What’s there to say about “Thor: Ragnarok” four and a half years after its release? For one, it’s a bold, colorful extravaganza true to its source material’s Silver Age roots. It’s the movie that launched Taika Waititi‘s career into superstardom. It’s also the first film in the “Thor” series that won over both critics and audiences, and many claim it’s the best in the series and one of the best MCU films overall.
That makes “Thor: Love And Thunder” one of the most anticipated movies of MCU Phase Four, right? Well, a lot’s happened in the MCU between 2017 and now: the events of “Avengers: Endgame;” the new Disney+ shows and the new characters they introduce; the multiversal weirdness in Phase 4 films like “Spider-Man: No Way Home” and the upcoming “Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness.” So, yeah, the MCU’s landscape is a lot different from when “Ragnarok” made its splash.
‘Love And Thunder’ shouldn’t have any issues getting fans in the seats, though, as the film has a team-up between Thor and The Guardians Of The Galaxy. That’s right, Chris Hemsworth returns as the Norse God alongside Chris Pratt‘s Star-Lord, Dave Bautista‘s Drax The Destroyer, Vin Diesel‘s Groot, and Pom Klementieff‘s Mantis. Another big name returning to the series is Natalie Portman. She reprises her role as Jane Foster from the first two “Thor” films. Early speculation thought ‘Love And Thunder’ would adapt Jason Aaron‘s run in the “Mighty Thor” comics, where Jane takes on the superhero’s mantle while undergoing cancer treatment. But looking at the new synopsis, that’s not really the case.
Here’s the official logline:
The film finds Thor (Chris Hemsworth) on a journey, unlike anything he’s ever faced – a quest for inner peace. But his retirement is interrupted by a galactic killer known as Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale), who seeks the extinction of the gods. To combat the threat, Thor enlists the help of King Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), Korg (Taika Waititi), and ex-girlfriend Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), who – to Thor’s surprise – inexplicably wields his magical hammer, Mjolnir, as the Mighty Thor. Together, they embark upon a harrowing cosmic adventure to uncover the mystery of the God Butcher’s vengeance and stop him before it’s too late.
Many other familiar faces return in ‘Love And Thunder’: Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, Jaimie Alexander as Sif, Karen Gillian as Nebula, Sean Gunn as Kraglin Obfonteri, and Jeff Goldblum as Grandmaster. There’s also a slew of cameos, ranging from Russell Crowe as Zeus to Melissa McCarthy. As for the movie’s big bad? Christian Bale makes his MCU debut as Gorr The God Butcher.
With its huge cast, Waititi’s next “Thor” film looks to continue Phase 4’s emphasis on even bigger MCU films with higher stakes than ever before. Catch the movie in theaters on July 8 to see if “Thor: Love And Thunder” measures up to Spider-Man and Doctor Strange’s latest standalone features. Watch the new trailer below.