(Pocket-lint) - Thor is set to return for a fourth solo outing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with a new film called Thor: Love and Thunder.

It's one of the most anticipated non-Avengers films Marvel has ever produced, given some of the news and rumours that have been circulating about it. Also, our next MCU adventure is still a few months out, with the November release of Black Widow. In anticipation of where the MCU is headed next, we thought it’d be a good time to break down everything we know so far about Love and Thunder.


Thor: Love and Thunder | Plot rumours



A common theme with Marvel's comic adaptions for the MCU is the storylines usually differ in small but incredibly meaningful ways. Love and Thunder is rumoured to be inspired or loosely based upon a run of Thor comics, written by Jason Aaron, which sees Jane Foster take on the mantle of Thor when the original Thor loses the ability to lift his hammer. The comic also sees Foster fight cancer.

So, we will see a female Thor in Love and Thunder. There are other rumours circulating about the film, such as a speculative Beta Ray Bill storyline, or Valkyrie’s possible search for a Queen to help her rule Asgard, or maybe a tie-in with the Guardians of the Galaxy. We summarised these rumours below.

Keep in mind none or all of them could end up true.


Thor returns as the Norse God

Endgame represented the end of a decade-long journey for the Avengers; it was also slated to be Hemsworth’s final film, according to reports about his film contract. This had us wondering if he would ever play the character again. However, a fourth Thor film has been announced as part of Marvel’s "Phase Four" plans, with a confirmation that Hemsworth will return as the Norse God.


Valkyrie looks for a Queen to rule

Along with Hemsworth's Thor, Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie will return, with one potential plot for the film centering on her search for a Queen to help her rule Asgard. Thompson even let slip recently that the latest draft of Love and Thunder's script includes space sharks.


Jane will wield the Mjoinir

There’s another major star from the previous Thor films returning... Natalie Portman, but she's going from Thor's love interest to the God of thunder herself. 

We’d forgive you if you thought you were done seeing her in Marvel films. Portman played Jane Foster in the first two Thor films but stopped appearing in them after 2013’s The Dark World. Thor even mentioned the two breaking up in Avengers: Endgame. However, when Marvel announced Love and Thunder at Comicon in 2019, the film's director, Taiki Waititi, revealed that Portman’s character is coming back and wielding Mjolnir as the female version of Thor. 


Will Christian Bale be the villain?

Finally, it has been confirmed that Christian Bale will be in the upcoming Thor film, but the exact character he will play hasn’t been named yet by Marvel, which has led to rampant speculation. One potential theory suggests he is Beta Ray Bill, a horse-faced alien tasked in the Marvel Comics with leading his people to a new home across the galaxy. He even eventually gains the powers of Thor.

He’s not really a villain, but he does beat up Thor and take his hammer.


Taika at the wheel, and voicing Korg

Oh, there's one other confirmed character worth knowing: Korg. Taika Waititi will return to voice Thor’s friend. He will write and direct the film, too. Remember - he directed Ragnarok, which many believe to be one of the best and most humourous Thor films.


Asgardians of the Galaxy spin-off

In terms of other bits and pieces known so far about Love and Thunder, there was a lot of hype about a potential Asgardians of the Galaxy spin-off, given the conclusion of Endgame, which saw Thor leave Earth with the Guardians. There’s been little news about what they have been up to, but we still expect some of the Guardians to appear, considering Vin Diesel, the voice of Groot, claimed as much.

Thor: Love and Thunder | Cast and crew

We discussed this in detail via the section above, but here's a summary of the cast and crew members confirmed so far for Love and Thunder:

  • Chris Hemsworth - Returning to play Thor
  • Natalie Portman - Returning as Jane Foster
  • Tessa Thompson - Returning as Valkyrie
  • Christian Bale - New character; name not yet revealed
  • Taika Waititi - Returning as Korg and to write and direct

Thor: Love and Thunder | Release date

Marvel Studios temporarily halted pre-production development of Thor: Love and Thunder due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

It is currently scheduled to hit theatres on 11 February 2022.

Thor: Love and Thunder | Trailers

There are no trailers yet for the next Thor. It has not yet been filmed.

Want to know more?

Check out our guide on upcoming Marvel films, Marvel post-credit scenes, plus how to watch every Marvel movie in chronological order.

Writing by Maggie Tillman.