With the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder, the God of Thunder is going somewhere no one in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has ever gone before. Not Iron Man. Not Captain America. No one. Thor is now the first MCU character to have their very own fourth solo film and, as such, it marks not just a long evolution of the character, but even possibly a hint at the future.
“There are these things called comic books that have a lot of stories in them,” Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said in a recent press conference attended by io9. “And that’s where all of our stories come from. And if the question [is], ‘Have you told all the great Thor stories from the comics and movies?’, the answer is no. There are lots of them. And I’ve always said our interest in making additional stories is somewhat about continuing the character, [but] it’s almost entirely about continuing the experience with the actor... I think of all of our cast not as their individual characters, but as the Marvel players who within that character can grow and evolve and change. And if we look at the comics as our guide, there are plenty of other incarnations of Thor that we have that we have yet to see.”
To see what Feige is talking about in the present, one doesn’t have to look far. Thor: Love and Thunder famously draws from the very popular Mighty Thor comic book storyline by Jason Aaron, which introduced Jane Foster as Thor. The quote also suggests if there are future Thor films, the storylines are just sitting there in comics waiting to be discovered. And if that happens, Chris Hemsworth is ready to continue to grow with the character, just as Feige said.
“[Director Taika Waititi] brought out the immature young adolescent quality that I embody, and so does Thor now, which he didn’t in the original films, which was exciting and new and fresh,” Hemsworth said. “Always this sort of North Star is about having fun—embodying this space as a child who had been enjoying all of it, and being caught up in the wonder and the fascination of all of it, and not getting bogged down in the serious sort of nature that we can when making films. Personally with these kind of films, it’s got to be fun. And that’s what we’ve done. That’s what I related to. That’s what Taika has kind of insisted upon, and it’s been fun.”
The challenge, of course, then becomes surprising the audience each time. Thor: Ragnarok, Waititi’s first Thor film, certainly did that with a level of humor and levity fans were surprised and delighted by. Love and Thunder aims to do the same by taking that humor and using it for a more emotional, romantic tale. Hemsworth thinks keeping the stories fresh has been the biggest challenge.
“[Thor] has changed so dramatically over the years as I have, and that’s what’s been kind of fun—as the character has evolved and I’ve had different opinions, I’ve sort of melded and crossed paths and so on,” he said. “The origin story is, I think, not the easiest, but it’s the most obvious one. There’s a sort of set of rules and guidelines I feel like you have to sort of stick to and it works and it’s familiar and relatable for people. After that is the challenge. How do you recreate the character? What can you do different each time? And that’s been the luxury working with different directors and different casts and they all bring out something very different in you. As Taika said, I feel like the characters have probably become more me over the years and in, I hope, a fun way.”
Will the fun continue after Thor: Love and Thunder? How could it possibly? The film has the answers and you can see it on July 8.
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