Taika Waititi says he purposefully set out to create a version of Thor fans “wouldn’t really want” in upcoming Marvel sequel Thor: Love and Thunder.
In a new interview with Associated Press (opens in new tab), the writer-director explained that he was keen to move away from the battle-hungry Asgardian we’ve seen in previous films and focus more on his innermost feelings – which, to be honest, isn’t much of a surprise given the movie’s title. He continued: “If you were to say to them, ‘Yeah, I’m going to make Thor in love,’ it’s probably the last thing that a Thor fan really wants to hear.”
While Waititi reckons a googly-eyed demigod wouldn’t be viewers’ first choice of protagonist, Chris Hemsworth, who has played Thor since 2011, couldn’t have been more keen to switch things up… again, like they did with Love and Thunder’s predecessor, Thor: Ragnarok.
“I wasn’t stoked with what I’d done in Thor 2,” the actor recently told Vanity Fair (opens in new tab). “You know, I was a little disappointed in what I’d done. I didn’t think I grew that character in any way and I didn’t think I showed the audience something unexpected and different. When Ragnarok came along, out of my own frustration on what I’d done – and this isn’t on any other director, this is my own performance – I really wanted to break the mold, and I said this to Taika.
“I think our conversation we had was, ‘I’m bored of Thor’, and ‘I’m really bored of Thor, too’. Then we decided not to be bored and anytime that feeling came into play, we’d go in a different direction. We just dismantled the character. We wanted him to be more unpredictable. We wanted him to be [in] a different set of circumstances than he was before and then have the humor come through. I had a great relationship with Taika and we had a great sense of banter, and I thought we should cram that into this space.”
Also starring the likes of Chris Pratt (as Peter Quill/Star-Lord), Tessa Thompson (as King Valkyrie), Russell Crowe (as Zeus), and Christian Bale (as Gorr the God Butcher), Thor: Love and Thunder sees the eponymous hero try to figure out what his life’s purpose is – all while navigating the surprise return of his ex-girlfriend Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), who has started wielding Mjolnir and going by ‘Mighty Thor’.
It is out now in UK cinemas, and will release in the US on July 8. If you don’t have time to rewatch every film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe before you head to see it, then jog your memory as to what’s been going down with our breakdown of the MCU timeline.