What Does the Thor: Love and Thunder Release Date Mean for the Asgardians of the Galaxy?

After a monstrous success in Thor: Ragnarok, Marvel Studios was quick to push the fourth Thor into development, making it the first solo franchise in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to reach the milestone. News had surfaced through the Hollywood trades earlier in the week that Taika Waititi would be returning to helm the movie, though a release date wasn't available at the time. Then without the slightest of warning, Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige dropped the bombshell at San Diego Comic-Con that Thor: Love and Thunder would be entering theaters November 2021.

The news makes most MCU ecstatic to see Thor 4, but the question needs to be asked: what happens to Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy? After all, the last thing we knew was that the God of Thunder had joined the team as they were set to traverse the cosmos presumably in search of a time-traveling Gamora. With Thor: Love and Thunder being expedited to 2021, well ahead of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, it makes it pretty evident the character leaves the group by the next time we see him on screen — right?

That said — there could be a situation where Thor (Chris Hemsworth) takes a backseat in Love and Thunder. Also at the Hall H panel, we found out Natalie Portman would be returning to the franchise as Jane Foster who, through some form of magic, will become the Mighty Thor, Goddess of Thunder. Because of that, what if Love and Thunder focused on Foster and Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) while Thor continued his adventures with the Guardians of the Galaxy, stopping in now and again — perhaps a major third-act battle?

Thanks to the magic of moving to non-linear storytelling, it's also entirely possible James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will take place entirely before the events of Thor: Love and Thunder, despite being released sometime later. It'd add another layer of complexity of the timeline of the MCU — though it would be a way for the "Asgardians of the Galaxy," as Thor called them in Endgame, to stick together.

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Thor: Love and Thunder is set for release on November 5, 2021. Other upcoming Marvel Studios projects include Black Widow on May 1, 2020, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier in fall 2020, The Eternals on November 6, 2020, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on February 12, 2021, WandaVision in spring 2021, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 7, 2021, What If? In summer 2021, Hawkeye in fall 2021, and Blade.

Do you think we'll ever see Thor and the Guardians back together again? Why or why not? Share your thoughts in the comments below or by tweeting me at @AdamBarnhardt!