Thor needs to be fixed in the MCU, and while Marvel Studios have a way to do so, it cannot be done until Avengers: Secret Wars. The God of Thunder made his much-anticipated return post-Infinity Saga via Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder. There were high expectations for the film as it marked the reunion project between Chris Hemsworth and director Taika Waititi following the smash hit that was Thor: Ragnarok from 2017. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite reach many viewers’ standards, forcing Marvel Studios to once again re-evaluate their approach to the character.
Marvel Studios struggled on nailing MCU’s Thor. While Kenneth Branagh’s Thor was decently-received, its follow-up, Alan Taylor’s Thor: The Dark World was deemed one of – if not the worst – installments that the franchise has put out. Both films depicted the God of Thunder as more of a Shakespearean god, which didn’t really resonate with the public. Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok effectively saved the franchise as it not only overhauled the film series but also changed Thor’s personality. Instead of the brooding Asgardian, the threequel featured a more lighthearted and humorous hero, which was refreshing. Unfortunately, this version is also no longer working, as seen in Thor: Love and Thunder.
Related: What Will Chris Hemsworth’s Last MCU Movie Be?
Taika Waititi’s Thor Is No Longer Working In The MCU
Thor in Love and Thunder-2
Knowing how popular Thor: Ragnarok became, Waititi understandably decided to further lean on Thor’s funny side, especially as he spends time with Guardians of the Galaxy, who are quite lighthearted themselves. Unfortunately, the filmmaker went overboard with Thor: Love and Thunder’s humor. It was the biggest criticism of Thor: Love and Thunder, which had mixed reviews — far from the universally loved Thor: Ragnarok. The movie clearly shows that Waititi’s iteration of the Avenger is no longer working in the current MCU.
The end of Waititi’s 2022 MCU film has already confirmed that Thor will return after Love and Thunder, although it’s still unsure when or how. Regardless of the specifics, however, Marvel Studios would need to present a different version of the character by then— something that even Hemsworth agrees with. It’s uncertain if Waititi will still have a hand on the hero moving forward, it’s clear that overly-humorous Thor can no longer be the MCU’s default version.
Avengers: Infinity War Is The Best MCU Thor
Infinity War Thor with his eyepatch
Luckily, Marvel Studios already has a way to fix Thor. For years, the God of Thunder has been either too dark or too happy-go-lucky, but directors Joe and Anthony Russo struck a delicate balance between his two sides in Avengers: Infinity War. Despite being an ensemble film that had a lot of moving pieces, Thor’s personal arc was personally a standout. Fresh from another tragedy with the death of Loki and Heimdall, the Avenger was blinded by the need for revenge against Thanos.
Hemsworth both had comedic and dramatic moments — often at the same time in Avengers: Infinity War, making him especially effective in them. Thor’s heartbreaking conversation with Rocket Raccoon is a prime example of this. In arguably one of the best scenes in the film, the God of Thunder, who was still distraught about his latest loss, was shown trying to desperately hide his pain in order to confidently claim that he would make Thanos pay for his mistake, balancing comedy with emotional weight.
Related: Hemsworth’s Thor Return Wish Can Fix Love & Thunder’s Big Mistakes
The Russos Can Fix Thor, But Not Until Secret Wars (Or Later)
Sadly, it will take a while before the Russos can come in and fix Thor, assuming that Marvel Studios bring them back into the franchise. Despite their denial that they are in the running to direct Avengers: Secret Wars, the film is the best opportunity for them to return to MCU. What they were able to accomplish with Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame is enough to convince Marvel Studios to handle what could be their biggest film to date. Aside from that, the Russos have also expressed their interest in helming Avengers: Secret Wars.
If Avengers: Secret Wars doesn’t bring back the Russos, perhaps Marvel Studios can tap them to helm the potential Thor 6. Helming a standalone film could also be a change of pace for the Russos after they focused on working on big ensemble movies at the end of the Infinity Saga. Whatever the case may be, Avengers: Infinity War supports the idea that the directing duo is the best positioned to fix the once-again struggling Thor.