Thor: Love and Thunder is an upcoming American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Thor, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is intended to be the direct sequel to Thor: Ragnarok (2017) and the 29th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is directed by Taika Waititi, who co-wrote the screenplay with Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, and stars Chris Hemsworth as Thor, alongside Tessa Thompson, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale, Chris Pratt, Jaimie Alexander, Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Sean Gunn, Jeff Goldblum, and Vin Diesel. By January 2018, Hemsworth and Waititi had discussed plans for a sequel to Ragnarok. Love and Thunder was officially announced in July 2019, with Hemsworth, Waititi, Thompson, and Portman—who did not appear in Ragnarok—all attached to return to the franchise. Waititi said the film would adapt elements from Jason Aaron’s run on the Mighty Thor comic book, which sees Portman’s character Jane Foster take on the mantle and powers of Thor whilst suffering from cancer. Robinson joined the film in February 2020, with Waititi later describing it as a romance film. Filming began in January 2021 in Sydney, Australia, and concluded at the beginning of June.
Chris Hemsworth indicated in January 2018 that he was interested in continuing to play Thor, despite his contract with Marvel Studios being set to end with his role in Avengers: Endgame (2019). By then, Hemsworth and Thor: Ragnarok (2017) director Taika Waititi had discussed what they would want in a potential fourth film, and the next month Hemsworth said he would consider playing the character again if there was “another great script”. In April 2019, Tessa Thompson, who plays Valkyrie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films, said that she believed a pitch had been made for a sequel to Ragnarok that involved Waititi returning. Hemsworth stated then that he would continue to play Thor for as long as possible, crediting Waititi with revitalizing his interest in the role after he became exhausted and underwhelmed with it prior to making Ragnarok. In July 2019, Waititi officially signed on to write and direct a fourth Thor film, with Hemsworth expected to reprise his role. Later that month at San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige officially announced the film as Thor: Love and Thunder, with a release date of November 5, 2021. Hemsworth and Thompson were confirmed to be returning along with Natalie Portman, who portrayed Jane Foster in Thor (2011) and Thor: The Dark World (2013). Thompson and Feige said Valkyrie’s bisexuality would be addressed in the sequel, retroactively making her Marvel Studios’ first LGBTQ superhero. Waititi said the film would adapt elements from Jason Aaron’s Mighty Thor comic books by having Foster become her own version of Thor called the Mighty Thor. Feige explained that Marvel considered the Mighty Thor run to be one of the best recent comic books and Waititi had been reading it while working on Ragnarok. When Waititi agreed to direct another Thor film, he wanted to include Foster as the Mighty Thor.Portman agreed to return to the franchise after a single meeting with the director, in which he interested her by offering to reprise the character in a different, fresh way.
Thor: Love and Thunder is scheduled to be released in the United States on July 8, 2022. It was previously set for release on November 5, 2021, but was delayed to February 18, 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, before being moved up a week to February 11 once Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was rescheduled from November 2021 to March 2022. It was delayed once again to May 6, 2022 in December 2020, before shifting to the July 2022 date in October 2021. It will be part of Phase Four of the MCU.