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SYFY WIRE Thor: Love and Thunder

More Thor after ‘Love and Thunder’? Taika Waititi says he’s up to the task, if...

That end credits promise sure came as a surprise, though.

By Benjamin Bullard
Thor: Love and Thunder BTS

Asgard is back on film fans’ minds in a big way, with Thor: Love and Thunder summoning a $143 million domestic box office ($302 million worldwide) in its just-concluded debut weekend. It’s the first time the God of Thunder has had an MCU movie all to himself since 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok, and, like Ragnarok, it blends super-sized spectacle and slapstick silliness with mainstay Marvel director Taika Waititi at the helm.

In addition to directing both recent Thor films, Waititi also has scored voice acting credits in each of them (as well as Avengers: Endgame), lending his pipes to Korg, Thor’s lovably lighthearted alien sidekick. But even if Waititi’s proven an ideal lightning rod to channel Thor’s comedic chaos, just because he’s become a key MCU player doesn’t necessarily mean he knows what’s next for the Chris Hemsworth-portrayed hero.

**SPOILER WARNING! Spoilers below for Taika Waititi's Thor: Love and Thunder!**

Speaking recently with Insider, Waititi confessed even he was surprised to learn that Marvel already has plans for Thor once all the Love and Thunder lightning has dissipated, as the studio teased to fans in a “Thor will be back” message seen in the movie’s post-credits scroll.

“That was a surprise to me, too…I’m not joking,” Waititi admitted. “I saw it in the theater and I was like, ‘Oh, s***. Really?’ Even Chris [Hemsworth] was like, ‘What?’ But, of course he’ll be back. He’s the best character. I mean, I may be a little biased, but he’s the most fun to watch.”

Not that Waititi takes issue with Marvel’s promise of more Thor, mind you; nor at the possibility that he might be asked to build the Bifröst bridge between Love and Thunder and any potential Thor-themed film. There’s certainly no rule in place that calls for Waititi to return to lead what would be his third Thor movie, but, said the director, he’s definitely up for it — if, that is, he can find a way to break new story ground…and if he can re-team with Hemsworth to make it happen.

“Now, I don't know what would be next,” said Waititi. “I would definitely do one, but only if Chris did it. But it would need to be something surprising and unexpected for me to want to do it. Like what would be the new take? The battles and all the fighting is fine, but I would want something that feels unexpected when it comes to the story. Like making just a $5 million movie with no fighting at all, just Thor on a road trip. Like Nebraska.”

That would certainly be a change of pace from the CGI crackle of Thor’s typical interstellar exploits, though Hemsworth’s chilled-out hero would probably rank among the MCU’s best buddies when it comes to serving up entertaining road trip company. In any case, it’s all just fun conjecture as Phase 4 continues to unfurl all of Marvel’s interconnected story threads: Next up on the MCU calendar is Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (due in theaters on Nov. 11), followed by Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania (arriving Feb. 17 of next year).

In the meantime, there’s plenty of time to kick it with Thor in the here and now. Starring Hemsworth alongside Christian Bale (Gorr the God Butcher), Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie), Russell Crowe (Zeus), and Natalie Portman as Jane Foster (aka the newly-minted Mighty Thor), Thor: Love and Thunder is playing now in theaters everywhere.

For a very different take on Valhalla, check out the Viking epic The Northman, now streaming on Peacock