Two mighty Thors. The reunion of the Asgardians of the Galaxy. Flying Norse space goats named Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder. And Chris Hemsworth's bare butt. That's just some of the craziness director Taika Waititi brings to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Thor: Love and Thunder, the fourth Thor movie thundering into theaters on July 8. The Jojo Rabbit and What We Do in the Shadows director returns to Marvel for his follow-up to 2017's cosmic road trip Thor: Ragnarok — and like the God of Thunder baring it all before Russell Crowe's Greek god Zeus, Waititi isn't holding anything back.
"It was Taika at his craziest. Taika, normally, is kind of at an 11, so you can do the math there," Hemsworth told Australia's TODAY. "He described it as like he'd been given the keys to the kingdom, and someone said, 'Here, if a seven year old was making a movie, what would you do?' He said, 'Well, I want to put this in it. I want to do this. I want to try this.' And everything he suggested, I said yes to, and then we had this insane film in front of us."
Hemsworth added the Thor fourquel has "all the fun, and humor, and whackiness that all of Taika's films have," but with "a great love story in the center of it. There's a lot of heart, and some incredible Marvel action, as you can imagine."
After Ragnarok excluded Natalie Portman, who portrayed astrophysicist Jane Foster of Midgard in 2011's Thor and 2013's Thor: The Dark World, Portman will return to adapt the MCU's version of The Mighty Thor comic book storyline that transformed the mortal Jane into the goddess of thunder.
"What I didn't want to do is just make Ragnarok again, because that's been done," Waititi previously told EW. "I needed to do something more interesting for myself to keep the whole thing ignited and to make sure that I'm feeling creatively stimulated. I thought, What's the least expected thing with this franchise?"
"Ragnarok felt a bit like a party," he explained. "It was quite festive. This one is still fun, and it's got moments of being over the top, but thematically, it's about something a bit deeper than the last film. It's not a serious film, and it's not a drama, but we do deal with ideas that I think a lot of humans deal with — universal themes about love and loss and our place in the world. Everyone sort of asks this question in the film: What is your purpose? What is the reason that you're a hero, and what do you do when you have these powers?"
Waititi continued, "It's sort of like a midlife crisis film, really. That's the question we ask everyone: Are we doing the right thing, and are we doing all we can in the world? I think right now, while the world is still healing from this pandemic, it's a good question to ask. It's like, well, are we doing enough to look after each other and to look after ourselves?"
Starring Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale, Tessa Thompson, Taika Waititi, Russell Crowe as Zeus, Jaimie Alexander as Sif, and Chris Pratt, Karen Gillan, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Sean Gunn, Vin Diesel, and Bradley Cooper as the Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel Studios' Thor: Love and Thunder opens only in theaters July 8.