Strap in, Marvel fans there’s more Thor in store. Per The Hollywood Reporter, a fourth Thor film is in the works.
The good news? Thor: Ragnarok filmmaker Taika Waititi is officially on board to write and direct Thor 4, meaning that he can continue imbuing the film series with his signature humor, eccentric wit, and snappy dialogue.
The bad news? Waititi singing on for another Thor film means that the live-action adaptation of Akira is now on hold but if you’ve been following the development of that movie at all, what else is new, right?
A feature film translation of Katsuhiro Otomo’s manga of the same name, Akira has been in development for years, experiencing an upswing in May 2019 when Waititi boarded as its director and co-writer. After since 2002 to get the movie off the ground, studio Warner Bros. finally scheduled it to debut in theaters on May 21, 2021. Prior to joining Thor 4, Waititi was said to be testing actors in a talent search that spanned the globe, and things seemed to be finally moving forward for Akira.
Unfortunately, the film is on an indefinite hold now that Waititi is focusing on Thor 4, which will reportedly rub shoulders with Akira’s planned production start date. With the two start dates for filming now being so close to each other, it seems there’s no way Waititi could feasibly work on both projects.
It’s unclear what will happen to Akira while Waititi is writing and directing Thor 4, but THR has reported that Warner Bros. intends to keep Waititi attached to the project, apparently on a long-term basis. Executives are reportedly hoping that Waititi will re-commit to Akira after he wraps the new Thor movie.
Fortunately for everyone, Chris Hemsworth is lined up to reprise his role as the Asgardian god of thunder who underwent a drastic transformation in Avengers: Endgame. Thor’s evolution from a cocky, arrogant hero with little regard for those around him to a kind-hearted, empathetic, funny guy who overcomes personal struggles has impressed viewers but the new physique he sported in Endgame left fans divided. Some loved “fat Thor,” while others hated him. He never did shed any weight in Endgame, last appearing in the film with his beer belly and shaggy hair firmly intact, and Hemsworth couldn’t be happier about that. He told Variety:
“I feel like we’ve opened up such a different character. I feel more energized for the possibility of where it could go.”
Endgame came to a close with Thor appointing Valkyrie as the protector of New Asgard, then joining the Guardians of the Galaxy on their mission to locate Gamora. It’s believed that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which has director James Gunn back on board, will focus on the Guardians as they track down their green-skinned teammate, with Thor possibly in the mix as well as an ally, or even new member of the team. What happens in that film could influence the story of Thor 4. But with Marvel Studios’ fourth phase of the MCU being so shrouded in mystery, we truly have zero idea what will happen in either film.
What’s interesting about Thor 4 is that it’s the first instance in which an original Avenger is continuing their standalone franchise beyond a trilogy. Iron Man actor Robert Downey Jr. and Captain America star Chris Evans each had three solo films in addition to crossover ensembles, and both retired their characters with Avengers: Endgame.
This development begs a rather juicy question: did Chris Hemsworth extend his contract to more solo movies? How many Marvel films did he commit to? It’s all very exciting to think about, as Hemsworth’s Thor has become one of the most charismatic and naturally hilarious heroes in the MCU, arguably only becoming a serious fan-favorite after his jokier characterization in Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok. We wouldn’t mind a couple more Thor-featuring flicks, and we doubt any other fans would either.
Watch the video for more on Thor 4 and its director!
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