Chris Hemsworth recently announced he’s taking a hiatus from acting after discovering the Alzheimer’s code in his generic makeup on the show Limitless on Disney+. But that hasn’t stopped the actor from talking about Thor’s future. On Josh Horowitz’s Happy Sad Confused podcast, he sat with Hemsworth and asked him about Thor’s future. The reply was that Thor’s future in the MCU, if there is one, has to be radically different than anything that’s come before it…I have thoughts.
After Thor The Dark World, Hemsworth wanted to shake things up when it came to the solo Thor films. What we got was Thor Ragnarok, which was a massive departure for the character. Not only that but it was directed by Taika Watiti, perhaps best known for his zany improv-heavy comedies like What We Do In The Shadows and The Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Ragnarok was acclaimed by fans and critics, with many calling it a breath of fresh air. I personally liked it but not nearly as much as the masses.
But the film did huge numbers and Marvel was likely ready for another mega-hit for Thor. Not only did they change Thor’s mannerisms between Infinity War and Endgame, but they opted to bring Taika back for Love and Thunder and…the reception was decidedly mixed this time around, to say the least. Many thought the film was just, too much. Too much humour, too much wackiness, too unfocused. It’s the second lowest-reviewed MCU film on Rotten Tomatoes, after Iron Man 2. But Love and Thunder ended with the promise of Thor’s return in the credits. So what now, considering Hemsworth’s statements. Based on the podcast interview, it seems like Hemsworth doesn’t want to play Thor like a bumbling idiot again, thank goodness. So I have my own idea for Thor’s future. And Marvel shouldn’t look any further than Sony Santa Monica’s hit game, God of War (the 2018 edition).
The God of War franchise, in the PS2 and PS3 era, was basically an excuse to rip through the Greek Pantheon, unleashing holy hell upon the gods. Kratos was an angry dude, a whirlwind of rage, hate and violence. But after slaying Zeus (his father), he migrated to Midgard and settled down, got married and fathered a son. He learned to not only control his rage but how to be a father after his wife passed, leaving him on his own, unsure of what to do next with his son.
At the end of Love and Thunder, Christian Bale’s Gorr wishes for his daughter to come back to life, whom Thor therefore adopts. But like Kratos in God of War, the god of thunder has no idea how to be a dad at first. I think that struggle lends itself well to a more dramatic version of Thor, one still capable of well-timed humour. I look at how he was depicted in Infinity War, quite serious but had some hilarious jokes up his sleeve-funnier than anything in Ragnarok if I’m being honest. That concept of Thor, coupled with how he’s often depicted in the comics (a space Viking, sometimes a barbarian even), would be a great clash.
Thor should be angry, confused and let down. He has no idea how to father, his own dad wasn’t exactly the best role model and his now-daughter is kind of wild if we’re being honest. So that would likely weigh down on Thor, as he tries to figure out how to raise this child while also trying to save the day once again. Maybe Thor just wants to be left alone, but being in his position, he can’t. I’d love to see Thor struggling, he often comes across as overly capable (barring Love and Thunder, where he’s an idiot), but to have him actually be at his wit’s end, growing weary or frustrated with his lack of progress, sounds novel for the character.
A major problem in Love and Thunder was how it often compromised drama by using humour. If you read the comics, Thor (who’s one of my favourite comic characters; I love the Jason Aaron run), feels like he’d be more in place in the show Vikings or Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla. And I think Marvel owes it to the fans to make a Thor movie, after all this time, that’s more comic book accurate. Humour has become a calling card of the MCU and lately, it feels like a common criticism levied against the MCU’s offerings as of late. I’d say Wakanda Forever had the perfect balance as of late between jokes and drama, but Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness, despite its horror, would often go for the needless quip. As mentioned, Infinity War Thor was serious-deadly serious even. But he wasn’t devoid of humour. More of this Marvel!
As someone who really likes Thor, it has become a bummer to see how inconsistent the character is on screen. Hemsworth is a great actor but one who, like the movies he’s been in as Thor, has been wildly inconsistent across the MCU. I know a shift from a slapstick comedy to a drama would be wild and I don’t think Marvel has the balls to do it, but in the end, I think this is the best way for Thor to exit the MCU. It’s time to humanize the God of Thunder.