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The Untold Truth Of Thor: Love And Thunder

After the middling and underwhelming performance of "Thor: The Dark World" — both critically and financially — many wondered if the God of Thunder still had a major part to play in the MCU moving forward. Director Taika Waititi stepped up to the plate, held Mjölnir above his head, and proved he was indeed worthy to lead us to the promised land. He reinvigorated the Asgardian in the smash-hit "Thor: Ragnarok," helping it achieve a 93% critical approval on Rotten Tomatoes and over $850 million at the global box office (via Box Office Mojo). Lightning stuck twice, and Waititi returned for "Thor: Love and Thunder" — a film bursting with as much color, humor, and action as its predecessor.

The story behind the making of the fourth "Thor" film is as important as the adventure on screen, though. The inclusion of the Guardians of the Galaxy became a major talking point in the lead-up and required some discussion and alignment with another MCU filmmaker. Also, there was the hot topic around the introduction of the Mighty Thor and if Natalie Portman would be swinging in for the role. And lest we forget, there was the rumor that this film could turn out to be Chris Hemsworth's last appearance as the beloved God of Thunder. So let's take a look at the movie where everything is as fresh as the bright blue sky and discover the untold truth of "Thor: Love and Thunder."

Taika Waititi always wanted Natalie Portman to come back

The return of Jane Foster to a "Thor" film delighted fans of the franchise. Even better was how she picked up Mjölnir and became the Mighty Thor — just like Jane did in the comics. Despite Natalie Portman's character briefly showing up in "Avengers: Endgame," the actress wasn't on set for the film. As she told Variety, the Russo brothers utilized unused footage of her from "Thor: The Dark World." In fact, Portman wasn't sure if she'd ever get the call to play Jane again after the critically maligned 2013 movie.

While Taika Waititi didn't include Jane in "Thor: Ragnarok," he discussed how he had planned to bring her back to the franchise, but he needed to figure out what to do with her first. "I've seen her play the scientist character in 'Thor' 1 and 2, and it just seemed pointless to do it again," Waititi said (per Variety). "That character feels like just a love interest. It's an Earthwoman who runs around being mortal and not really consequential throughout." After Waititi decided the next film would take influence from writer Jason Aaron and artist Russell Dauterman's "Mighty Thor" run, it was clear that Portman simply had to return and get ripped to play Mighty Thor.

Thor: Love and Thunder may be Chris Hemsworth's last rodeo

All good things must come to an end, right? After having played Thor for over a decade, Chris Hemsworth might be joining the likes of Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans in the Valhalla for former MCU actors. He admitted in a WIRED Autocomplete Interview that "Thor: Love and Thunder" could end up being his last outing as the beloved Asgardian. "Well, the last I shot was 'Thor: Love and Thunder' and it might be my last ... I don't know," he said. "It was a wild and fun and wacky experience, as all Taika Waititi movies are."

In a later chat with Total Film, Hemsworth elaborated on his earlier comments and tried to calm the fanbase, stating how the decision to return as Thor largely depends on the quality of the script on offer. If the story becomes too repetitive, he wouldn't want to continue doing the same thing over and over again, preferring to exit before someone tells him to. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige chimed in and added that there are many other Thor storylines from the comics to adapt and plenty of opportunity for Hemsworth's character to develop in future films. We'll simply have to wait and see if Hemsworth returns or not.

Christian Bale didn't know what the MCU was

While the rest of the world argued if the MCU was better than the DCEU or vice versa, Christian Bale looked towards the horizon, sipping on a glass of ice-cold still water and being blissfully unaware of what either of those acronyms even meant. As it turns out, the former "Dark Knight" actor doesn't spend too much time trawling Film Twitter for hot takes or finding out the latest gossip and spoilers about comic book movies on Reddit. Bale revealed to the Total Film that he had no clue what the letters MCU meant when he signed on to play Gorr the God Butcher, at first wondering if it was an offensive term or something bad.

"And I'd go, 'I've done what? I haven't entered s***, thank you very much.'" he said. "I'm like, 'The MCU?' I had to ask what that was." Considering the heated exchanges and general online shenanigans that take place under the sneaky guise of fandom, maybe it wasn't such a bad idea that he was out of the know before he accepted the part of Gorr in "Thor: Love and Thunder."

