The Thor movies have become one of the most beloved parts of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, thanks in large part to the Taika Waititi-directed Thor: Ragnarok, which injected the series with some much-needed quirk and humor, while still capturing the essence of the god of thunder. The series seems perched to continue in that vein, judging by the new details revealed at Marvel’s San Diego Comic-Con 2019 panel.
During the Marvel panel, the studio confirmed Thor 4’s full, official title: Thor: Love and Thunder. Disney also confirmed Thor: Love and Thunder’s release date: November 5, 2021. And lastly, the panel confirmed that Natalie Portman’s character Jane Foster, last seen in any significant capacity in Thor: The Dark World, will return in this movie.
During the SDCC 2019 panel, Thor 4 director Taika Waititi took the stage with stars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson, who will both return to their respective roles as Thor and Valkyrie in the upcoming film.
“There’s nothing more powerful in the world than love and thunder,” Waititi said, giving the newly revealed title a little bit of context.
In addition, the panel’s big surprise came when Natalie Portman arrived onstage, taking hold of the hammer Mjolnir as she emerged.
“This feels pretty good,” the actress laughed. “I’ve always had a little hammer envy.”
During the panel, Waititi specifically brought up Jason Aaron’s “Jane Thor” run of the comics, in which the character Jane Foster took up the mantle of the god of thunder–giving Portman fans something to look forward to in Love and Thunder.
“When we were shooting Ragnarok, I was reading Jason Aaron’s Mighty Thor, and it introduces female Thor [Jane Foster],” the director said. “So, there’s only one person who can do that.”
What about Thor himself? Hemsworth didn’t have much to share, although he did make some references back to Thor’s Lebowski-like behavior in Avengers: Endgame.
“He’s headed to 7/11, he got a Netflix subscription,” Hemsworth laughed. “But I think Taika’s got something planned.”
“Who knows? Only me because only I have read the script!” Waititi replied.
As for Valkyrie, who Thor named King of Asgard during Endgame’s conclusion, Thompson shared some details. “As new king, she needs to find her queen,” the actress said of Valkyrie’s role in Love and Thunder. “She has some ideas. She’ll keep you posted.”
Finally, Waititi didn’t forget about Thor: Ragnarok’s other most important additions to the MCU: Korg and Miek.
“Will we see Korg and Miek again?” Waititi speculated. “Is there an ongoing relationship between Thor and Korg? Who knows?” That sounds like a yes to us.
Waititi was confirmed as Thor 4’s director in a report from earlier during Comic-Con week–a report that also suggested the director’s live-action adaptation of the Akira manga has been delayed by what’s being called “development concerns.” However, that wasn’t the only Taika Waititi news out of Comic-Con, as the actor and director was also confirmed to be guest-starring in an episode of Rick and Morty Season 4.
During Marvel’s Comic-Con panel, the studio also discussed a ridiculously large number of other movies and shows, including Marvel’s Eternals, the Black Widow movie, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the Kate Bishop Hawkeye Disney+ show, Marvel’s “What If…?” animated series, Loki’s Disney+ show, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, the Vision and Scarlett Witch Disney+ series WandaVision, the Falcon and Winter Soldier Disney+ show, a new freaking Blade movie starring Mahershala Ali, and more.