Visionary director Taika Waititi may have his hands full with producing What We Do In the Shadows and Reservations Dogs, but that hasn’t stopped him from thinking ahead to the next Thor installment. Responsible for the refreshing kickstart to the heart of Marvel with Thor: Ragnarok, there is no doubt that the filmmaker has a vision. Before the 2017 film was in the cards, Chris Hemsworth cited his boredom with playing the god of thunder.
Waititi injecting humor into the typically straight-laced character was inspired and brought new life to Thor. But if a 5th movie is just around the corner, it will have to set itself apart from its predecessors. Coming from a studio that has been combing through comic book arcs for over a decade, that is a tall order. As reported by Screen Rant, Waititi shared some of his ideas that could work in the official movie book for Thor: Love and Thunder.
“What is left to do to him? It’s got to be something that feels like it’s carrying on with the evolution of the character, but still in a very fun way and still giving him things to come up against that feel like they’re building on the obstacles that he has to overcome. I don’t think we can have a villain that’s weaker than Hela. I feel like we need to step up from there and add a villain that’s somehow more formidable.”
Comic book heroes always need villains, and compelling and strong ones should remain a priority for a god-like figure. But many may note that is perhaps what should have been in the 4th Thor film that fell short of expectations.
Remember 2022? We all had such high hopes for Waititi’s 2nd Thor film. With news that Natalie Portman would be reprising her role as Jane and Christian Bale would enter the MCU as one of Thor’s most terrifying villains, Thor: Love and Thunder seemed like it could do no wrong. And then we all were shaken to our core. Jane picks up the hammer and becomes a new Thor, only to be unceremoniously killed off when her ex could have saved her. But the portrayal of Gorr the God Butcher made Love and Thunder even worse. Despite what Bale tried to do with the material, Gorr fell flat from his comic counterpart. Instead of the vicious and merciless killer of gods who has been decimating societies for thousands of years, the god killer was strangely toothless.
His most terrifying act was to capture a bunch of children who can’t defend themselves. So caught up in the tone of Ragnarok, it seemed as though Love and Thunder forgot that Gorr was actually supposed to be scary. Not just scary, but one of Thor’s greatest adversaries. Close to a god himself, Gorr should have given Hela (Cate Blanchett) a run for her money in the villainy department. If Waititi wanted a formidable villain, wasting Gorr was a miscalculation. Thor may have learned the right lessons about moving on, but he did so without any stakes. If Waititi decides to direct Thor 5, it will have to be wholly different from anything else and undo the villain mistakes of past films.