James Gunn had a hand in Thor: Love and Thunder

After Thor joined the Guardians of the Galaxy at the end of "Avengers: Endgame," there was always a good chance that Peter Quill and his ragtag group of misfits would show up in the next "Thor" film. Yet, there was a snag thrown into the mix: James Gunn was working on "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" while Taika Waititi put the finishing touches on his film, so they needed to have some kind of alignment to ensure there wasn't a gigantic Galactus-sized plot hole by the time Gunn's film released. Fortunately, the two have a friendly relationship, so this wasn't as big of a challenge as it could have been.

Waititi explained to Total Film (via CBR) that Gunn kindly assisted him with all things related to the Guardians. "[Gunn's] style is very different," he said. "He's very particular about his scripts, and about the way his characters speak. Obviously, I wrote the script, and I always knew we were going to kind of just hand those scenes to him." Waititi added that Gunn was helpful and would provide useful notes if he felt that some of the characterizations or lines were off.

What If ...? plans were changed because of Thor: Love and Thunder

Thinking about it, the "What If ... ?" animated show has inadvertently provided some spoilers for Marvel movies. For example, fans saw Peggy Carter as Captain Carter and the zombie Doctor Strange debut on the series before they both appeared and died in the "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" film. However, Marvel Studios put a pin on the one specific "What If ... ?" idea, choosing to leave it for the live-action realm to do first.

In an interview with DiscussingFilm, "What If ... ?" showrunner Ashley Bradley explained how she wanted Jane Foster's Mighty Thor to appear in one of the episodes from the get-go. When she pitched the idea to the execs, she was rejected on the spot. An annoyed Bradley pushed for the idea before eventually being told the real reason for the hard no. "They responded with, 'Please don't tell anyone. We're with you on it, it's an amazing idea. Taika Waititi wants to write it,'" she said. "At that point, you just go, 'Then Taika Waiti can write it.'"

Tom Hiddleston thinks Thor and Loki's story has ended

Thor and Loki are like ice cream and life: they just fit together and are perfect for any occasion. While the audience has had the pleasure of witnessing the God of Thunder and his scheming, mischievous brother in more than a few MCU adventures, the two have been kept apart since the events of "Avengers: Infinity War." Team Thoki would love nothing more than to see the two dudes with godly attitudes team up again on screen, but Tom Hiddleston revealed to Empire (via Digital Spy) that perhaps it's best to keep the brothers apart since their journey has reached its natural conclusion.

"We talked about the 'Thor' movies as a family saga, and the diametric opposition between Thor and Loki and duality and antagonism being a book that perhaps should remain closed for the moment," he said. "We have explored about as much as we can about these two brothers." Hiddleston makes a compelling point, especially considering Thor and Loki's overall narrative tied up in a satisfactory fashion; however, as long as both actors continue to appear in the MCU, the likelihood of them crossing paths again remains extremely probable.

Taika Waititi called Gorr the God Butcher one of the best Marvel villains

Gorr the God Butcher is a relatively new character in Marvel Comics. Created by writer Jason Aaron and artist Esad Ribić, the villain debuted in 2012 (via Marvel) as a brand-new antagonist for Thor to lock horns with. Gorr might not have been the most instantly recognizable name next to other baddies like Thanos, Malekith, or Red Skull, but "Thor: Love and Thunder" has changed this perception and established the character as a serious threat among the wider fanbase.

Taika Waititi praised Christian Bale's performance as Gorr to Entertainment Weekly, believing it to be straight from the top shelf and cementing Bale's character as a big deal in the shared universe. "I think personally, he's probably one of the best villains that Marvel's had in their films," he said. "He's very layered." The true strength of Gorr's impact, though, can be measured by his memeability, and the internet hasn't disappointed in this regard. One of the best memes, courtesy of Twitter, pointed out the uncanny similarity between Bale's Gorr and Uncle Fester from "The Addams Family" if Zack Snyder were to direct the kooky film.

Tessa Thompson's family unintentionally leaked spoilers from the movie

When it comes to spoilers, Marvel Studios keeps close tabs on Tom Holland and Mark Ruffalo, ensuring the two actors aren't revealing more than they should during the press tours. However, Kevin Feige might need to send out the troops to confiscate Tessa Thompson's family's phones before the next release. Appearing on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" and chatting to guest host Sean Hayes, Thompson explained how it was a relative of hers who was unintentionally responsible for leaking Valkyrie's new costume in "Thor: Love and Thunder" before it was meant to be revealed to the fans.

