Marvel Studios’ multiversal expansion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is officially underway.
With Loki Season 1 kickstarting the creation of a sprawling multiverse within the MCU earlier this year, Spider-Man: No Way Home promises to finally begin exploring the complications of such an event — only for next year’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness to dive headfirst into that very subject. But Marvel’s on-screen exploration of the multiverse doesn’t have to start with Loki and end with Multiverse of Madness — it can go much, much further. And, that’s exactly what Thor: Love and Thunder has the potential to do.
The upcoming film promises to feature not just one but multiple Thors, and Marvel fans rightfully believe it could even include an appearance from one comic book character that they’ve been waiting years to see show up on-screen.
The Theory — One of the few Thor: Love and Thunder plot details Marvel officially confirmed is that it will see Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster turning into The Mighty Thor. That means the film will feature, at the very least, two different versions of the God of Thunder in Chris Hemsworth’s Thor and Portman’s Jane.
However, one of the more recent, popular rumors surrounding the film is that it will include the surprise appearances of multiple Thors from different universes. If true, that means Thor: Love and Thunder could very well give Marvel fans everywhere the Beta Ray Bill introduction they’ve long been waiting for.
Hello, Bill — In the comics, Beta Ray Bill is the leader of a race of beings known as “Korbinites.” Bill first crosses paths with Thor when the latter was sent to investigate Bill and his people during their mass exodus from their destroyed homeworld. Thor was named a threat by Bill’s ship and, during the pair’s subsequent fight, Bill not only defeated Thor but also lifted up Mjolnir on his own.
Odin then pitted Bill and Thor against each other in a fight to the death to determine which of them would claim ownership of Mjolnir. Bill won the fight but refused to kill Thor, which led to Odin deeming him truly worthy of the powers of Thor. However, instead of giving him Mjolnir, Odin returned the hammer to his son and created Stormbreaker for Bill. In subsequent years, Bill has emerged as a frequent ally of Thor and the Asgardians and even helped them in their fight to protect Asgard during the events of Ragnarok.
Marvel has, notably, already considered using Beta Ray Bill in the MCU. The studio infamously came close to including him in a cameo appearance in 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok but ultimately opted against it. Apparently, that decision was the result of Kevin Feige and co. wanting to use Bill in a greater capacity than they could in that film. Thor: Love and Thunder, however, could conceivably give Bill a much larger role than Ragnarok could.
The film’s inclusion of Gorr the God Butcher, a dangerous alien villain hellbent on killing every god in the multiverse, may force Thor to team up with other gods in order to take Gorr down. And we can’t think of any other god in the MCU who could provide Hemsworth and Portman’s Thors with a better helping hand than Beta Ray Bill. The opportunity seems just too good to pass up, frankly.
The Inverse Analysis — There’s no telling what surprises Marvel Studios and writer-director Taika Waititi might have in store with Thor: Love and Thunder. The film has the potential to go in a hundred different directions, and its cast of characters is already pretty massive without the addition of any Thor variants.
That said, surprising Marvel fans with an unannounced appearance from Beta Ray Bill seems like something both the studio and Waititi would want to do in Thor: Love and Thunder. At the very least, the film’s plot (and villain) certainly leaves the door open for something like that to happen.
Thor: Love and Thunder is set to hit theaters on May 6, 2022.