By Terrance Turner
April 18, 2022 (updated May 23, 2022)
The trailer for the highly anticipated film “Thor: Love and Thunder” has debuted. The two-minute trailer premiered during halftime of tonight’s playoff game between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat. In the trailer, viewers first get to see Russell Crowe as Zeus (one notable sequence shows him exhibiting his power and accidentally removing all of Thor’s clothes).
But the trailer also provides a glimpse of Christian Bale in character as the terrifying Gorr the God Butcher — as well as the alliance between Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and another Thor (Natalie Portman). The two are seen interlocking fingers in one shot. Check out the trailer below.
The teaser arrived in April, nearly a year after filming wrapped last June. At the time, star Chris Hemsworth said that the latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe will have a lot to offer: “The film is gonna be bats–t crazy off the wall funny and might also pull a heart string or two. Lots of love, lots of thunder!” he wrote. “Thank you to all the cast and crew who made this another incredible Marvel journey.”
Here’s a synopsis of the film, from Marvel Studios:
The film finds Thor (Chris Hemsworth) on a journey unlike anything he’s ever faced – a quest for inner peace. But his retirement is interrupted by a galactic killer known as Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale), who seeks the extinction of the gods. To combat the threat, Thor enlists the help of King Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), Korg (Taika Waititi) and ex-girlfriend Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), who – to Thor’s surprise – inexplicably wields his magical hammer, Mjolnir, as the Mighty Thor. Together, they embark upon a harrowing cosmic adventure to uncover the mystery of the God Butcher’s vengeance and stop him before it’s too late.Synopsis quoted by Yahoo! News
The fourth film in the “Thor” series begins after Thor and the Avengers defeated Thanos in “Avengers: Endgame”. According to Variety, “The movie follows on the heels of “Avengers: Endgame,” which ended with Thor Odinson (Chris Hemsworth), adrift after the fall of his kingdom Asgard, leaving Earth with the Guardians of the Galaxy.” Set to Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child of Mine”, the teaser finds Thor at a crossroads. “These hands were once used for battle; now they’re but humble tools for peace,” he says at the beginning. “I need to figure out exactly who I am.”
That journey of self-discovery apparently involves a new outfit (a pirate vest over a T-shirt and jeans) and a new workout (using chains as battle ropes to work off some weight gain). It also entails a departure from the Guardians and a new outlook: “I’m gonna choose my own path and live in the moment,” he declares. “My superhero-ing days are over.”
Meanwhile, the rest of the surviving Asgardians aren’t managing as well. The Verge noted: “Thor doesn’t seem to have all that much interaction with Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) and the rest of the surviving Asgardians who’ve been trying to rebuild their society in the Norweigan town formerly known as Tønsberg. While Thor’s off in space exploring with Korg (Taika Waititi), it appears as if Valkyrie’s new position as New Asgard’s leader has unexpectedly led to a life of bureaucratic drudgery that keeps her away from battles.”
The teaser concludes with a glimpse of Jane Forster (Natalie Portman) as Thor, calling Thor’s hammer Mjolnir into her hands in the midst of a battle. Clad in Thor’s superhero uniform, it appears that she has become Thor — the god of thunder. Director Taika Waititi says her return will be challenging for Thor: “It’s been about eight years,” Waititi tells Empire magazine. “She’s had a whole other life, and then the love of your life comes back on the scene, and is now dressed like you. It’s a real mindf–k for Thor.”
Perhaps the biggest surprise is Portman’s presence: she reprises the role of Jane after last appearing in 2013’s “Thor: the Dark World.” She reportedly left the series due to being unhappy with the film, and particularly the replacement of the original director Patty Jenkins with Alan Taylor. However, Waititi reportedly directly convinced Portman to return to the MCU for the project, per Variety.
When Jane was last seen, she and Thor were still in the midst of falling in love, Asgard was still standing, and Thanos had not yet laid waste to the entire universe. Unclear how those storylines will develop in this film. But as The A.V. Club puts it: “Two Thor’s are better than one, especially when [villain] Gorr The God Butcher (Christian Bale) is who they’re facing off against.”
The story of “Love and Thunder” is based on Jason Aaron’s critically-acclaimed 2016 comic book “The Mighty Thor,” which saw Jane Foster, who dated and broke up with Thor, take up the superhero’s mantle after the sacred hammer Mjolnir deemed the Odinson unworthy and stripped him of his powers. In the comics, however, Foster’s newfound power-up comes at a heavy cost: Every time she uses the hammer, her breast cancer becomes worse and worse. It’s unclear whether the movie will follow the same storyline, though.
In addition to Hemsworth and Portman, the cast includes Tessa Thompson, Jeff Goldblum, Taika Waititi, and Christian Bale. Guardians Of The Galaxy stars Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, and Karen Gillan will appear in the film, along with cameos from Russell Crowe as the Greek god Zeus, Sam Neill, Luke Hemsworth, Matt Damon, and Melissa McCarthy.
“Thor: Ragnarok” director Taika Waititi returns as director; he wrote the script alongside Jennifer Kaytin Robinson. “Thor: Love and Thunder” will hit theaters on July 8. Check out the teaser below.
UPDATE: A new poster has been released from the film, showing both Portman and Hemsworth as Thor: