After a few so-so Thor movies, Chris Hemsworth Ragnarok-ed our socks off by teaming up with director Taika Waititi back in 2017. The results were space operatic, fist-pumping fun, and the Avengers saga released in between only gave us more reasons to root for the buff Asgardian god.
So what should we expect from the upcoming sequel Thor: Love and Thunder? Raise your mighty hammer to the sky and scroll to find out the 13 most pivotal behind-the-scenes details—everything you’d possibly need to know about the impressive cast and bizarre inclusions from the original Marvel comics.
1. Waititi wanted a romantic, 80s-inspired sequel to Ragnarok
Taika Waititi’s first run in the MCU was widely beloved, introducing an irreverent new tone of slacker comedy to the mega-franchise. But he’s trying to something slightly different with this sequel, decking Thor out in a ratbag 80s-style vest and sprinkling love all over Asgard. Visual touchstones for the new movie include airbrush art on Venice Beach, Mills & Boon covers, and films like Beastmaster.
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As you’ll find out below, both Thor’s ex-girlfriend Jane and his right-hand woman Valkyrie could be looking for romance, and the family-oriented Thor might find that true love is what finally gives him a purpose in the post-Thanos world.
2. The director will also be back as Korg, who’ll experience a lotta thunder but no love
Waititi’s chill vocal performance as outer space rock warrior Korg narrates the newest trailer above, explaining how Thor goes from “dad bod to god bod”. Much like Valkyrie’s new buddy Miek, he’s a fan favourite, and an obvious returning pal for the new film.
The director did outline, though, that Korg is not particularly enjoying the final word of the film’s title: according to an Instagram live chat, the character was “deeply in love and lost that love along the line…he doesn’t feel brave enough to find love again.”
3. The cast has five Oscar winners and two Oscar nominees
Newbies Christian Bale and Russell Crowe (playing the god Zeus with a Greek accent) bring the movie’s star status up a few notches, adding to Matt Damon and Taika Waititi’s screenwriting Oscars and Natalie Portman’s win for Black Swan.
Bradley Cooper, who’ll voice Rocket Racoon in his short scenes, and Melissa McCarthy are also nominees. She’s said to play a pantomime version of Hela, alongside Sam Neill and Damon as Actor Odin and Actor Loki.
4. The film was about to have a Kate Bush dance party scene
According to Christian Bale, a dance sequence featuring Kate Bush’s music was cut from #ThorLoveAndThunder: “Taika and I wanted to do a whole dance, which we didn’t get to do, but we had all this sort of Kate Bush stuff that we worked at.”
Writer Jason Aaron’s run in the Thor mythology was highly celebrated, in particular for two long-running yet separate plots. The first involves Thor’s crisis of faith after encountering Gorr the God Butcher; the second revolves around Jane Foster, who is given Mjolnir whilst recovering from breast cancer. For an almighty, heartstring-tugging wallop, the fourth Thor film will include both stories, picking and choosing the best bits from each.
6. Chris Hemsworth is flaunting his biggest physique yet
It’s old mate Hemsworth’s eighth time playing Thor onscreen, and he’s certainly bounced back from the pudgy Thor we saw in Avengers: Endgame. At 105 kilos, Hemsworth had to eat at least eight times a day to maintain this peak state of his muscle mass.
Hemsworth’s longtime trainer Luke Zocchi confirmed the achievement: “He is in phenomenal nick. He’s the biggest he has ever been. He’s the heaviest he’s ever been.”
7. This reintroduction to Natalie Portman’s Jane might also be our farewell
The celebrated dramatic actor hasn’t seemed super enthusiastic about her place in the Marvel universe, and was only coaxed back to playing love interest and scientist Jane Foster by Waititi giving her “license to be adventurous and fun and funny.”
Now buff as hell and wielding Mjolnir, eight years seven months and six days after her break-up with the Asgardian thunder god, Jane has newfound power—it might be enough to get her through what could be a life-threatening illness. We’re excited to see Portman back, but we’re not holding our breath that she’ll pop up in too many other MCU titles.
“So this is my vow: all gods will die.” We mostly see Christian Bale’s ghostly Gorr the God Butcher in tones of black and grey, bringing an eerie sensibility to the otherwise brightly-lit trailer. Ever since Bale played another dark avenger (albeit for DC), he’s apparently been so disinterested in superhero cinema that he didn’t even know what the term “MCU” was (pfft, come on buddy).
But, given free reign to adopt such influences as Aphex Twin and Nosferatu, Bale was brought on board, and should prove formidable to Thor, the Mighty Thor, and their various buddies.
9. Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie is looking for a bride
The MCU’s first openly bi character, Valkyrie was left to look after a small town in Norway known as New Asgard. Hints from Love and Thunder show that she’s pretty damn sick of the ho-hum admin by now. More exciting than that is her goal of finding a wife, a fellow queen who can rule the Valkyries beside her.
There aren’t many characters out there that are a strong enough match for Thompson’s badass warrior, but fans have long called for her to hook up with Captain Marvel. You never know…
10. Baa! Thor’s goats Toothgrinder and Toothgnasher will appear
The huge cloven beasties you see pulling Thor’s space-sled in the trailer are called Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr, or Toothgrinder and Toothgnasher in modern English. In Norse mythology and in the Marvel comics canon, they transport Thor and any of his guests when flying by his hammer Stormbreaker just won’t cut it. And they’re so cute!! Wouldst thou like to live deliciously, Chris Hemsworth?
11. Just when you thought it was safe to go into outer space…Space Sharks!
Early on in the Ragnarok sequel’s development process, Waititi promised “to make the film as if 10-year-olds told us what should be in a movie and we said yes to every single thing.” And the mythic alien race of Space Sharks are just what a hyped-up nerdy child would think of: flying galactic fish baddies, long feared as part of the stony culture from which Korg originates. We better get a sick intergalactic Jaws reference or two.
12. But it’s unclear whether Loki (or some variant of him) will show up or not
Tom Hiddleston’s meddling trickster god Loki has had one of the MCU’s most complex trajectories, going from villain to anti-hero and alive to dead every few years or so. As fans of the Marvel series Loki will know, there are countless versions of the cheeky lad across time and space, so it’s not out of the question that he (or even his female counterpart Sylvie) could stop by in the new Thor film.
We do know that Hiddleston isn’t listed in the cast currently—perhaps he’s being saved for some mid-credits shenanigans.
Thor saw himself as the new leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy by the end of the last Avengers saga, much to Starlord’s chagrin. But the trailer doesn’t give us much of the universe-hopping misfits, suggesting that they’ll only hang out for some segment of the film.
Guardians director James Gunn and Waititi swapped scripts for their upcoming franchise entries, making some adjustments here and there so that the upcoming Volume 3 makes canonical sense: we should expect a neat little sneak preview of just what Drax, Gamora and the gang will get up to.