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Thor: Love and Thunder trailer, release date, cast, set pictures, and more

Thor: Love and Thunder
(Image credit: Marvel/Disney)

Thor: Love and Thunder is blasting its way to the big screen very soon indeed – in fact, it's just a few months until the thunder god finally returns, after Thor: Ragnarok released way back in 2017. There's even a first trailer to feast your eyes upon, too, and it unveils our first-ever look at Natalie Portman back as Jane Foster, who has now become… the Mighty Thor. She's even wielding Mjolnir. If that wasn't enough, you can also glimpse Russell Crowe as Zeus – though there's no sign of Christian Bale's Gorr the God Butcher. 

We've rounded up absolutely everything else there is to know about the thorquel right here, with details on who's who in the cast, the lowdown on that trailer, all the plot information there is so far, and much more besides. So, for all that and more, scroll on and catch up on all things Thor: Love and Thunder before it touches down this July. 

Thor: Love and Thunder release date

Thor: Love and Thunder

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

The Thor: Love and Thunder release date is July 8, 2022. The date comes after a series of delays pushed it back from its original November 5, 2021 slot. 

Thor: Love and Thunder trailer

The first trailer for Thor: Love and Thunder is finally here. It reveals Chris Hemsworth's Thor doing some serious soul-searching, helped along with a few words of advice from Chris Pratt's Star-Lord. 

The trailer also shows a look at Valkyrie as King of Asgard, and there's a glimpse at Russell Crowe's Zeus – and, of course, we see Natalie Portman back as a Mjolnir-wielding Jane Foster.

Thor: Love and Thunder cast

Thor: Love and Thunder

(Image credit: Marvel)

No surprise on who is front and center in Thor 4. Yep. Chris Hemsworth is back as the God of Thunder, Thor. Joining him is the newly-installed ruler of New Asgard, Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson). Bad news for Loki fans, though – it's been confirmed that Tom Hiddleston will not be returning. 

In a surprise reveal at SDCC 2019, Natalie Portman was brought on stage. It was announced that she would be returning to the MCU as Jane Foster, but not any old Jane Foster. This Jane Foster – whether she’s from a multiverse or not is unclear – will be The Mighty Thor, a plot point drawn straight from comic writer Jason Aaron’s legendary mid-2010s Thor run. Portman has also recently revealed that her character will be undergoing cancer treatment. If you need a primer on what to expect, check out what the comics tell us about Natalie Portman's Mighty Thor.

Russell Crowe has joined the cast of the movie, and has revealed that he'll be playing Zeus – so we can probably expect a lot of lightning if the two thunder gods come face to face.

Jaimie Alexander is back as Sif, while more MCU characters could be on the horizon, including Matt Damon reprising his role from Thor: Ragnarok. The actor played an actor playing Loki on Asgard. Sam Neil has also teased a potential appearance, having played an actor playing Odin in that same play.

Director Taika Waititi will also once again be appearing in front of the camera as Korg. The rock star will be making his third appearance after his debut in Thor: Ragnarok and Fortnite-shaped cameo playing against noobmaster69 in Avengers: Endgame.

Star-Lord himself, Chris Pratt, is also showing up in the new Thor movie, along with Vin Diesel as Groot, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Dave Bautista as Drax, and Pom Klementieff as Mantis. Rocket Raccoon is also present and accounted for, so we assume Bradley Cooper is also back. The Asgardians of the Galaxy ride again.

Who else? Grandmaster is returning: Jeff Goldblum has been spotted in Australia with Hemsworth and Waititi. Melissa McCarthy has also been seen on set, playing an Asgardian portraying Cate Blanchett's Hela.

Opposing the Thors will be Christian Bale, who has signed on to play Gorr the God Butcher, who played an integral role in Jason Aaron’s run as the man who killed off deities across time and space. He essentially became Marvel’s version of Kratos, for Odin’s sake. What's not to like? Our first glimpse at Bale in costume has hit the internet courtesy of some set photos, and he's looking pretty comic accurate. A LEGO set has since revealed an even better look at the villain.

Plus, Waititi has set some high expectations on the character. "In my humble opinion, we have probably the best villain that Marvel's ever had in Christian Bale," he told Associated Press.

Not only is it a worthy escalation for Thor – god-killers can certainly stand toe-to-toe with Thanos in terms of power levels – but it’s also a tantalizing proposition with just how much inspiration it seems the film is taking from the pages of the comics. Thor: Love and Thunder is already swiping space sharks (more on that below) and Jane Foster’s Thor from Aaron’s pages. What’s one more?

Thor: Love and Thunder story

Thor: Love and Thunder

(Image credit: Marvel/Disney)

Along with the first teaser trailer for the film, there's also an official synopsis. 

"The film finds Thor (Chris Hemsworth) on a journey unlike anything he's ever faced – a quest for inner peace," the synopsis reads. "But his retirement is interrupted by a galactic killer known as Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale), who seeks the extinction of the gods. 

"To combat the threat, Thor enlists the help of King Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), Korg (Taika Waititi) and ex-girlfriend Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), who – to Thor's surprise – inexplicably wields his magical hammer, Mjolnir, as the Mighty Thor. Together, they embark upon a harrowing cosmic adventure to uncover the mystery of the God Butcher's vengeance and stop him before it's too late."

The trailer also has some Marvel fans speculating Thor is actually dead – and some people think a mystery character has been edited out of a certain scene, too. And thanks to a newly released photo of Jane and Valkyrie, we also know that the movie will have a Black Panther connection in the form of Bast, the Wakandan god. How that might play out remains to be seen. 

