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The Fight Over Whether To Keep Fat Thor In Thor: Love And Thunder

Will Bro Thor be continuing to bro it up in Thor: Love and Thunder — or will the Asgardian return to his lean, mean physique?

The flick's writer/director, Taika Waititi, addressed the question during a recent sitdown with Yahoo! Entertainment. The short answer: he's not sure yet, but it could depend on where Marvel stands on the issue. 

Waititi began the conversation by dropping a bomb: he's actually completed the script for Thor: Love and Thunder, and with everything the multi-hyphenate has had on his plate for the last year or so, we're thinking that he must be subsisting solely on coffee and determination. He was sitting for the interview while making the promotional rounds for his upcoming period dramedy Jojo Rabbit, and he only has about a million other things going on: he wrote and directed an episode of Jon Favreau's The Mandalorian for Disney+, and also provided the voice of bounty hunting droid IG-11 in another episode; he wrote the pilot episode of the Apple TV+ series Time Bandits, and he's also been hard at work scripting We're Wolves (the followup to his breakthrough feature What We Do in the Shadows) and an animated Flash Gordon feature. 

Oh, he's also appearing in an undisclosed role in Marvel buddy James Gunn's The Suicide Squad, he'll be popping up in the Ryan Reynolds comedy Free Guy, and he'll be voicing amiable rock monster Korg in an episode of the Disney+ Marvel animated series What If...? For good measure, he's also serving as an executive producer on the TV series continuation of What We Do in the Shadows, as well as the New Zealand comedy series Wellington Paranormal. So yeah, he's been a little busy, and while it's been a hectic summer for entertainment news, we here at Looper suddenly feel a heck of a lot less overworked.

At any rate, you'll remember that in Avengers: Endgame, Thor had packed on a few pounds due to his battle with depression over having completely dropped the ball in failing to "go for the head" at the conclusion of Avengers: Infinity War, allowing Thanos to snap half of all life in the universe out of existence. The Thunder God remained portly for the duration of Endgame, and when Waititi was asked whether Thor would remain so for his fourth solo outing or would be reverting back to his familiar ripped self, he indicated that this had been a topic of discussion — but it hadn't yet been decided.

"This is an ongoing debate that we're still having at Marvel," Waititi said. "'Cause we're trying to figure out how long — how many months or years — this is after Endgame, at what point does this take place?"

However, the director indicated that he'd be inclined to not let Thor remain in any one state for too long, astutely noting that as the character has undergone a variety of changes in the MCU, he's become a lot more fun to watch. "I think we always want to keep changing it up with Thor," he said. "He's so interesting when he's changing all the time."

What else can we expect from Thor: Love and Thunder?

In case you haven't heard the news, Thor: Love and Thunder will feature a couple of major developments for two of the MCU's women. The flick will make explicit the fact that Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), the current ruler of New Asgard, is indeed bisexual, which was alluded to in a deleted scene from Thor: Ragnarok. Also, Natalie Portman will return as Jane Foster after an extended hiatus — and she'll follow the character's comic book arc in picking up Mjolnir herself to become the Mighty Thor.

Fans of Foster's comic run as Thor know that wielding the hammer was a bit of a mixed bag for the character. She became Thor for the first time after receiving a breast cancer diagnosis, and while the disease was kept at bay by Foster's transformation, it continued to do its thing while she was in her normal, human form — a situation made worse by the fact that the Asgardian magic imbued by the hammer purged her body of all toxins, including the chemotherapy drugs used in her treatment.

Eventually, Foster actually succumbed to the disease — but, of course, she was revived by Odin, and is currently operating under the mantle of Valkyrie. During an interview with Variety earlier this week, Waititi hinted that we may see a version of the cancer storyline in Thor: Love and Thunder.

"I think that's a really powerful part of the books. I think it's really cool that she's fighting this thing and there's two battles going on. Personally, I really love that storyline," he said. "But whether it ends up in the film is yet to be seen."

One may be tempted to call bull on this statement now that we know Waititi has completed the script. But his fast-and-loose approach to writing and shooting means that even major components of the story are subject to change, even late in the process.

"We're not sure if we're going to do a complete lift of [Foster's] storyline," he said. "These things change through the shoot and even when we're editing sometimes. Like, 'Let's get rid of that storyline where she's got breast cancer. We'll change it to something else, or maybe she's fine.'"

No wonder Marvel loves Waititi so much — not only does his gonzo aesthetic make for extremely entertaining superhero adventures, but judging by that statement, it's virtually impossible for his movies to be spoiled. Thor: Love and Thunder will arrive at the end of 2021, the first year in which Marvel Studios will release four, count 'em, four movies: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on February 12, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 7, the as-yet untitled third Spider-Man flick on July 16, and the Thor-quel (see what we did there?) on November 5.