During San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel confirmed that Chris Hemsworth would reprise his hammer-wielding counterpart once again in 2021’s Thor: Love and Thunder. Fans also discovered that Natalie Portman would rejoin the cast as Jane Foster, and become Mighty Thor during the movie’s sequence of events.
With Chris Hemsworth prepped to take on the God of Thunder again, will this upcoming installment be his final outing in the MCU? Will the hero return for future Avengers mash-ups, or will he bid farewell to the character he will have come to play for over a decade?
Let’s consider what we know so far — from Chris Hemsworth’s contract to the presumed events set to transpire within the MCU — and determine if Chris Hemsworth will be hanging up his hammer.
Chris Hemsworth’s contract with Marvel has already expired
As Cinema Blend noted, Chris Hemsworth’s contract with Marvel expired with Thor: Ragnarok; meaning, every God of Thunder appearance thereafter has been Hemsworth’s choice.
The actor has, presumably, been fueled by his desire to see the character’s narrative come to a close, as well as the pressure to satisfy a devout fanbase. Thor is an integral member of the original Avengers team; his appearance in the final chapter was of utmost importance. However, Love and Thunder is virtually icing on the cake — bonus material he didn’t need to offer up.
Considering the decisions we have seen come forth from Thor, as well as the narrative destined to unfold in Love and Thunder, Hemsworth will likely take his final bow in the upcoming installment. While he will provide his voice for What If…?, he probably won’t be part of the cinematic universe’s further ventures.
All signs within the MCU point to Chris Hemsworth’s departure
Valkyrie inherited the king of Asgard title from Chris Hemsworth’s Thor; meaning, he will no longer serve some grander purpose to his home, as he has relinquished his leadership. However, someone still has to fill his shoes as the God of Thunder, and become worthy enough to wield Mjolnir.
While Chris Evans’ Captain America can swing around that hammer with ease, he’s definitely — at his new age — not going to be the next Thor. Not to mention, Chris Evans has made it abundantly clear that he’s taking strides away from the superhero realm. This brings us to Natalie Portman.
Natalie Portman has returned to the MCU, likely because she will become a standalone hero, with a purpose extending far beyond the God of Thunder’s love interest. Natalie Portman left the MCU for a reason, and would only come back for a grand one.
Given that Jane is set to wield the hammer in the upcoming movie, it’s likely that Thor will willingly pass on the mantle, leading to Mighty Thor’s involvement in a future A-Force movie, and various other Marvel installments.
While the above plotline will require those over at Marvel to tinker with comic book history, when has the MCU followed the comics? The comics serve as a loose guide to Kevin Feige, not a strict instruction manual. And, it’s likely that Portman’s presence will become more permanent than Hemsworth’s. Hemsworth’s contract is over, and, with Love and Thunder, he will likely receive the grand finish he deserves.