Thor: Ragnarok changed the trajectory of Marvel’s God of Thunder in a big way back in 2017. The franchise found new life with director Taika Waititi taking a hard turn into comedy and sending Chris Hemsworth to a more zany corner of the cosmic side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and he even brought Mark Ruffalo as Hulk along with him. And when the filmmaker gets back behind the camera for Thor: Love and Thunder next year, it’s only going to get crazier.
Wired recently spoke with Taika Waititi about his plans for Thor: Love and Thunder, and while the director was reluctant to reveal anything specific beyond what we already know about the sequel, he did offer up this tease:
“It’s going to be bigger and louder and more bombastic. It’s only interesting to me if we’re doubling down on how nuts Ragnarok was.”
One of the most consistent critiques of Marvel movies is that they all look and feel the same. In some cases, that’s a valid criticism, but Thor: Ragnarok really shook up the Thor franchise in a variety of ways, and it allowed for the character to have one of the best character arcs in the Marvel Cinematic Universe when Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame came around. So the challenge is to keep fans on their toes when it comes to keeping Thor’s journey marching forward.
The most refreshing thing about Thor: Love and Thunder will undoubtedly be the return of Natalie Portman as Jane Foster, who will be picking up Mjolnir as The Mighty Thor this time, inspired by Jason Aaron’s comic book arc. Waititi even pitched it to the actress as doing something much different than she was able to do in the franchise before. He told Variety:
“I just said to her, ‘Are you interested in coming back to this thing, but doing something really different?’ Because another thing, no one wants to keep repeating themselves and no one wants to play the same characters all the time. And I think for her, just coming back reprising that character but in this whole fresh new way, is really what I think would interest anyone. Especially, in most of these films, if you’re not a superhero… do you really want to keep doing that? I mean, I wouldn’t. I would want to come back and change things up.”
Fans are undoubtedly excited to see what Natalie Portman can do as The Mighty Thor, but we still don’t know if they’ll be adapting the powerful cancer storyline from the comics yet. That’s something fans want to see for sure, but Waititi doesn’t necessarily like the idea of simply giving fans what they want. He said:
“You want to listen to the fans to a point. But also you don’t want to have a completely fan-made film because then it doesn’t feel like there’s any point. You want to have people surprised.”
If there’s one thing Taika Waititi is good at doing, it’s surprising us with something great. After all, the guy is coming off playing Hitler as a 10-year old’s imaginary friend in Jojo Rabbit expanding to more theaters this weekend, so you never know what to expect.
What happens when an unstoppable pandemic meets an unmovable movie franchise? Well, first that unmovable movie franchise promptly moves. And then Disney sets new dates for the next slate of films set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, working under the assumption that time is on their side.
Several weeks after Marvel Studios’ Black Widow was delayed due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, the powerhouse studio has shuffled its slate. The first solo adventure starring Scarlett Johansson’s super-spy will now open later this year, triggering a domino effect that sees the entire new phase of movies, including The Eternals, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Thor: Love and Thunder, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and Captain Marvel 2 shuffled around the schedule.
Here’s how it breaks down:
Black Widow, originally set to open next month, will now open on November 6, 2020, the release date originally set for The Eternals. The Eternals, originally set for November of this year, will now open on February 12, 2021. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the 10 Rings, which was originally in the spot now claimed by The Eternals, will now open on May 7, 2021. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness sees one of the biggest delays, moving from its May 2021 release date to November 5, 2021. Thor: Love and Thunder, pushed aside by Doctor Strange, will now open on February 18, 2022. Black Panther is still set for May 8, 2022. Captain Marvel 2 will follow on July 8, 2022.
The pattern is pretty clear. For the most part, the Marvel schedule has essentially shifted one already-held release date over, with one movie displacing another until they all have new homes. Of course, all of this is contingent on the world and the economy being somewhat back to normal by the holiday season. At the very least, new Marvel movies gives us something to look forward to and a reminder that we only get to see these films if we stay inside and practice social-distancing to flatten the curve. Don’t be a jerk, folks.
What we don’t know is if the release dates for the Disney+ shows The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, WandaVision and Loki will be affected as well. We’ll cross our fingers and hope for the best – new superhero shows to stream will sound pretty damn good in a few months.
Frozen 2 is now the highest grossing animated movie of all-time, adding to Disney’s domination of the box office. It might have taken Walt Disney Animation six years to follow up their original animated hit, but you might be surprise to learn that you already saw this story play out at Marvel Studios in the form of Thor: Ragnarok. Don’t believe us? We’ll let the Frozen 2 Honest Trailer lay it out for you.
Frozen 2 Honest Trailer
Don’t get me wrong, I really liked Frozen 2. In fact, I think it’s better than the first one and find the soundtrack as a whole to be better than the first, even if “Into the Unknown” doesn’t whip quite as much ass as “Let It Go” did back in 2013. However, I think it’s a huge misstep for nothing to be sacrificed in the end. Arendelle should have been destroyed, and its people should have been sent off to find a new homestead.
But even with that shortcoming, Frozen 2 does a lot of things better than its predecessor. Aside from the soundtrack being better in its entirety because “Fixer Upper” brings the original down a lot, Olaf is infinitely funnier thanks to his recap of the first movie, and even though Kristoff doesn’t get much to do in this movie, giving him a 1980s rock ballad is an inspired choice.
Now the question is whether or not Disney will keep the snow machine blowing to give us Frozen 3. However, considering the fact that it took six years for them to follow up on the first movie, I think we’ll be waiting awhile for another sequel.