Although Thor has been an integral part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe since 2011, the God of Thunder was revitalized at the hands of Taika Waititi in his third standalone movie, Thor: Ragnarok. The threequel was met with critical acclaim and made $854 million worldwide, and nearly two full years later, it’s been announced that Waititi will be back to direct Thor 4.
However, Taika Waititi tackling Thor 4 comes at a cost. The filmmaker is attached to direct the live action adaptation of Akira, but now that project’s been put on hold indefinitely because it and Thor 4’s production dates started to clash. It’s unclear if Waititi will still direct Akira whenever it finally starts rolling cameras, but Warner Bros is reportedly game for him still tackling it after Thor 4 is completed.
Although all the entries in the MCU are each chapters within one gigantic tale, Thor is now the first superhero within the franchise to lead a film series that stretches past a trilogy. The Avengers movies was the first film series in the MCU to break through the trilogy barrier, but those are obviously ensemble pieces.
It goes without saying, but Chris Hemsworth is expected to reprise Thor Odinson, which would make Thor 4 his ninth appearance as the character. Well, 10th depending on if Hemsworth will be part of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (remember, he left Earth with the team at the end of Avengers: Endgame after appointing Valkyrie as the new leader of New Asgard) and whether that threequel will come out before Thor 4.
Let’s also not forget that because Taika Waititi is helming Thor 4, that means there’s also a strong chance he’ll reprise Korg, the Kronan warrior who Thor met on Sakaar during Thor: Ragnarok. Korg and his mute buddy Miek briefly returned in Avengers: Endgame, but now that Thor 4 is moving forward, perhaps those two will have supporting roles once more.
Although Thor 4 is progressing fast enough to interfere with Akira’s production, because Taika Waititi is also writing the script, presumably that means it’ll be a while before cameras start rolling. Maybe Thor 4 could be ready in time for a late 2021 release, but I suspect Marvel will save it for 2022. Whatever the date ends up being, if Marvel announces its Phase 4 slate at San Diego Comic-Con this Saturday, you can be sure that Thor 4 will be part of that lineup.