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Avengers: Endgame isn't that far off, and as the days tick away to its premiere, so does the reality that we may see some of our favorite Marvel actors portray their beloved superheroes for the last time. Contracts are up for many of the core cast of Avengers, which means actors like Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., and yes, even Chris Hemsworth could be done with the MCU.
While some of those actors may be done, there's always a chance their mantle remains a part of the MCU. Many are familiar with the possibility that another character could step up to be the new Captain America, but he's not the only character with that unique attribute. Other characters have acquired Thor's powers in the past, which makes it worth asking if the MCU could introduce another Thor in Phase 4.
To be specific, we're talking about another character in the Marvel universe arriving and obtaining Thor's powers as the God of Thunder. Thor Odinson could still exist, but it would be this hero who wields the weapon and more or less holds the title of the hero Thor. Marvel Comics has made this happen a handful of times over the years, with Jane Foster, Captain America and many others taking on the role.
For those who don't envision Natalie Portman returning to the MCU to play the hero, there have also been entirely new characters who stepped into the role, such as Eric Masterson. If Chris Hemsworth were to step down as Thor, it's possible Marvel could introduce a new character like him to play the role, and not force one of its existing heroes to step up to the plate. Is there any actor in Hollywood who can get that buff?
There's a catch though, because while a lot of characters have become Thor over the years, most, if not all, did so through being deemed worthy to wield Mjolnir. In the comics, the hammer bestows the power of flight and imbues the hero with powers of lightning and other god-like powers that make him the badass he is. Does anyone remember what happened to Mjolnir?
That's right, it was destroyed by Hela in Thor: Ragnarok. With that no longer in the picture, and Stormbreaker seemingly unable to grant the same powers as Mjolnir, that puts a damper on the whole becoming Thor thing. If Mjolnir is truly gone, then it would appear that the hero Thor could very well leave as soon as Chris Hemsworth decides he's out.
With that said, no death in Marvel Comics ever really seems to stick, and that's true with Mjolnir as well. The hammer has been through all sorts of chaos, and sooner or later has resurfaced for Thor or someone else to take it up and be a hero. So while it is problematic that Mjolnir isn't presently seen in the MCU, it isn't an outright deal breaker that means there can't be another person to take the mantle.
As an interesting side note, Stormbreaker is traditionally the weapon of Beta Ray Bill, who was given the weapon by Odin once he proved himself worthy of Mjolnir. Should Stormbreaker still exist after Avengers: Endgame, it might be to introduce his character, who could become the next Thor even if he's not technically Thor. After all, if he can hold Stormbreaker and wield it competently, one would think the MCU could skip the whole Mjolnir part.
Going back to how Mjolnir could resurface, it's about the worst kept secret at this point that Avengers: Endgame intends to use time travel in some way. Well, if Thor traveled back in time, wouldn't it be possible for him to reclaim Mjolnir for whatever reason he may have for taking it? Say he created a duplicate and switched it out sometime during Thor: Ragnarok? That may explain how Hela demolished it, although we're just speculating here.
So Mjolnir could resurface and there could definitely be another Thor, although there is some valid questioning as to why the MCU would need it. Odin and Loki are dead (probably), and Jane Foster hasn't been seen in a Thor film for quite some time. His story seems to be approaching a rational end, and with Chris Hemsworth non-committal about continuing, it wouldn't be surprising to see Marvel try and close the book on the hero's story.
The remaining Asgardians play a factor in this discussion, because if Thor survives Avengers: Endgame, there's some obligation to help them find and establish a new Asgard. This is one of those plot lines that's either a convenient way of writing him off and forgetting about him, or a perfect premise for Thor 4 if that happens. It really makes it feel like his character could go either way, unless of course all the other Asgardians were killed.
To take things outside of the lore and films, would Marvel Studios actively work towards establishing a new Thor in Phase 4 if it was aware there's a possibility that Chris Hemsworth could return for another installment? It's a great question, and one would think all plans for bringing in a new Thor would be put on hold until the studio had an idea of how much longer he'd be around.
One could think that, but the whole beauty of Thor's character is that another character can take on his mantle without his character changing. Minus that time Odin put that special spell on Mjolnir, Thor is still super strong and capable of wielding lightning. Plus, he's got Stormbreaker, which gives him the flight and other various enhancements that he gained from the Hammer otherwise. He could pass the torch, and doing so wouldn't necessarily make his return impossible down the line.
It could definitely happen, but there's validity in asking whether it would actually happen. Doing something in the comic world is one thing, but trying to explain how a new Thor works in the MCU to a casual audience member might cause some heads to spin or others to gripe about the changes. There's also always the possibility of an outright recasting, although Marvel has typically abstained from doing too many of those during its run.
We'll surely get some idea of where Marvel Studios is leaning, or if a new person could take the mantle of Thor when Avengers: Endgame hits theaters April 26. For more on the upcoming adventure, check out the insane box office predictions that have come out recently, and be sure to pick that jaw up off the floor after reading.