After the reality-shattering events of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is set to evolve the franchise in some very specific ways. While the exact schedule of that recently changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still plenty of projects that fans are looking forward to -- including Thor: Love and Thunder. The film - which will be the fourth solo journey for Chris Hemsworth's God of Thunder - has quite a lot of mystery surrounding it -- something that writer-director Taika Waititi recently poked fun at. During a recent Instagram Live watch party of Thor: Ragnarok, Waititi shared a fake script page for Love and Thunder, which imagines a hilarious scene between Thor and the inexplicably-resurrected Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.).
Anyone who takes a second to look at the script page can probably deduce that it isn't real, from Tony explaining away his resurrection with "Science." before remarking that "everyone who died is coming back" and the team will now be known as "The Avengererers." Although we have to admit, the mental image of an Iron Man suit covered with decals of "all the flags of every nation on Earth" is pretty fantastic.
In reality, Downey is not expected to portray Tony Stark again, as the actor has remarked that he thinks that chapter in his life is over.
"To me, starting up again is off the table. I feel like I've done all I could with that character. There would have to be a super compelling argument and a series of events that made it obvious," Downey said of the possibility of a return earlier this year. "But the other thing is, I wanna do other stuff."
The real Love and Thunder is expected to take the MCU in a completely different direction, namely with Natalie Portman returning as Jane Foster, who will officially suit up as The Mighty Thor as she has in the comics.
"[Taika] would flip through and read that run while he was doing Ragnarok." Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige revealed in an interview last year. "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. That is a hugely 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."
The film will also see the return of Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, who will be searching for a queen to rule alongside her in Asgard. Christian Bale has also reportedly been cast as the film's villain.
Thor: Love and Thunder is set to be released on February 18, 2022.