The Thor franchise has had a fascinating life in theaters. While the original movie by Kenneth Branagh dated back to Phase One of the MCU, the God of Thunder's solo flicks weren't the most beloved additions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But all that changed with Thor: Ragnarok. Director Taika Waititi breathed fresh life into the Thor franchise, infusing it with more colorful characters and quirky comedy.
This change really resonated with audiences, and Thor: Ragnarok became a massive critical and box office success. The campaign for another sequel quickly began, and Taika Waititi will break new ground for the MCU as Thor will be the first hero with a fourth solo movie. Waititi was recently trolled a bit on Twitter, where a Marvel fan urged him to skip the comedy for Thor: Love and Thunder. His response was killer, check it out:
Mic drop. It looks like Taika Waititi is bringing the same sensibility and humor to Thor: Love and Thunder. And he's all too happy to make this announcement via social media.
Taika Waititi's tweet is just the latest time the director/writer used social media to directly communicate with the fandom. The Jojo Rabbit director regularly uses Twitter to respond to moviegoers, especially if they tag him. That's what the above user did when complaining about the quality of Ragnarok, and Waititi's penchant for comedy. And the director was all too happy to put him in his place.
Of course, the above tweet directed at Taika Waititi seems to be the minority in this situation. The ample use of comedy throughout Thor: Ragnarok is what set it apart from its predecessors, and helped to make the movie a fan favorite. Chris Hemsworth himself stated that the threequel felt different, and gave him a renewed passion over his signature Marvel character. Ragnarok's release was quickly followed by discussions of a possible fourth movie among the fandom.
Thor: Ragnarok's change of tone started immediately, with the title character self-narrating and poking fun at the villainous Surtur. Taika Waititi then jettisoned the God of Thunder into space, stranding him on the garbage planet of Sakaar to meet a quirky cast of cosmic characters. Jeff Golblum's Grandmaster and Taika Waititi's Korg were both scene stealers, allowing Chris Hemsworth to stretch his comedic muscles.
Narratively, Taika Waititi can seemingly go anywhere in Thor: Love and Thunder. In addition to the changes he personally made to the title character in Ragnarok, the God of Thunder went through a major emotional arc during Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame. Waititi already blew apart Asgard and the Warriors Three, and his superhero is even further removed from his original roots.
Thor: Ragnarok saw the destruction of the title character's home, as well as the death of his father Odin, played by Anthony Hopkins. But before the character could truly react to these seismic changes, Thanos set upon the fleeing ships, leading directly into to the first scene of Infinity War. The Russos' first Avengers movie saw the death of both Heimdall and Loki, with Thor teaming up with Guardians Groot and Rocket to get a weapon capable of murdering Thanos.
Unfortunately, Thor famously didn't go for the head. And because of this, the God of Thunder suffered the biggest loss in his superhero career. He was left to watch in horror as half of all life vanished, and not even decapitating the Mad Titan could help ease his inner turmoil and guilt.
Avengers: Endgame contained a five year time jump, which revealed a major change in Thor's mental and physical state. The guilt and self-loathing over his brief battle with Thanos ruled his life, resulting in Thor basically going into hiding at his place on New Asgard. He began self-medicating through drinking copious amounts of booze, gaining a ton of weight and being given the name "Bro Thor".
Endgame helped Thor work through that grief and self-loathing, largely through the second act's epic Time Heist. After going to Asgard during the time of Thor: The Dark World, Chris Hemsworth's signature Avenger was able to speak to his mother Frigga (Rene Russo). She gave Thor the pep talk he needed, and the realization that he still needed to find out who he truly was.
Thor left for space to find out onboard the Guardians' ship The Benatar, bickering with Star-Lord about who the captain of the ship is. It should be interesting to see if the Guardians factor into the story of Thor: Love and Thunder, hopefully making a cameo of some sort. We should also assume that cosmic settings will have a focus on the fourth movie, especially with Jeff Goldblum's Grandmaster likely returning to the franchise.
Then again, Taika Waititi has also convinced Natalie Portman's Jane Foster to rejoin the property, so small money says Earth will be at least one stop during Love and Thunder's runtime. It's unclear how Jane will become part of the story, but she'll be granted the powers of Mighty Thor in the process. Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie will also return, after becoming King of New Asgard and while looking for her Queen.
Smart money says Korg has a major role in Thor: Love and Thunder as well. His friendship with the God of Thunder really picked up during Endgame's time jump. Because in addition to hanging out all the time and playing Fortnite, it seems the two behemoth characters were actually roommates of New Asgard. Taika Waititi's quirky character even participated in the finale battle in Endgame, and is shown teaming up with Drax to take on Thanos' forces.
Taika Waititi should expect more colorful tweets coming his way with the upcoming release of Jojo Rabbit, where the director is acting as an imaginary friend version of Hitler. And with Thor: Love and Thunder also being developed, there's going to be plenty of Marvel fans tweeting Waititi about the upcoming sequel.
Thor: Love and Thunder will arrive in theaters on November 5th, 2021. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.