"I sent [a picture] to my stepmom," Thompson said. "She put it in like an end-of-year montage thing on Instagram, and somebody found it and posted it on the Internet. But I guess it's a big thing because it's my costume change, so I guess it was a spoiler, but she didn't know." She added it wasn't really a big thing for her and that she's just as bad at spoilers. Undoubtedly, the alarms must have rung in Feige's office after this interview.

Taika Waititi wanted a nude Thor from the start

If Thor is the God of Thunder, then Chris Hemsworth is the God of Muscle. After the release of the "Thor: Love and Thunder" trailer, where a blurred version of a naked Thor was shown, the internet's tongues wagged as Hemsworth showed off his remarkable physique while wearing his birthday suit. Many wondered what Disney and Marvel Studios thought of this very non-family-friendly scene, which would have made even Deadpool blush — or at least let out a nervous giggle. According to Taika Waititi, it was always a part of the plan, and he received no pushback from the powers that be.

"We all knew we wanted to do it from very early on," Waititi explained to ComicBook.com. "That was in the first draft of the script actually and Chris was on board as well. You know, I think you have a body like Chris, like, you know, even he understands. It would be just, it would be a waste to not show it off. It would be a crime against humanity." The question is, will Disney and Marvel Studios' PR and marketing team be brave enough to release the nude Thor as an action figure in the near future? Maybe as a limited edition special release for the fans of the movie and Hemsworth.

The surprising influence behind Gorr the God Butcher

Actors are interesting creatures. Some of them use the comics as their North Star, devouring every morsel of information about their characters for guidance. Others prefer to interpret the script as is and to not be tied down by lore or previous adaptations of their characters. In the case of Christian Bale, he took a complete left field in preparation for his performance as Gorr the God Butcher.

Speaking to Total Film, Bale admitted that he turned to Waititi first and foremost to find out what he wanted from his performance. However, he also looked toward the likes of "Nosferatu" and Aphex Twin's music video for "Come to Daddy" for some inspiration on how to approach the character. After taking a look at the comics, there was one concern that Bale had about Gorr, though. "I did make the mistake of Googling him and, oh no! He runs around in a G-string all the time," he said. "And I thought, 'They don't have the right man for that!' And then Taika quickly dispelled any notions of running around in that." It would have certainly been a cheekier version of the Gorr, that's for sure.

Taika Waititi trolled Thor fans

Watching Taika Waititi on social media is a lot like seeing one of his movies: he's entertaining and always good for a laugh. It's clear that the New Zealand filmmaker loves having a good time and being a part of the fandom too. He responds to fan comments — both the good and bad — and interacts on an ongoing basis. More importantly, he revealed on "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" that he enjoys messing with the fans.

"I like to listen to the fans and then I like to troll the fans back a bit, because it just brings me some little bit of joy," Waititi said. "Just a little bit. I don't have many joys in my life, you know, I've got my kids and trolling fans." He admitted that he loves to instigate the rumor mill and have them wondering if their theories could be true. To his detractors, he also plays along and promises to destroy their favorite characters and franchises simply to rile them up. So the next time someone writes to Waititi on social media, they must ask themselves if they're really trolling him or if he is in charge of the tomfoolery.

Chris Pratt says Chris Hemsworth is Thor in real life too

While Thor and Peter Quill's relationship might appear to be a little prickly on screen, the actors behind the roles have nothing but kind words to say about each other as performers and people. Chris Pratt raved to SFX magazine (via GamesRadar) about his experience shooting "Thor: Love and Thunder," admitting his admiration for Chris Hemsworth and his talents.

"I love being able to work with Chris Hemsworth," Pratt said. "He is like Thor in real life. He's the sweetest dude. Super-funny. Works so hard. It was great." He added that he enjoyed the opportunity to film the movie in Australia while reserving special praise for Taika Waititi's approach to filmmaking. With so much goodwill and chemistry between these individuals, it would be a crime if they weren't paired together again in the future. Perhaps a Disney+ buddy comedy between Thor and Star-Lord should be at the top of the agenda for the House of Ideas.