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Thor: Ragnarok opened to widespread positive critical and audience reception. Changing the God of Thunder’s persona, opting for a lighter tone, and incorporating utterly bombastic action sequences and quippy dialogue, the third Thor installment was a stark departure from the Norse God’s previous outings in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). And, Thor: Love and Thunder was supposed to follow suit…

MCU Thor: Love and Thunder
President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige, Director Taika Waititi, Natalie Portman, Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson of Marvel Studios’ ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

Taika Waititi, coming on to direct Ragnarok, following Kenneth Branagh’s’ Shakesperean introduction and Alan Taylor’s misguided misfire, rose to the challenge. Taika Waititi helmed one of the most successful MCU installments to date. Thus, it should come as no surprise that, when discussing Thor: Love and Thunder, he shared intentions to emulate Thor: Ragnarok’s vibe. Waititi stated:

It’s going to be bigger and louder and more bombastic. It’s only interesting to me if we’re doubling down on how nuts Ragnarok was.

Quoted by CinemaBlend

While Waititi’s intentions point to another lighthearted, exciting, and all-around fun film, recent rumors suggest that Thor: Love and Thunder may not be the boisterous production that its predecessor was. And, considering Chris Hemsworth’s God of Thunder will likely bid the MCU farewell in the upcoming movie, the film already has a plate stacked with emotional intensity and dramatic fervor waiting to be served.

Will ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ follow Jane Foster’s cancer arc? 

According to We Got This Covered, “Jane Foster will reportedly have her cancer arc in Thor: Love and Thunder.” The publication reported — relying on the same sources who knew She-Hulk and Ms. Marvel were in development for Disney+ and that The Inhumans were being rebooted— that Jane Foster will struggle with cancer in the upcoming installment. 

In the comics, every time Jane Foster becomes Mighty Thor and wields the hammer, she reverses her chemotherapy treatments, weakening her body to save and protect others in need.

If the movie does follow this narrative, it will be hard to avoid somber moments; it will be difficult to ensure the emotional aspects do not outweigh the humorous dialogue likely to feature in the film. 

Will director Taika Waititi be able to balance humor with heart, sadness with scintillation in ‘Thor: Love and Thunder?’

Thor: Love and Thunder already boasts a packed agenda: introduce Jane Foster as Mighty Thor, say goodbye to Chris Hemsworth, set up Jane Foster’s role in the MCU, and so on. As for Chris Hemsworth’s departure, this is going to be emotional no matter how funny the associated dialogue may be. Goodbye is still goodbye.

If the movie decided to throw cancer on top of a farewell, finding a way back to the “bombastic” and “nuts” story that Waititi desires may prove difficult. Waititi must balance sobreity with silliness in a way that does not detract from the severity of the film’s deeper moments, yet does not stray into melancholy. 

Let’s hope, for Waitit’s sake, he manages to strike the proper balance (never falling short of expectations) between two qualities that are innately antithetical with a rumored storyline that seems destined for tearjerking moments.