christopher Markus had their new approach to Thor in set.
After seeing Avengers: Infinity War, this certainly seems like a pretty wise decision by the writers. McFeeley & Markus's reworking of Thor as a more jovial character, particularly in the wake of meeting the Guardians of the Galaxy, was an ace move that helped keep some lightness in the otherwise epic and emotional blockbuster. Even better, this balance between both the serious and silly side of Chris Hemsworth's Odinson did something even greater for his character -- it helped them knock Thor's latest role in an Avengers movie out of the park.
While there's certainly a lot of humor in Thor's portion of Avengers: Infinity War, there's also some serious weight to his character. He's lost his father, his home world, a good number of his fellow Asgardians. And at the beginning of this film, he sees both Heimdall and Loki enter the long sleep of eternity. To keep him dour and self-serious throughout this apocalyptic epic would have only dragged the audience's mood down a bit further. The various shades of humor injected into Thor, from subtle to laugh out loud funny, helps add that third dimension to his character, while also greasing the wheels for the hammer drop at the end of Avengers: Infinity War.
To craft a movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is daunting enough, but to really tie it into all films that came before, while also informing those that will come after, is a feat of super-powered strength in and of itself. So far, Stephen McFeeley and Christopher Markus have been up to the task of writing such films on both ends, just as The Russo Brothers have in their director's chairs. It's this fact alone that makes Avengers: Infinity War that much more special, and will make Avengers 4 all the more exciting to witness when it arrives next year.
Avengers: Infinity War is in theaters now, with Ant-Man and The Wasp up to bat next in the MCU, when it debuts on July 6th. For everything else, comic movie related or not, you can check out the 2018 release schedule, just in case you're curious what's coming down the pike in the months to come.