'Thor 4' Release Date, Plot, Cast, Lady Thor, and More in Marvel's Phase 4
Chris Hemsworth isn’t done making Marvel movies yet, because Marvel Studios revealed Thor: Love and Thunder on Saturday during San Diego Comic-Con. Valkyrie returns as the king of New Asgard and Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster will somehow become lady Thor, assuming the god of thunder’s powers for herself. We’re in for a thunderous ride.
There wasn’t a single wasted minute during Marvel’s San Diego Comic-Con 2019 presentation on July 20, and for many of us, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige presenting the fourth Thor film was a highlight. Plenty of juicy Thor 4 details were announced, including a title of Thor: Love and Thunder, all mere days after Taika Waititi was reportedly confirmed as the director.
Here’s everything we know so far about Thor: Love and Thunder, including the release date (it’s closer than you think!), the plot, returning cast members, all the crossover potential with other stories, and so much more.
What Does “Thor: Love and Thunder” Mean?
“Love and Thunder” seems like a unique subtitle with no comics precedent that riffs on the movie’s themes.
“Love” must reference Jane and Thor’s romantic history, but also how Valkyrie is ready to open her heart to a new partner who could help her rule New Asgard (aw!). “As new king, she needs to find her queen,” Valkyrie actress Tessa Thompson said during the panel. “That will be her first order of business. She has some ideas. Keep you posted.”
In an interview with i09, Kevin Feige confirmed that the film would include a “LGBTQ storyline.” Do Valkyrie and Jane Foster fall in love? Or is there a new woman Valkyrie pines for?
“Thunder” obviously references Thor’s status and powers as the god of thunder — powers that will seemingly pass over to Jane Foster during the film. But it also could reference the potentially stormy reunion between the Avenger and his former lady love will, as it’s been years since their last face-to-face.
When Will Thor: Love and Thunder Be Released?
Thor: Love and Thunder — the fourth overall Thor movie — will be released on November 5, 2021 to seemingly end Phase Four. It’ll be the fifth feature film to debut during Phase Four, but several Disney+ shows will also be released before. As such, there’s a lot that’ll happen in the MCU between now and when this film is finally released.
Who Is Directing Thor: Love and Thunder?
The Hollywood Reporter confirmed Taika Waititi would direct Thor: Love and Thunder just days before he appeared onstage for SDCC 2019. This is Waititi’s second time playing in the Thor sandbox; he directed 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok.
Waititi is quickly becoming a favorite with studios under the Disney umbrella. For Marvel Studios, Waititi will direct the fourth Thor film and he’ll reprise his Ragnarok character Korg for the forthcoming What If…? Disney+ series. For Lucasfilm, Waititi is also directing the eighth episode of The Mandalorian, per his IMDb. And finally, through Fox (now a member of the Disney family thanks to a merger back in March) Waititi will release Jojo Rabbit, a satire about a young boy living in World War II Germany who discovers his mother is helping his Jews from the Nazis.
He also voices a character in Rick and Morty Season 4, making Waititi a high profile figure in the nerdscape.
Which Thor Cast Members Will Return?
No new cast members have been announced yet, leaving the spotlight to focus solely on who is returning. As confirmed during Marvel’s SDCC 2019 presentation, the returning cast members are:
- Natalie Portman as “Jane Foster”
- Chris Hemsworth as “Thor”
- Tessa Thompson as “Valkyrie”
It’s been a hot, hot minute since Jane had a meaningful amount of MCU screentime (her extremely brief screentime in Avengers: Endgame is arguably inconsequential) in Thor: The Dark World. We don’t know how large of a role Hemsworth will have as Thor if Jane takes over as the God of Thunder, but it’ll be fun to see him no matter what. Thompson confirmed Valkyrie will be the first openly queer MCU hero now that she is King of New Asgard and looking for a queen.
What Is the Plot of Thor: Love and Thunder?
No official synopsis for Love and Thunder has been released yet — but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a sense of where the story is headed.
In the Marvel Comics, Jane becomes Thor during a four-year arc titled The Mighty Thor, by Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman, which ran from 2014 to 2018 (she was briefly Thor in a 1978 “What If?” storyline but that didn’t go anywhere). Waititi specifically mentioned being a fan of Aaron and Dauterman’s Mighty Thor comic implying one of the stories from the run could serve as the basis for Love and Thunder. Considering this is the first time Jane will assume the mantle in the MCU, Waititi will likely adapt the earliest parts of Mighty Thor’s story.
Where in the MCU Timeline Does Thor: Love and Thunder Occur?
Most Phase Four films will seemingly take place after Avengers: Endgame with the exception of Black Widow. With Mjolnir destroyed in the current timeline, it raises some questions about when Love and Thunder happens. Doesn’t Lady Thor need Mjolnir? Or will she simply wield Stormbreaker? And if Valkyrie is king now, and Stormbreaker is a “king’s weapon,” does that make it hers now?
For now, we can only assume the fourth Thor film will take place in 2021.
Is Thor: Love and Thunder Connected to Other Phase Four Films?
Love and Thunder will undoubtedly have connections to other Phase Four movies. As the first film after Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness, maybe Love and Thunder explores an alternate universe in the multiverse where Lady Thor assumes the mantle and wields Mjolnir? Maybe that version of the character migrates over into the main MCU universe?
It seems likely that Jane, as Thor, will eventually join the various other heroes for Avengers 5 since her role in the MCU will dramatically shift as she takes on the mantle of Thor (it can’t be a one-and-done gig, right?).
There will also likely be plenty of Easter eggs spread out throughout the film as well as a post-credits scene — both very typical of an MCU joint — to tie Love and Thunder to other Phase Four films.
Thor: Love and Thunder arrives in theaters November 5, 2021.