A fourth Thor movie was confirmed to be on its way when a report revealed that Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi would return to write and direct the next installment. This makes Thor the first of the original Avengers heroes to get a fourth movie, with Iron Man and Captain America both concluding their trilogies at three a piece. Still, ahead of San Diego Comic-Con, one question remains: When will Thor 4 hit theaters?
Marvel Studios has a series of flags planted on release dates for the next few years: May 1, 2020, November 6, 2020, February 12, 2021, May 7, 2021, November 5, 2021, February 18, 2022, May 6, 2022, and July 29, 2022. The titles of films slated for each of those dates have yet to be revealed, though Black Widow is all but a sure thing for May 1, 2020. Meanwhile, Shang-Chi and The Eternals are expected to fill the November 6, 2020 and February 12, 2021 dates -- with official comments from Marvel Studios expected from the studio's SDCC panel in Hall H on Saturday.
The next dates in line are May 7, 2021 and November 5, 2021. Both seem like a rapid turn around for a film which only signed its writer and director recently but they might not be as unrealistic as one might suspect.
Waititi's original plan was to helm an Akira movie with Warner Bros.. The film saw a slight delay when script issues pushed production back a bit, ultimately prompting Waititi to put the film indefinitely on hold, in favor of the fourth Thor movie. This seems to indicate that Thor 4 was closer to production than anyone was aware of. Sequels to movies like Black Panther, Doctor Strange, and Captain Marvel are expected but May release dates are typically reserved for Marvel's biggest, surefire blockbusters.
Originally, the May 2020 movie was going to be Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 but a debacle involving firing the director James Gunn and re-hiring him pushed the film back until he is done with The Suicide Squad, replacing the date with Black Widow. Of the aforementioned trio of sequel options, only Black Panther seems to be of the caliber of a May release for Marvel Studios if they're having their way, but Thor is one of the most popular, longest-running MCU character remaining. It's unlikely but not impossible the movie arrives as early as May 7, 2021.
Somewhat more feasible is November 5, 2021. Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok both released in November, so Chris Hemsworth's character is no stranger to the weeks ahead of Thanksgiving.
Depending on how quickly Gunn and company can shift gears from DC and back to Marvel, it's possible his Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 which already has a completed script gets fast-tracked for May of 2021, leaving Thor 4 the May 6 of 2022 spot and plenty of time for pre-production. However, this date being further out means it would have been less likely to interfere with Waititi's Akira movie.
One thing is for sure: all will be revealed on Saturday when all eyes are on Marvel Studios at San Diego Comic-Con at 5:15pm PT. I'll be in Hall H, delivering live updates on ComicBook.com, as well as Instagram and Twitter.
Leave your release date prediction for Thor 4 in the comment section!