Director Taika Waititi took over Marvel’s Thor property for 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok, proving that not only is the franchise now in great hands following the first two divisive installments, but that a character as seemingly bland as the God of Thunder could be turned into a superhero worthy of standing next to the likes of Spider-Man and Iron Man. The filmmaker overhauled Thor’s brand almost entirely, infusing it with a hard rock ethos and a distinct comedic identity. For the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder, Waititi returns to direct, also serving as co-writer this time around, along with Jennifer Kaytin Robinson. And now we’re finally getting our first real look at the film thanks to the just-released teaser trailer.
Aside from Chris Hemsworth reprising his title role, this fourth solo film also features members of the similarly-quippy Guardians of the Galaxy, following the two entities linking up at the end of 2019’s Avengers: Endgame. Most notably, however, the trailer shows us the official return of Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster as an iteration of the Mighty Thor. Foster is Thor’s love interest who becomes the first mortal to wield the hammer, taking influence from Jason Aaron’s comic book arc from 2014. Portman last appeared in 2013’s Thor: The Dark World and did not return for Ragnarok. Another important addition to the new cast is Christian Bale as the villain Gorr the God Butcher, though he doesn’t show up in this teaser.
Thor’s involvement with the Guardians was never a big part of comic book lore, however, the team-up makes perfect sense here considering the tone of each individual property on the big screen. Where the first Guardians film gave the inertial Marvel Cinematic Universe some new life back in 2014 with its irreverent tone and ragtag mischief, Waititi’s version of Thor is not dissimilar. Aside from their distinct musical aesthetic, both properties have now become the de facto PG-13 class clowns of the MCU.
Many fans consider Thor: Ragnarok to be among Marvel’s best due to its kinetic plot and deliciously revamped aesthetic, but with the addition of the Guardians comes a whole lot more hijinks, setting up 2023’s highly-anticipated Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. The trailer only shows touches of the comedy we can expect as Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine” wails over the top. Thor: Love and Thunder hits theaters on July 8.