Valkyrie and Mighty Thor in Love and Thunder

(Image credit: Disney/Marvel)

What else to expect from Thor: Love and Thunder? According to The Hollywood Reporter, it's likely to have an "Avengers 5 feel." Chris Hemsworth has even called it “one of the best scripts he’s read in years.” Accurate? Well, if you believe director Taika Waititi, it’s going to be Ragnarok turned up to eleven.

He told Entertainment Tonight, “If you take Ragnarok – which I feel was a very big, outlandish, bombastic film – we’re trying to double down on everything we did with that and create something that’s more crazy, more fun, and even more of a big, big adventure.”

The director has also said the movie "might be the best Marvel film ever," which are some bold words. 

Waititi also talked to The Sydney Morning Herald about the movie, and indicated there may not be a Thor 5: "I think this might be funnier," he said. "Everything we did with Ragnarok, we've just multiplied it. Who knows if we do another one after this but I definitely feel like we put everything – every idea and every single ridiculous concept or gag or stunt or character – into this film. I couldn't be happier with it." He later teased that the film is the "craziest" thing he's done to Wired, hinting: "What I wanted to do from the beginning was to ask: 'What are people expecting the least from this franchise?' Oh, I know – a full-blown love story!"

Plus, Waititi confirmed on an Instagram Live video that Korg will be looking for love in Thor 4, while Space Sharks will also feature. No, that’s not a typo. The creatures have appeared in the comics and serve as a razor-sharp roadblock for those looking to get close to the villainous Gorr’s planet during the Thor comic series in 2013.

Another plot point will revolve around Valkyrie finding someone to rule New Asgard with. "She's king. If she can't find her queen, she'll just be king and queen at the same time,” Thompson said during an interview with ET.

Anything else, for now, is just speculation. But you've got to speculate to accumulate, as they say, and with how close Love and Thunder appears to be following certain plot points from Jason Aaron's run on Mighty Thor, it's worth taking a look at what could still come. 

File these under hopes rather than anything concrete but Jane Foster's return probably means a few things. One, Thor is no longer worthy of wielding the hammer. How that happens is anyone's guess. Another possibility is that she hails from a multiverse.

Merchandise has revealed more about how she came to become a hero, though. "Suffering from cancer, astrophysicist and Thor's ex-girlfriend, Jane Foster, visited New Asgard and her life was changed forever," the product description reads. "Mysteriously, the broken pieces of Mjolnir, the hammer of the thunder god, transformed her into the Mighty Thor and gifted her the superpowers of Thor, to battle threats internal and external. Wielding Mjolnir herself, she had become a godly protector and a new hero was born!

"With the help of Thor, Valkyrie, and the Guardians of the Galaxy, the Mighty Thor was faced by the powerful Gorr, the God Butcher. With divine powers himself, Gorr was driven to rid the universe of gods wherever he found them. Battling cancer in her human form and Gorr in her godly form, Jane Foster was embroiled in an epic struggle with plenty of love and thunder!" While that doesn't give away too much, it does sound suitably awesome. 

Thor: Love and Thunder set pictures

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While filming took place, we got our first look at Thor: Love and Thunder from the set. Some of these photos tease potential moments in the movie – including a sequel to a fan-favorite scene from Thor: Ragnarok. Both Matt Damon and Luke Hemsworth, brother of Chris, have been spotted on set in Australia – with the pair dressed in their ‘fake’ Loki and Thor costumes respectively. It appears they are set to reprise their role from Ragnarok’s Asgardian stage show retelling key events from the God of Thunder’s life. "We were kind of reprising a cameo that we, that Luke Hemsworth and I did in the last one, and we had a ball and so Taika [Waititi] had us back again to kind of run that joke back and upgrade it a little bit," Damon explained on the Jess Cagle Show. It looks like Melissa McCarthy is joining them, too, as Fake Hela.

Another leak concerns Jane Foster – and how she might come to claim Mjolnir as her own. A new video shows Jane approaching a shrine to Odin and beginning to react violently, her body convulsing in the air. This bears a striking resemblance to Jason Aaron’s Thor comic run – although all leaks should be taken with a pinch of salt, so we'll have to wait and see how the scene actually transpires.

Other pics from the behind the scenes show Sean Gunn, who plays Kraglin in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, on set in a new cybernetic headpiece inspired by Yondu, played by Michael Rooker, who raised Peter as a kid and died in Guardians of the Galaxy 2.

Another recent set of pictures suggests the movie will further explore Thor and Jane Foster’s relationship in flashback scenes, with the pair seen holding hands. No, they’re not back together: the pair are in wigs and costumes that heavily hint at this taking place close to when they were dating after the events of Thor: The Dark World.

Thor: Love and Thunder director

Thor: Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The inimitable Taika Waititi returns to direct his second MCU movie

The COVID-19 outbreak has even helped his creative process on Thor: Love and Thunder. As Waititi explains to sister publication Total Film magazine, there was plenty of time to work on the story.

“We’re still writing Love And Thunder, and I think it’s good to just keep writing, and then you know, we’ll have a really, really good script,” Waititi said. “And with writing, especially, you should use as much of that time as possible to get your story right, because you never really get it later on. Film is an industry where you’re always complaining about not having enough time. I think, right now, we’ve given ourselves a huge amount of time to work on all sort of things, so we may as well use it."

Meanwhile, James Gunn, director of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, has said he has read the script – thanks to the Guardians appearing in Thor 4. "[Taika Waititi, director] is doing a great job – the script is amazing," Gunn wrote on Twitter. "We talked before he started writing it about where the characters are & where they're going & he read the script for Vol 3 and then I read his script and shared my thoughts."

And that's everything you need to know about Thor: Love and Thunder! For more from the MCU, check out our guide to Marvel Phase 4.

I'm the Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.

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