2020 was the first year without any content from the Marvel Cinematic Universe since 2009. A streak of 10 years lost. This is more heart-breaking than losing an 800 day streak on Snapchat. Anyway, I think a year break might be a good thing. One the one hand, it means we have to wait longer for Black Widow’s last ride, Vision’s resurrection and whatever the hell the Eternals will be about. However it also gives us time to reflect on the MCU so far. And more importantly, it gives us time to make our predictions on the future! In this series, I’ll be collecting the predictions and writing my biggest hopes for the future of Marvel. (Spoilers ahead: DUH)
First up, we’re starting with The Big Three. The trinity. The biggest heroes of the MCU: America’s ass; Our favourite Genius, Billionaire, Playboy, Philanthropist; and Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the god of hammers. The first two will be easy to predict. Endgame was the last ride of the two figureheads of the Avengers. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) made the ultimate sacrifice after using the Infinity Gauntlet to stop Thanos (Josh Brolin) and his army. Meanwhile, Steve (Chris Evans), who survived the final battle in Endgame, went back in time and stayed there so he could live his life with Peggy (Hayley Atwell).
Getting rid of both Iron Man and Captain America in one film is a ballsy move by Marvel. Neither character will disappear forever. There’s always the What IF animated series which comes out this year. I wouldn’t be surprised if either character has a cameo in the upcoming Black Widow film. Or if Old Man Steve just shows up at some film in the future. The MCU has also left legacies for both these characters. Spiderman (Tom Holland) seems set to replace Iron Man as the tech genius of the Avengers. I think this was what Homecoming and Far from Home were both setting him up for. Meanwhile, Steve literally passed on his shield to Sam Wilson aka Falcon (aka Anthony Mackie. Stop me if this is getting too confusing). I will go into detail with both their stories in later articles.
Thus leaving Thor. He is the only one of the big three to survive Endgame and the only one to get a fourth film. Last we saw Thor, he was travelling with the Guardians of the Galaxy after making Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) Queen of Asgard. Well, what was left of Asgard now living on Earth after the events of Avengers Infinity War and Thor: Ragnarok. We saw Thor at his strongest during Avengers Infinity War. His arrival in Wakanda with his freshly-forged Stormbreaker is probably one of the best moments in the film. Then, after the good guys lost, Thor went to his lowest having lost everything.
Now without a world to protect, his hammer or a team to be part of, this fourth film should be Thor discovering what he wants. Finding his own path. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was his last ride or his last solo film. Marvel plans to release Thor: Love and Thunder in 2022 and kicked off production towards the end of 2020. The story is mostly being kept under wraps but we know that Natalie Portman is returning to the MCU. She is returning as Jane Foster and will take on the mantle of Thor as some point in the film.
In the comic universe, Jane Foster finds out that she can use Mjolnir (Thor’s hammer. Get your mind out the gutter) and thus gains the powers of Thor due to the enchantment on the hammer. Her story arc is quite moving despite what the haters say. Whilst she has become this Asgardian hero, she is also battling with cancer. Saving the universe actually makes her illness worse. I’m not sure how much of this story will be brought into the film but it would potentially make Jane Foster a character we care about.
Taiki Waititi will be directing the film and he’s bringing back fan-favourite Korg. Thor finished Endgame by joining the Guardians of the Galaxy. This means they will probably appear in Thor 4. It would be weird not to address this. Plus Chris Pratt (Star-Lord) is cast in the film. However, it seems Marvel is getting big on more and more team-ups in their ‘solo’ arcs. Spiderman 3 and Doctor Strange 2 already sound like it will have massive crossovers. There are also rumours that Thor 4 might be building up to an Avenger 5 feel.
After Thor 4, I would imagine Thor only appearing potentially in the Loki series or to face Avenger-level threats. The film might be tied to the rebirth of Asgard. In the comics, Asgard has been destroyed many times. The essence of Ragnarok is that Asgard must die so it can be born again. Thor is the last of the prominent Norse gods still alive. Maybe his journey leads him to rebuild Asgard. Alternatively, the journey could be the death of him allowing the rebirth of the gods. Whilst he is away, he could gift Jane Mjolnir as protector of the universe.
I wrote this theory before the announcement of Christian Bale’s character. However, after Thursday’s announcement, I have more faith in this theory. Christian Bale’s role in the next Thor film will be Gorr The God Butcher. The name really highlights how menacing in this character is. Watch the video below to find out more about who the character is in the comics. Essentially, he is an alien who grows sick of believing in gods to save him. He essentially deems them evil for allowing so much harm to people he loves so when he gains an ability he goes across the universe to kill anyone who is worshipped like a god.
Gorr’s motives are to kill any and all gods. Hence, he’ll either be hunting down Thor or force Thor to fight him by attacking new Asgard led by Valkyrie. Plus if he has the same strength as in the comics (which is unlikely because they have weakened many villains in the past), he could take on 3 Thors at once which is pretty strong. Instead of Gorr facing off against multiple Thors, he will probably face off against Thor, Valkyrie and Jane Foster Thor (Natalie Portman). We may even have Loki making an appearance as one of the few other gods floating around in the universe.
I would like to see how Marvel will explain Gorr’s abilities. What makes Gorr so menacing is because he essential uses an incredibly strong weapon called All-Black, the Necrosword. In the comics this weapon was the first Symbiote, which you may remember from Venom. Since Sony currently own the character Venom, does this mean they own all mentions of Symbiotes? Will Marvel pay Sony to use the character? Or will they just find another weapon that will give Gorr the strength for his title?
We do see Hela use the Necrosword as her main weapon in Thor Ragnarok (even if it is not really named) so potentially this weapon could be passed on to Hela after her defeat. It will also be interesting to see how they deal with Gorr’s origins. Will we see what drew him to his goal? Will Marvel change some of his origins to fit MCU? Since the Asgardians were essentially protectors of the universe before Ragnarok, maybe they were supposed to protect Gorr’s original planet. Without the Asgardians protection in the five years, the world went into chaos and Gorr blames the gods.
Alternatively, Hela and Surtur’s fight at the end of Ragnarok was not limited to Asgard. We never saw either character die. They could have crashed on Gorr’s planet causing destruction there. Then at her weakest, Hela similar to the comics calls out to Gorr for help. He instead takes the Necrosword from her and kills her and Surtur. That last theory is a little more out there since there are no reports as of yet that Hela or Surtur will appear in Thor 4 but we shall see.
Comment below with what you would like to happen next? What will Marvel do with the legacies of Cap and Iron Man? How will Thor 4 pan out? Do you agree with Film Theory’s idea that Thor might be the end of the MCU as we know it?