Thor: Love and Thunder is the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the fourth Thor film. Reuniting former cast members and a returning director, the film is largely a sequel to 2017’s over-the-top Thor: Ragnarok. Combining cosmic mythology with 80s cheese and fantasy, the film is definitely a spectacle just waiting to be seen on the big screen.
The first MCU film in months not to deal with the concept of the multiverse, love and thunder instead chooses to expand the list of gods of the universe, namely the gods of thunder. Taking inspiration from a recent comic book story and giving audiences two Thors for the price of one, the film is a highly anticipated comeback tour for the self-proclaimed strongest Avenger. Here’s what fans need to know before rushing into theaters to see it.
The cast and crew of Thor: Love and Thunder
Chris Hemsworth, who plays Norse god and avenger Thor Odinson, leads the charge in the film. Another “Thor” is played by Natalia Portman, who reprises her role as Jane Foster. Through the use of a restored Mjolnir, Jane is able to appropriate Thor’s powers. Unfortunately for both of them, they are threatened by the villainous Gorr the God Butcher, played by Christian Bale. Another new character is the Greek god Zeus himself, played by Russell Crowe.
Other returning faces include Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, Jaimie Alexander as Lady Sif, and rock warrior Kronan Korg. Although he was created via CGI, Korg is, once again, voiced by Taika Waititi, who not only returns to direct the film (as he did for Thor: Ragnarok) but also write it alongside Jennifer Kaytin Robinson. The beginning of the film also introduces the post-End of Game Guardians of the Galaxy roster, with Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, and Sean Gunn playing Star-Lord, Drax, Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Nebula, Mantis, and Kraglin.
Matt Damon, Sam Neill and Luke Hemsworth reprise their roles as Asgardian actors from Loki, Odin and Thor, while Kat Dennings and Stellan Skarsgård also return to play Darcy Lewis and Erik Selvig. Jeff Goldblum and Peter Dinklage were set to reprise their roles as Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Infinity War, but their scenes were among several that were cut from the theatrical film. Similarly, Lena Headey also had an unspecified role which was cut from the final film.
The Plot of Thor: Love and Thunder
Thor: Love and Thunder picks up several of the plot threads of Avengers: Endgame, who saw Thor as a somewhat depressed and overweight thunder god who needed to find his place in the universe. Elsewhere, Gorr the Butcher God begins to exact revenge on various so-called deities who ignored his pleas to save his daughter. Gorr’s next target is the Asgardians’ new home, but Thor Odinson won’t be the only god protecting it.
Jane Foster, Thor’s ex-girlfriend, was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer. Sensing his distress, the destroyed Mjolnir gathers to empower him to become the Mighty Thor. Unfortunately, each use of her power further drains Jane’s mortal life, making her adventure with Thor across the cosmos her most dangerous together yet. Several characters are developed in this cosmic drama, many reflecting on their love lives and how far they’ve come in the events of recent years. The result is a battle of gods and divine weapons, culminating in an epic conclusion appropriate to the stories of multiple characters.
Easter eggs and references in Thor: Love and Thunder
The central premise behind Thor: Love and Thunder is pulled straight from Jason Aaron’s recent run on Thor: God of thunder. This run featured both Gorr the God Butcher and Jane Foster becoming the Mighty Thor. In fact, the shot of the dead creature Falligar is taken directly from that storyline, being an almost exact recreation of the book’s imagery. Thor’s deadliest outfit in the movie not only has a shirt with the Yggdrasil tree, but also somewhat resembles the costume of Thunderstrike, who temporarily replaced Thor in the comics.
Two Celestials can be seen briefly in the film, finally tying the events of Eternals with the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Other “cosmic” beings that appear are Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder, Thor’s goats from the comics and Norse mythology. Gorr fights his foes with his familiar Necrosword, which in the comics has ties to Knull, the god of the Symbiotes (which include Venom).
Love and Thunder: Fan Theories and Rumors
The fact that Thor wears a version of the Thunderstrike costume has many fans wondering if he’s taking on that identity or if Eric Masterson will be brought up for future films. Another concern among fans was that Jane could replace Thor as the God of Thunder, truly marking the end of an era for the original Avengers roster. The aforementioned Necrosword has raised all sorts of questions about how it might be related, if at all, to the symbiotes, whose rights belong to Sony for its Spider-Man Cinematic Universe. The post-credits scenes, however, set up more gods to enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The film is now in theaters around the world, making it the second MCU film to premiere this year, after Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. It premiered to an impressive opening weekend box office, but also received even more mixed reviews than Doctor Strange 2, not least because of its inconsistent use of comedy and its brisk pacing. This certainly had an effect on the box office going forward, with the film having a big drop in the second weekend, despite having no real competition.