Chris Hemsworth believes that Thor needs a new tone within the MCU, and he’s right, however, there’s a problem with that sentiment. Following Thor: Love and Thunder, Hemsworth spoke on the Happy Sad Confused podcast about his desire to reinvent Thor’s tone if or when Marvel decides to bring him back to the MCU. While no new projects have been announced featuring or even including the God of Thunder, it is likely that audiences will see him included in some way within Phases 5 and 6 as they prepare to give the character a proper send-off.
Thor’s character has been through many tonal shifts, mostly due to a variety of directors overseeing the movies he has been featured in. And going forward, the MCU has three possible Thor replacements in the works, so while the character will probably not be around for too much longer, audiences can reasonably assume he will make at least one final appearance. Hemsworth’s desire to give Thor yet another tone change in the MCU makes sense, but given that the MCU has tried a variety of tones with Thor already, they may be running out of options.
What Can Thor’s New Tone Actually Be?!
Thor’s first MCU movie was over a decade ago with 2011’s Thor. The first two Thor movies were dramatic and bordering on a Shakespearean tone. Throughout most of the first half of the Infinity Saga, he was still a serious character that seemed to embody a traditional superhero. In Thor: Ragnarok there was a massive character change as the tone was now goofy, yet still able to handle a more serious plot line, and this tone extended to Avengers: Infinity War. Then Bro Thor appeared in Avengers: Endgame, and the tone went from goofy to exploring deep emotional struggles while still using humor. Love and Thunder attempted to recreate the tone that Ragnarok had set, but leaned too far into the comedy side to pull it off.
Marvel has always tried to keep their characters fresh but no MCU character has gone through quite so many tonal shifts, so Marvel is in uncharted waters if they want to revamp Thor’s character yet again. While Hemsworth’s wishes for a new tone could save the character, there are only a handful of genres/tones that they haven’t tried. It was a huge risk for Marvel to attempt the goofy tone of Ragnarok so unexpectedly so if they did choose to take Thor’s character in a new direction, it is not likely they would try their luck twice and abandon the lighter comedy all together.
Could The MCU’s Thor 5 Go Super-Dark?
Although still unannounced, a fifth installment of Thor is likely to occur given the prominence of the character as an original Avenger and the setup at the end of Love and Thunder. Considering how Love and Thunder played with some darker scenes, such as when Gorr the God Butcher trapped the heroes in the shadow realm. It is possible that a fifth Thor movie could lean more heavily into that darkness, possibly even exploring the subgenre of dark comedy for an easier character transition.
Comedy Thor Doesn’t Work After Love & Thunder
Thor has lost more than almost any other MCU character over the past few years. With the death of his mom, dad, brother, best friend, and even his kingdom, it is not surprising he turned to alcohol to cope in Endgame. Then Love and Thunder explored his feelings further, how he was scared to let in someone he loved, but that was something he needed in his life. The rekindled relationship with Jane Foster, who became the Mighty Thor, only lasted briefly before she died, which was yet another heartbreak for Thor.
After Jane died so soon after Thor thought he might have another shot at being happy, the comedic tone of Thor doesn’t seem to fit any longer, which means if Marvel does intend to shake up the tone again they will likely go darker. Although the MCU has tried a plethora of tones for various Thor movies, it has added depth to his character as he has grown and changed much like a real person. It remains to be seen whether the next time audiences see the God of Thunder if he will still be comedic and goofy or if he will have shifted to a much darker version of himself.