In what might be a case of a late-blooming franchise, Thor joins the Avengers series as the only other sub-franchise in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) to possess a fourth entry. This would also make Thor the only character to have a solo fourth film planned as of this point.
Taika Waititi, writer and director of Thor: Ragnarok, the supposed finale in what could have been a trilogy, has returned to both of his roles to helm an unprecedented fourth movie.
Though, given the sudden surge of popularity the character encountered with Ragnarok, and later, the Phase 3 entries of the Avengers films, Infinity War and Endgame, it comes as no surprise that Marvel Studios has decided to double down on what may be their last pioneer phase character and actor.
While the original in 2011 wasn’t the most lauded of the MCU‘s Phase 1, the character and relative newcomers Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston were instant breakouts whose chemistry earned them featured spots in Marvel Studios’ planned realisation in 2012’s Avengers.
Thor suffered from somewhat of a staggering fault with Thor: The Dark World, which was plagued with pre-production uncertainty, causing a somewhat uneven film that ultimately led to the loss of leading lady Natalie Portman. The God of Thunder faced more petty problems when a bulk of his scenes were cut from 2015’s Age of Ultron, leaving the value of the character somewhat ambiguous.
Thankfully, that very ambiguity prompted creative head Kevin Feige to take a risk with the third Thor movie, bringing on noted comedy director-writer Taika Waititi to helm the meandering series.
It also helps that thanks to the timey whimey shenanigans of the Avengers, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki is very much back in the game despite his unexpectedly conclusive death at the hands of Thanos. Of course, that Marvel has long confirmed a Loki series alone would have clued us into the mischief maker’s future, but this certainly offers the possibility of a lot more Loki in the MCU.
Coupled with the character’s intense growth over the course of Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, as well as his open-ended journey with another fan favourite series’ characters, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor’s return was all but possible from the moment the MCU‘s grand opus concluded.
And while we know for sure that Thor is still off-world thanks to Spider-Man: Far From Home, it remains to be seen how the once and possibly future king of Asgard will return to his adventuring fold.
While no release date has yet been confirmed, essentially leaving Thor out of the already slated line-up of Marvel’s six-film 2020 and 2021 schedule, Taika Waititis’ involvement certainly shadows the schedule of another film.
Akira, the live-action adaptation of the classic Japanese anime, having been scheduled for 2021, this new project is sure to interrupt any development of prior projects. Rumours of scheduling conflicts have surrounded Akira for some time and this seems to place some truth to them with its helming creative essentially disembarking for the near future.
Marvel may have just hit gold with Thor 4. Despite a low profile outside of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Hemsworth’s value to rival studios is clear. However, the actor may have more luck with his now iconic character than experimenting further with the likes of Men In Black.
On that note, it may only be a matter of time before we hear of his Raganrok co-stars Tessa Thompson and Mark Ruffalo returning to stand alongside the God of Hammers in whatever is in store for him.