As Thor Odinson nears his historic fourth solo venture, it may also mark the end of an era for long-standing Marvel star, Chris Hemsworth.
Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) from director Taika Waititi will arrive exclusively in movie theaters, imminently. The fourth entry in the Thor franchise succeeds Marvel Phase One’s Thor (2011), the widely-panned Thor: The Dark World (2013), and the cult favorite, Thor: Ragnarok (2017). It would be the latter that would reinvent the God of Asgard in Kevin Feige’s Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Waititi bringing a more colorful and punchy Avenger to the live-action superhero universe.
As Hemsworth reprises his role in Thor: Love and Thunder, so too will Natalie Portman as Jane Foster/Mighty Thor. Noticeably absent in Thor: Ragnarok, and only returning later in Avengers: Endgame (2019) via archival footage, the return of Portman as Mighty Thor may signal a change up for the future of the MCU. Likewise, Tessa Thompson is back as Valkyrie, the King of New Asgard, after entering the franchise in the last Thor feature.
Continuing the trajectory of the after of Thanos’ Blip, Thor will seemingly join forces with the Guardians of the Galaxy, foregoing his Earth-saving responsibilities until Christian Bale’s Gorr the God Butcher sees him return to the action. While there has been much speculation over the future of Hemsworth’s beloved Avenger, there hasn’t been any official word from The Walt Disney Company, Marvel Studios, or Hemsworth himself over how long his tenure as the God of Thunder will last.
Or has there?
Despite the Marvel studio confirming they have projects planned through 2032, the next decade will, of course, come with much change. After big anchor stars like Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man) and Chris Evans (Steve Rogers/Captain America) stepped away from the franchise, fans are certainly wondering how long other Phase One heroes will last. All signs point to Hemsworth exiting the MCU sooner rather than later.
Portman’s new Thor character offers a perfect replacement for Hemsworth’s original hero, as does Marvel’s priority of showcasing new characters and its setup of some kind of Avengers 5 or Young Avengers project. Now, Hemsworth has actively weighed in on the subject, stating that Thor: Love and Thunder may be his last. Speaking to Wired (via ComicBook), he said:
“Well the last [Marvel movie] I shot was ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ and it might be my last Marvel movie, I don’t know,” Hemsworth said during his Q&A with Wired. “It was a wild and fun and wacky experience, as all Taika Waititi movies are. Played that character for ten, eleven, years now, and each time it’s been new and exciting, and this was no exception to that. It felt very fresh and it felt like we were trying something we hadn’t tried before. I was, in Taika’s words, I think a wacky, wild, romantic comedy set in space.”
It was only recently that Hemsworth stated he only returned as Thor because of Waititi. Thor: Ragnarok saw a significant shift in the story-telling of a Thor movie, and Thor: Love and Thunder looks set to continue the trend. However, for how long? If Hemsworth will only play the role in a Waititi-helmed movie, then his future is inherently linked to the director — not to mention the longevity of his commitment and the years the actor has already dedicated to the role.
Hemsworth’s comments here, as well as the direction of Marvel Phase Four overall, could mean that it is the last time Marvel fans get to see the Australian actor in action as the God of Thunder.
Thor: Love and Thunder opens on July 8, 2022. It stars Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Natalie Portman (Jane Foster/Mighty Thor), Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie), Christian Bale (Gorr the God Butcher), Chris Pratt (Peter Quill/Star-Lord), Dave Bautista (Drax the Destroyer), Karen Gillan (Nebula), Pom Klementieff (Mantis), Bradley Cooper (Rocket Raccoon), Vin Diesel (Groot), Sean Gunn (Kraglin Obfonteri), Jeff Goldblum (Grandmaster), Taika Waititi (Korg), Jaimie Alexander (Lady Sif), and Russell Crowe as Zeus.
Matt Damon, Luke Hemsworth, Sam Neill, and Melissa McCarthy will also star as actor versions of the characters, Loki, Thor, Odin, and Hela, respectively.
Do you think Chris Hemsworth may step down as Thor? Let us know in the comments down below!