The upcoming blockbuster Thor: Love and Thunder has been highly anticipated since it was announced all those years ago. The fourth film in the franchise continues directly on from the events of Avengers Endgame, and the film’s debut trailer has already teased what fans are going to see.
The first portion of the teaser shows “Fat Thor” working out in a training montage to lose his comical(?) weight, while also burying Stormbreaker, signifying the end of his fighting days.
Taika Waititi returns to direct Love and Thunder – obviously Marvel were pleased with how he handled Thor: Ragnarok – so fans can expect all sorts of chaotic galactic nonsense going on. But between the arrival of Zeus, Gorr the God Butcher and Thor’s awesome new gold armour, the trailer also debuted a new hero: Mighty Thor.
Mighty Thor, as she is known in the comic books, is played by Natalie Portman who is reprising her role as Jane Foster.
Jane has not been seen since the abhorrent second Thor movie (Thor: The Dark World) where she played a character with no real depth or purpose – not for lack of trying on Portman’s part.
After that, she was written out in a passing comment about how she dumped Thor (“I dumped her actually,” he replied).
I firmly believe Jane’s arrival is the end for Thor as we know him – and I couldn’t be happier.
The problem for me with Thor is that he has never had any stakes attached to his character. He is an immortal god prince of an ancient futuristic alien planet with no real struggles.
The Dark World tried to put Jane at risk by imbuing her with the Reality Stone (the Aether, at the time). But once she was saved, she was swiftly written out. Waititi made the best attempt in Ragnarok by taking away his legendary hammer, Mjolnir, destroyed by his long-lost sister, Hela. But it turned out he inexplicably had all the power he needed within him the entire time.
Avengers Infinity War had him lose the war against Thanos, launching him into the most interesting arc he has had yet. In Endgame he was overweight, depressed, and in need of a good chat with his mum (I mean, who amongst us doesn’t need that?)
The trailer for Love and Thunder makes it look like Thor has his life all figured out again. And that’s… not enticing.
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Thor gives up being a hero and, presumably, returns to hanging out with other immortal god-kings. Of course, this won’t last long, and Gorr the God Butcher will surely force him out of retirement.
But Gorr already feels like he has been thrown into the series just to shake Thor up a little bit. It all seems a little stretched thin.
Enter: Jane Foster – The Mighty Thor. A much better, more down-to-earth take on the superhero conundrum.
Jane’s comic book ThOrigins had her dealing with a more personal human battle: cancer. She not only had to take on the forces of evil with some other-worldly hammer, but she had to do it between chemotherapy sessions. While it has not yet been confirmed that this illness origin story will be used for Jane’s MCU return, Kevin Feige and Co would be silly not to utilise it.
Thor: Love and Thunder is the perfect opportunity for Marvel to (gently) kill off Thor – perhaps while saving the one person he’s ever really loved, Jane – while officially handing over the mantle of God of Thunder to Jane.
Hell, this outcome is even teased in the poster’s tagline: Thor: Love and Thunder – “The One and Only”. Not for long, Hemsworth.
Thor Odinson’s replacement would fit in with the changing state of the MCU at the moment.
Captain America was (finally!) taken over by Sam Wilson with Bucky at his side in Falcon and The Winter Soldier – but there is still work to be done.
There are still a disproportionate amount of men versus women in the Avengers’ lineup. But it’s improving, to be sure. Especially with all the new additions to the team.
Hawkeye has a new protege in Kate Bishop; Black Widow will likely be taken over officially by Yelena; She-Hulk is on her way to Disney Plus; Ms Marvel is around the corner, and Evie (Lady Loki) is around, somewhere.
Having the Mighty Thor join the Avengers for the next step of the universe’s big battle would be an incredible move for the series. And one that I hope happens by the end of Love and Thunder.
Thor: Love and Thunder hits cinemas on July 8.