Straight off their box office win this summer with Captain America: Civil War, Marvel's next three films will actually break new ground and follow more recent, less well known characters from Phase Two and Three of the MCU. Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Spider-Man: Homecoming are on the schedule for the rest of 2016 and early 2017, before Thor: Ragnarok premieres late next year.
The last time we saw Thor (played by Chris Hemsworth) was in 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron. At the end of the film, the god of thunder returned to Asgard to find out more about the Infinity Stones, while the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) disappeared in a Quinjet, thereby splitting up the old Avengers team. Neither character appeared in this year's Civil War, instead replaced by other superheroes like Scarlet Witch, Falcon, War Machine and Vision.
Yet in next fall's Thor: Ragnarok we'll get to check back in with both the Thor and Bruce Banner, as well as Thor's adopted brother Loki (who was last seen in Thor: The Dark World). Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston (who plays the Asgardian villain Loki) appeared on a panel at Wizard World Philadelphia and teased just how the new film will differ from previous installments and a few other surprises.
According to ComicBook.com, Hemsworth revealed at the convention that the next Thor film will be more adventurous and with even more of a humorous slant. The character of Thor always had great comedic moments in previous Marvel films, and Hemsworth says that will be expanded upon under the new director:
"Man, it is a lot of fun. I think tonally it's a big shift in a great way, more than anything we've seen before. Taika Waititi, the director, if you know any of his work, he's just an incredible sort of comedic talent a lot of heart in everything he does. It's a very different Thor, it's a different Loki; we go off on another world that we haven't experienced before. It's fun, but that's me skirting around the issue because I can't say too much."
As Hemsworth implied, not much is known yet about Thor 3, besides the cast which will include old favorites like Idris Elba (Heimdall) and Anthony Hopkins (Odin), as well as new additions such as Cate Blanchett (Hela), Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie), and Karl Urban (Skurge). Of course, many fans are also looking forward to Ruffalo's return as the Hulk.
Hiddleston for his part is excited to be back as Loki, as reported by ComicBook.com, since as he reminds people, "I really haven't played him properly since the end of 2012." To say the MCU has changed since then is an understatement. While Thor and Loki will undoubtedly still be enemies, they'll have a very different relationship this time around since so much time has passed and the events of Age of Ultron changed everyone.
Yet some things you just don't forget, like the last time Loki and the Hulk crossed paths. It didn't end very well for the Asgardian when the green giant humorously pummeled him. Per Hiddleston, the two will be at odds yet again in Ragnarok:
"And lets not forget that its no secret that the Hulk shows up in Ragnarok, and the last time Loki and Hulk were in the same room didn't go very well for Loki. So, he's got a few chips on his shoulder, but it's fun, you'll see."
Why the Hulk is off world and how he meets up with the two Asgardians is just one of many questions about Ragnarok. We still don't know how Thor and Loki will meet up again and what they're after as they go to a new world. There's been rumors the two may be after an object and that Planet Hulk will enter into the mix, but for now all we know is the new film will bring back old favorites in a fun romp across the galaxy.
Captain America: Civil War is in theaters now. Doctor Strange opens November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel– March 8, 2019; Avengers: Infinity War Part 2– May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.