Spoilers ahead for Avengers: Endgame
The Russo Brothers did the impossible with Avengers: Endgame, producing a movie even more ambitious and heart-wrenching than Infinity War. The latest Marvel blockbuster put an extra emphasis on the original team of Avengers, paying tribute to the characters that started it all. Chief among them was Chris Hemsworth's Thor, who struggled with a deep depression in the wake of Thanos' snap.
That depression manifested by Thor depending on alcohol, and a physical transformation that saw the God of Thunder pack on a few pounds during his time on New Asgard. And it turns out that Endgame originally saw Thor return to his typical physical pique, before Chris Hemsworth insisted that he stay the same weigh during the final battle against Thanos. As Hemsworth recently explained:
I enjoyed that version of Thor. It was so different than any other way I played the character. And then it took on a life of its own.
Chris Hemsworth's comments to Variety show how strong the collaboration between The Russo Brothers and the cast of Avengers: Endgame was. The co-directors meticulously crafted their complicated narrative, including the super ambitious Time Heist. But they still left conversation open with the powers that be within the studio, as well as the actors themselves.
Avengers: Endgame marks Chris Hemsworth's whopping seventh appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so its safe to say that he knows the character of Thor Odinson quite well. So when he had the instinct to keep the character's body transformation until the end of the massively popular blockbuster, Joe and Anthony Russo were kind enough to allow the 35 year-old actor to have that control.
Thor has a really fascinating arc in Avengers: Endgame, as the God of Thunder was drowning in self-loathing following the death of Thanos. Thor's appearance was a constant reminder of the character's mental state, and he didn't have almost any scenes in the blockbuster without chugging the nearest alcoholic beverage. Overall Thor was at his most emotionally vulnerable in Endgame, and it was a character arc that really resonated with audiences.
Thor's body was actual the subject of conversation during Avengers: Infinity War, no doubt teasing his eventual weight gain in the following movie. When the Guardians took him aboard The Benatar, Gamora admired how his muscles looked like they were made out of metal. And in retrospect, The Russo Brothers were likely setting up Thor's weight gain during that brief scene.
It should be interesting to see if Thor's body goes through more changes in Phase Four. Chris Hemsworth's contract may have been up with Avengers: Endgame, but the blockbuster also teased that he might be heading to space with the Guardians of the Galaxy. Will he maintain his imperfect body during this adventure? We'll just have to wait and see.
Thor's weight gain in Avengers: Endgame was fodder for a variety of comedic beats in the movie, especially his first scene after the five year time jump. Seeing the God of Thunder chugging beer and playing Fortnite with Korg was not what anyone expected from Chris Hemsworth's character. Neither was seeing just how traumatized Thor was of Thanos-- unable to even utter the Mad Titan's name.
But the decision to give Thor a dad bod hasn't been universally accepted by the film world, as some moviegoers and advocates have taken umbrage with the creative choice. Making Thor's weight a punch line rubbed some people the wrong way, as it has the potential to reinforce stereotypes around shape. And while the MCU is putting women and people of color in the public eye, most of the shared universe's heroes have near-perfect bodies.
The Russo Brothers have since explained this plot device, and now it's revealed that Chris Hemsworth fought to keep Thor's imperfect body in Avengers: Endgame's bonkers final battle. And the OG Avenger was still able to kick ass and takes names, facing off against Thanos directly. So his size didn't make him any less of a hero, despite it being used as a moment of levity. I mean, Frigga literally told her son to eat a salad in the middle of the time heist.
Now the question is: will Thor go back to his typical svelte figure for his next appearance in the MCU? Chris Hemsworth revealed the suit he wore that showed off Thor's body weighed a whopping 90 pounds, so it might not be a sustainable choice for the character. Than again, maintaining a full figured superhero would no doubt do wonders to quell the naysayers out there. But we'll just have to wait and see what Kevin Feige and the MCU has in store for the future.
With Chris Hemsworth's contract with Marvel Studios up, the 35 year-old actor has the opportunity to make a major payday with any future appearances as Thor. Since he's no under contract, Hemsworth will be able to negotiate for more money if/when he pops back up. And considering just how much money Avengers: Endgame is continuing to make in theaters, the studio should have the funds available.
But what's next for Thor? The God of Thunder has given up his royal titles, and gave Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie the ability to rule New Asgard. As such, it seems possible that another Thor movie might not end up happening. That is, unless Valkyrie takes on the mantle to become a female Thor.
Thor was last seen back on The Benatar with the Guardians of the Galaxy (Asguardians?), so it seems like he might be officially joining the team. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is already highly anticipated, but it would blow fans' minds to see Thor as an official member. But we'll just have to wait, as Marvel Studios hasn't revealed its plans for Phase Four.