Thor 4 is happening and the man who helped turn the franchise around is coming back for round 2. Taika Waititi, who directed 2017's Thor: Ragnarok, is set to return as both writer and director of the next installment, which will presumably be part of Marvel Studios' Phase 4 plans. We're surely going to learn a whole lot more about the studio's upcoming slate this weekend at San Diego Comic-Con, but this serves as a welcome bit of news ahead of the massive pop culture convention.

According to a new report, Taika Waititi has inked a deal to both write and direct Thor 4. Chris Hemsworth is expected to return as the titular God of Thunder, following his surprising turn in this year's Avengers: Endgame. Marvel has been keeping very quiet regarding their plans for Phase 4 beyond this year's offerings, which also included Captain Marvel and Spider-Man: Far From Home. However, both Waititi and Hemsworth had both indicated their willingness to return in the past. Hemsworth, specifically, credits Waititi's work on Ragnarok with rejuvenating his love for the character and the MCU.

Plot details are currently being kept under wraps, but those who have seen Avengers: Endgame are surely aware that there are plenty of directions the project could take. When last we saw Thor, he was heading off to traverse the galaxy with Star-Lord and the rest of the Guardians. Whether or not Chris Hemsworth will also appear in James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which seemed to be the implication, in addition to reprising his role for Thor 4, remains to be seen. Again, these are questions that could be answered at SDCC.

Related: Thor: Love and Thunder Shoots in Early 2020, Script Is Finished

This news does come at a cost though. Taika Waititi had been on deck to direct the long-gestating, live-action Akira adaptation, which was finally moving in the right direction. Unfortunately, Warner Bros. ran into some development concerns having to do with the script. That is said to have pushed the production timetables a little too close to one another. So, at the very least, Akira will have to wait until Thor 4 is over and done, if the studio wants to keep the filmmaker on board. It's possible Warner Bros. could decide to bring someone else on board, but for now it's a bit up in the air.

Chris Hemsworth started his work as Thor back in 2011. His first solo sequel, Thor: The Dark World, didn't work out as anyone had hoped, with many still counting as one of the worst entries in the MCU. But Taika Waititi managed to bring a very fresh take to the series with Thor: Ragnarok, which was a massive hit with both critics and moviegoers alike. The praise helped push the sequel to an impressive $853 million global take at the box office. With that, it's no surprise Marvel wants to keep the team together. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further details on the project are made available. This news comes to us via The Hollywood Reporter.

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Ryan Scott