Thor 4 From Taika Waititi Offers Safety, Stability To Disney's Post-'Endgame
Jul 16, 2019 | By: Scott Mendelson
A 'Thor 4' From Taika Waititi Offers Safety, Stability To Disney's Post-'Endgame' MCU
I'm guessing this was something that Walt Disney was planning on announcing on Saturday night during the San Diego Comic-Con, but c'est la vie. In a somewhat surprising development, Taika Waititi has signed with Disney and Marvel to direct a fourth Thor movie. Yes, this means that Warner Bros.' Akira adaptation, which was set to open on May 21, 2021, has been put on hold indefinitely. Whether or not Warner Bros. will wait for Waititi, move forward with another director or toss Akira into development hell, this is an interesting development just before Marvel prepares to announce its Phase Four plans.
Simply put, Thor 4 will be the first time that a standalone MCU superhero franchise has netted a fourth movie. Iron Man and Captain America capped it at three flicks and, Endgame spoilers, the chances of an Iron Man 4 or a Captain America 4 are pretty darn slim. Of course, you could argue that Captain America: Civil War was both Captain America 3 and Iron Man 4, but I digress. This also means that Thor is the only franchise, give or take a surprise Incredible Hulk sequel down the line, to carry over from Phase One into the post-Endgame realm of MCU movies.
Waititi's Thor: Ragnarok was a huge hit in late 2017, earning $324 million domestic and $854 million worldwide, which was a 57% domestic and 33% global jump from Alan Taylor's (comparatively) indifferently received Thor: The Dark World in late 2013. And, even as someone who thinks both prior Thor movies are pretty funny in their own right, Ragnarok is easily the best film in the franchise and one of the best MCU movies, period. It perfectly balances the MCU formula, the gonzo-bananas video game/80's fantasy tropes and a potent story about imperfect peace brought about through colonialism and genocide.
Marvel was in a place at that point, as Thor 3 arrived between Spider-Man: Homecoming and Black Panther, where its otherwise obscene financial success was mostly greeted with a shrug. Yes, Hemsworth is expected to return. There is no word on A) whether he will keep the weight he gained between Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, B) whether Tessa Thompson will be back or C) whether he will still be palling around with the Guardians of the Galaxy. Thompson is really one of the only major supporting characters still alive after the events of The Dark World, Ragnarok and Infinity War.
I hereby petition to have Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) return and become a junior member of the Guardians in the process. A Taika Waititi-directed Thor 4 operates on the same plane as a Ryan Coogler-directed Black Panther 2, a safe bet to bring Phase Three-worthy box office as Marvel introduces some truly cult characters. There's no release date (November 21, 2021 perhaps?), but I expect that info, and more, to drop this Saturday evening. Now, all we need to know is if (speculation alert) Peyton Reed will get a third Ant-Man movie or if he's trading it for a Fantastic Four flick.