RUMOR: Is Taika Waititi Directing Thor 5?

Is the God of Thunder’s next cinematic adventure being planned? On September 19, 2023, Thor: Love and Thunder: The Official Movie Book, a behind-the-scenes account of the fourth Thor film, will be released, but an excerpt is making the rounds (courtesy of ScreenRant) because of its hints about the character’s future. Taika Waititi, director of Thor: Love and Thunder and its predecessor, Thor: Ragnarok, spoke about where he’d like to take Thor in a fifth movie:

“What is left to do to him? It’s got to be something that feels like it’s carrying on with the evolution of the character, but still in a very fun way and still giving him things to come up against that feel like they’re building on the obstacles that he has to overcome. I don’t think we can have a villain that’s weaker than Hela. I feel like we need to step up from there and add a villain that’s somehow more formidable”


Waititi’s repeated use of “we” indicates that he’s been planning to come back for a fifth Thor since at least the filming of Love and Thunder. Additionally, Twitter scooper MyTimeToShineHello has heard that Thor 5 is happening and that while Waititi isn’t locked to direct it, there’s a “good chance” he’ll return.

I don’t know how reliable MyTimeToShineHello is, but several sites have picked up on the rumor, so it’s worth mentioning. Also worth mentioning is that nothing is official, and since the actors’ strike is ongoing and Chris Hemsworth would be a big part of this announcement, we won’t hear anything for a while, even if another Thor is on the Marvel docket. For that matter, Waititi may be in the Screen Actors’ Guild as well since he inserts himself into every movie he makes. (If you’ve never read “Planet Hulk” or “World War Hulk,” it may interest you to know that Korg was once an actual character, not just an excuse for Waititi to bumble around in Marvel movies.) So this will probably be classified as a rumor for a long time.

And I hope it stays that way, at least partly. I’d love another Thor movie, but only if it’s good, and Taika Waititi hasn’t made a good one yet. I haven’t seen his other films, so out of respect for fans of those, I’ll say that, at the very least, he’s the wrong fit for these movies. He’s too wacky, too silly, too eager to make fools of everyone, and I think the success of Thor: Ragnarok is largely responsible for the dumb jokefests Marvel movies have become. For example, Fat Thor in Avengers: Endgame is almost certainly a result of audiences responding so well to the silly version of Thor in Ragnarok. I never cared for that, and I don’t want more, which is exactly what we’ll get from Waititi.

However, things have changed since then. After Ragnarok, people got a taste of how cool Thor could be in Avengers: Infinity War, and his arrival in Wakanda before he single-handedly turns the tide of the battle got one of the biggest rounds of applause on opening night (in a film full of applause moments). When he devolved into a walking sight gag in Endgame, people were disappointed at the downgrade. Thor had to be taken to a low point in that movie, for sure, but that could’ve been accomplished much better without the goofy gut and silly drunkenness. To go from that to Love and Thunder, where he was once again a blithering idiot, seemed to turn people off, and while the film managed to turn a profit, it wasn’t the mega-hit Marvel and Disney wanted. To bring Waititi back after that would be a huge mistake and another indication that they’re not going to learn any valuable lessons from the last few years.

As for Waititi’s ideas, I agree, but probably not in the way he means them. The movies should be fun, but not goofy and silly. The first two Thor movies – both of which I love – had a lot of humor, and they played on Thor’s stoicism rather than making him an oblivious dolt. The fun they should focus on is that adventure and fantasy, the wonder of traveling the Nine Realms with a crusading God of Thunder. Let Thor get into cool battles with fantastical creatures, but don’t play them for laughs; take them seriously, the way a (good) Star Wars or Indiana Jones movie would, then have some laughs when appropriate. Waititi killed off the Warriors Three (and Thor didn’t seem to care; God, I hate those movies) and Heimdall, so let Lady Sif be his sidekick; now that Jane Foster is gone for good, they can pick up that discarded subplot about her as a potential love interest.

The villain thing is good, too. Thor should have an intimidating, powerful nemesis, one who can give him a real challenge. I have to laugh at Waititi saying it should be more powerful than Hela, though; if he didn’t use Ragnarok – the Norse God apocalypse, which is kind of a big deal – as a deus ex machina in his cosmic Three Stooges movie, that could have been Surtur. Waititi also ruined the Greek Gods, which is infuriating; imagine having an actor with the gravitas of Russell Crowe as Zeus and turning him into a joke. But maybe a subsequent, Waititiless film can take them more seriously and have them pose a real threat to Thor. Absent that… I don’t know. The Midgard Serpent could look awesome in a movie (I say “could” because of the lousy special effects that have plagued the latest round of Marvel films), but not as the main villain. I’m open to pretty much anything, as long as it’s executed well.

I’d also like to see Thor continue to evolve, but again, Waititi saying this is a laugh because Thor devolved under his stewardship. Thor learned humility in his first movie and grew from an impetuous, selfish prince into a noble hero who only wanted to help. Then, Taika Waititi took the reins, and suddenly Thor had become a careless imbecile with the personality of a stereotypical high school jock again. I would like to see more of the wiser Thor, the one driven to protect the innocent and save the universe from otherworldly threats. Of course, he’s also saddled with a kid now, thanks to Waititi, so she’ll have to be part of the adventures, but I guess with some really, really good writing, that can work. None of this Marvel girlboss nonsense, though; Thor should teach and protect her, not the other way around (even more so because she’s, like, five years old). They’ll never do this, but imagine if New Asgard is attacked – by a villain with actual teeth – and King/Queen/How Dare I Assume Valkyrie is killed, so Thor has to take responsibility for the kingdom he abandoned. That’s something new, and a lesson he could learn beyond being a wanderer.

Presumably, this will be leading to Avengers: Secret Wars, which, if the rumors are true (and I tend to believe those most of all because it’s the logical thing for Marvel to do), is going to be packed with heroes people actually like, assuming Disney can snag them. Thor centering himself once again before the Avengers assemble could set the stage for an epic return to form in an Avengers film. It’s Disney/Marvel, so I understand I have to keep my expectations in check (meaning chained to a wall in a dungeon with the occasional bucket of fish heads for food), but I’d really love it if they fixed Thor, and fixed the MCU… and that means no Taika Waititi.

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