Soon the Asgardians of the Galaxy will return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And while there is no sign of an official trailer just yet, despite its July release, Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) is on a lot of Marvel fans’ minds.
After Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022) debuts on May 6, all eyes will be on the fourth Thor movie, and if you want to make sure you’re fully prepared for its release, check out this full guide of what MCU movies and TV shows to watch!
Thor: Love and Thunder
What is Thor: Love and Thunder?
Thor: Love and Thunder is the fourth movie in Marvel Studios’ Thor franchise. The Asgardian God of Thunder first arrived in the Kevin Feige’s MCU in Thor (2011) from director Kenneth Branagh, and two sequels, Thor: The Dark World (2013) and Thor: Ragnarok (2017), helmed by Alan Taylor and Taika Waititi, respectively.
Love and Thunder is intended to carry on the story of Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and the Guardians of the Galaxy — Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Groot (Vin Diesel), Mantis (Pom Klementieff), Kraglin Obfonteri (Sean Gunn), and Nebula (Karen Gillan) — after the earth-altering effects of Avengers: Endgame (2019).
Who is in the cast of Thor: Love and Thunder?
Chris Hemsworth leads the cast as the Avenger Thor; back for his eighth feature film in the MCU. Hemsworth will be joined by Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie), Natalie Portman (Jane Foster/Mighty Thor), Christian Bale (Gorr the God Butcher), and Jaimie Alexander (Sif), in addition to the aforementioned Guardians of the Galaxy from James Gunn’s franchise of the same name.
Additionally, Jeff Goldblum and director Taika Waititi return as their Thor: Ragnarok characters, the Grandmaster and Kronan gladiator, Korg. For actor/character cameos, which are a long-standing tradition in the Thor Marvel movies, Sam Neill, Matt Damon, and Luke Hemsworth are slated to return as their Asgardian actor versions of Odin, Loki, and Thor, respectively.
Likewise, Melissa McCarthy will appear as a version of Hela (portrayed by Cate Blanchett in Ragnarok) along with her husband Ben Falcone in an undisclosed role. Russell Crowe is starring as Zeus, although in what capacity is unknown, and Jenny Morris and Simon Russell Beale will reportedly feature in the Marvel movie, again in currently undisclosed roles.
What movies to watch before seeing Thor: Love and Thunder?
The first Thor movie featured a slightly different version of Hemsworth’s character than audiences will have found in the last few years. A rather stoic, wooden God of Thunder can be seen in this freshman outing for the Marvel Comics character, which finds Thor attempting to return to Asgard after his father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins), banishes him to Earth with his hammer, Mjolnir. He crosses paths with Jane Foster, Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings), and Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård).
As Marvel summarises:
As the son of Odin, king of the Norse gods, Thor will soon inherit the throne of Asgard from his aging father. However, on the day that he is to be crowned, Thor reacts with brutality when the gods’ enemies, the Frost Giants, enter the palace in violation of their treaty. As punishment, Odin banishes Thor to Earth. While Loki, Thor’s brother, plots mischief in Asgard, Thor, now stripped of his powers, faces his greatest threat.
Thor: The Dark World
The much-hated sequel to Thor arrived two years later, taking place after the events of Joss Whedon’s The Avengers (2012).
Marvel describes the Marvel movie:
In the aftermath of Marvel’s “Thor” and “Marvel’s The Avengers,” Thor fights to restore order across the cosmos…but an ancient race led by the vengeful Malekith returns to plunge the universe back into darkness. Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all.
One of the most beloved and acclaimed Marvel films is Thor: Ragnarok. The movie brings Hemsworth’s Thor together with Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in order to stop Ragnarok: the destruction of Asgard.
Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok—the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization—at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger—the Incredible Hulk!
While the Thor movies are a must, the MCU is so intricate that the blockbuster team-up films in the Avengers franchise are must-watches. You can find summaries below!
The Avengers (2012)
Marvel Studios presents in association with Paramount Pictures “Marvel’s The Avengers”–the super hero team up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel super heroes Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins.
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Marvel Studios presents “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” the epic follow-up to the biggest Super Hero movie of all time. When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to the Avengers to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for an epic and unique global adventure.
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
An unprecedented cinematic journey ten years in the making and spanning the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Infinity War” brings to the screen the ultimate, deadliest showdown of all time. As the Avengers and their allies have continued to protect the world from threats too large for any one hero to handle, a new danger has emerged from the cosmic shadows: Thanos.
A despot of intergalactic infamy, his goal is to collect all six Infinity Stones, artifacts of unimaginable power, and use them to inflict his twisted will on all of reality. Everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment – the fate of Earth and existence itself has never been more uncertain.
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
The grave course of events set in motion by Thanos that wiped out half the universe and fractured the Avengers ranks compels the remaining Avengers to take one final stand in Marvel Studios’ grand conclusion to twenty-two films, “Avengers: Endgame.”
Guardians of the Galaxy movies
With Thor: Love and Thunder seemingly featuring a large crossover of both the Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy franchises, characters from the latter are likely to be searching for Gamora (Zoe Saldaña); it seems pertinent to refresh on the misfit crew’s movies too. Note that the Guardians also turn up in the Russo Brothers’ Infinity War conclusion, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame.
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe.
Set to the backdrop of ‘Awesome Mixtape #2,’ Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand.
What TV shows to watch before seeing Thor: Love and Thunder?
While there are no specific television shows out of Marvel Phase Four so far that directly link to Thor: Love and Thunder, for those wanting a more well-rounded look at Thor’s brother, Loki, and a deeper interaction with the Marvel Multiverse, then Loki from Michael Waldron and Kate Herron, and AC Bradley’s animated series, What If…? are good to watch.
In Marvel Studios’ “Loki,” the mercurial villain Loki (Tom Hiddleston) resumes his role as the God of Mischief in a new series that takes place after the events of “Avengers: Endgame.” Kate Herron directs and Michael Waldron is head writer. Debuts on Disney+ in June 9, 2021.
“What If…?” flips the script on the MCU, reimagining famous events from the films in unexpected ways. Marvel Studios’ first animated series focuses on different heroes from the MCU, featuring a voice cast that includes a host of stars who reprise their roles. Directed by Bryan Andrews with AC Bradley as head writer, “What If…?” launches exclusively on Disney+ on August 11, 2021.
Hopefully, an official trailer for the highly-anticipated Marvel film will release soon! Thor: Love and Thunder is set for release on July 8, 2022.
Are you looking forward to Thor: Love and Thunder?