Thor: Love and Thunder, filmmaker Taika Waititi’s followup to Thor: Ragnarok, will “double down” on that film’s vibrant outlandishness and go “bigger, bolder and brighter,” says Waititi. Ragnarok revamped the Shakespearean Thor (Chris Hemsworth), sending him on an off-planet adventure away from Midgard and bringing him to trash planet Sakaar, where he reunited with work friend Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). The threequel’s shift in tone and flavor was a response to Hemsworth growing bored of the Asgardian Avenger, and in Love and Thunder, Hemsworth is reunited with three-time franchise co-star Natalie Portman when Jane Foster comes to possess the mighty power of Thor.
“The next Thor film I’m doing, basically, we’re sort of launching ourselves again on this adventure film, really. That was the thing really that I loved about doing Ragnarok, it felt like we were just putting Thor on a really cool adventure,” Waititi told Entertainment Weekly, who named the Jojo Rabbit filmmaker one of their Entertainers of the Year. “There’s always like new things to see and do, and this one, I think we’re gonna double down a lot on that and have it bigger, bolder and brighter. There’s just gonna be some really crazy stuff in the film.”
In October, Waititi hinted Love and Thunder would take creative liberties when pulling from The Mighty Thor, the comic book where Thor’s longtime love interest Jane wielded Mjolnir while battling breast cancer.
“We’re not sure if we’re going to do a complete lift of that whole storyline. These things change through the shoot and even when we’re editing sometimes,” he told Variety. “Like, ‘Let’s get rid of that storyline where she’s got breast cancer. We’ll change it to something else, or maybe she’s fine.’”
Marvel Studios chief and producer Kevin Feige called that storyline “one of the best comic runs” of recent years.
“[Waititi] would flip through and read that run while he was doing Ragnarok. And I think when he agreed to come back and do another Thor, he was like, ‘How do we—?’ This is a very big movie that’ll be folding in a lot of elements,” Feige told CNN at San Diego Comic-Con in July, where Marvel announced Love and Thunder and Portman’s return. “That is a huge important part of it. He pitched it to us, and we were totally in. We loved it. We’d been in touch with Natalie. She’s part of the MCU family and we put she and Taika together. It took one meeting and she agreed to do it.”
Also joining Hemsworth and Portman in Love and Thunder is Tessa Thompson, who premiered as Valkyrie in Ragnarok before becoming the new leader of a now Earth-based Asgard in Avengers: Endgame.