Taika Waititi's Thor: Ragnarok is widely considered to have saved the character of the God of Thunder from creative stagnation. Expectations are sky-high for the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder, which Waititi is also helming. In an interview with Kriti Kharbanda for Swisse Vitamins & Supplements, Thor actor Chris Hemsworth revealed the new film will feature major changes to the world of the Space Viking.
"I'm supposed to be shooting Thor right now, but obviously it got pushed back. I'll be starting that in January. This is the fourth time with a Thor film and the eighth Marvel film overall. Very excited, excited to try something different. The last three films, I think we certainly pushed the envelope. We've had a few different versions of the character. Now people expect dramatic change. We've got our work cut out for us. Taika Waititi, he's back to direct. He's writing the script right now. Natalie Portman is going to be in the film, Tessa Thompson. So, we've got a fantastic slew of actor's in there, and cast and crew."
We already know what some of those "dramatic changes" are going to be. It has been confirmed that Natalie Portman's character of Jane Foster will become the new God of Thunder, based on a storyline from Marvel Comics featuring a female Thor. In a previous interview, Portman had also confirmed that Love and Thunder will feature her character struggling to overcome cancer, just like in the comics:
"I can't tell you that much. I'm really excited. I'm starting to train, to get muscles. If there can be all these female superheroes, the more of them they are, the better it is. I'm trying to think - it's based on the graphic novel of The Mighty Thor. She's going through cancer treatment and is a superhero on the side."
With the possible exception of Tony Stark, Hemsworth's Thor is the character that has arguably seen the most ups and downs in his journey through the MCU, and most of it has been deeply tragic. After losing his family, his kingdom, his eye, and his self-respect at the hands of Thanos, Thor was also unsuccessful in keeping the Mad Titan from destroying half of all life in the universe.
His many failures haunted Thor all the way up to the end of Avengers: Endgame, when he was able to gain a measure of his confidence back, and set out for a change of pace by leaving on an adventure with the Guardians of the Galaxy. Love and Thunder will see the God of Thunder once again out of his element, as he deals with a female Thor, and the rumored arrival of Christian Bale in the role of the fearsome Gorr, the God Butcher. Directed by Taika Waititi, Thor: Love and Thunder features a returning cast of Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, and Natalie Portman as Jane Foster. The film arrives in theaters on February 11, 2022.