The Marvel Cinematic Universe may be an ever-expanding world, but following the events of Avengers: Endgame, the team of superheroes are down a few members. We’re still processing the deaths of Iron Man and Black Widow over here, as well as the now-elderly Captain America being done with the superhero life. Did that really just happen? The summer hit was all about ending an era for the original Marvel heroes who first came together in 2012’s The Avengers.
Avengers: Endgame writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely said they could have easily had a “bloodbath” for the founding six Avengers if they wanted to. But, they chose to bring a little hope to the movie by leaving Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk, Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye and Chris Hemsworth’s Thor around. Sure, we know Hemsworth is returning for Taika Waititi’s Love and Thunder and Renner for his own Disney+ series, but concluding their arcs in a satisfying way was key. In Markus’ words:
It’s not necessarily that we knew they’d get more stories, it’s just that…Thor has sacrificed and sacrificed and lost and lost. It’s not a good ending to kill him. To have him finally, reasonably content with himself—and with his current weight.
Of the bunch, Chris Hemsworth's Asgardian hero had one of the most physically transformative five years since Thanos’ snap. Since he was the closest to the Avengers’ greatest adversary before he killed off half the universe, Thor really took it to heart when they lost. It left him completely wallowing in his own self pity – going to guacamole and beer as his vices. As the writers told Vanity Fair, in order for his arc to be satisfying, he needed to be able to come up from it by the end. Christopher Markus continued:
By the way… there were some people who were like, 'No, he has to magically lose weight.' [Laughs.] That was one of those sobering moments on set where some people were afraid. He’s going to put on the fat suit, and he comes out and basically looks like everybody on the crew. That’s not a fat suit! That’s a normal-person suit! But Thor was resolved. There’s a joy in letting him go off aimlessly into the ends of the universe.
Originally, there was a vision that by the time Captain America says “Avengers Assemble,” Thor would go back to his buff self. Thankfully, Avengers: Endgame went for the more realistic option. And there’s something refreshing about seeing an emotionally broken hero without a model’s physique be a part of the Avengers and still kick butt. It leaves some intrigue for the character going into the next film too! What will his role be going forward?
Taika Waititi has been silent about how we’ll reunite with Chris Hemsworth’s character with 2021’s Thor: Love and Thunder. The writer/director has said it’s an ongoing conversation he’s having with Marvel about how much time to let pass between Endgame Thor and the one we’ll see in the fourth movie. But we do know he’ll be joined by Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie and Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster, the latter of whom will come back to play The Mighty Thor.
Check out Marvel’s upcoming slate of films with our official guide to MCU’s Phase 4 and 5!