The Thor trilogy may be over, but we have a really cool idea for Thor 4. It's little wonder that fans are applauding Thor: Ragnarok as one of the best MCU movies to date. Taika Waititi's reinvention of the God of Thunder adds bright neon and humor to a franchise once known for its po-faced approach.
Unsurprisingly, talk has inevitably turned to Waititi's possible return for a "Ragnarok 2" and another trip around the Nine Realms with Chris Hemsworth in tow. However, with the likes of Captain America and Iron Man stopping at three solo movies thanks to contracts and timing, will Kevin Feige really give us a quadrilogy based on the muscular man from Asgard?
After all, the ending of Ragnarok left the people of Asgard in a precarious position - and facing the intergalactic threat of Thanos. Where do we go next? Well, the film actually leaves some interesting threads dangling that, along with the comic source, opens up one very cool possibility.
Where Ragnarok Leaves Thor
Ragnarok may have seen the destruction of the Warriors Three, the Elite Guard, Odin himself, and Asgard the place, but it's no resolute apocalypse. In fact, the film neatly sets up a Thor 4 storyline.
We end the film with Chris Hemsworth stepping into the role of a one-eyed leader of the Asgardian people. Thor's parting speech suggested he was taking the Asgard lifeboat to Midgard (Earth) and find sanctuary among some more "normal" inhabitants of the galaxy. However, the arrival of Thanos and the Black Order in the Ragnarok post-credits may scupper those plans just a bit.
We already knew that Thor's trip in the cosmos will lead to him crossing paths with the Guardians of the Galaxy, and it's safe to assume that will follow the Black Order launching an attack on the Asgard escape vessel at the start of Infinity War. What happens afterwards we don't know, but with Hemsworth, Hiddleston, Ruffalo and Thompson all back for both Avengers 3 & 4, expect the Revengers to regroup at some point.
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Assuming they all survive, then, after the cataclysmic events of the Infinity Saga, it would make sense for Thor gather his people (if any are left alive) and continue his original mission to Earth - remember, Asgard is not a place, it's a people. This means that Thor 4 could adapt J. Michael Straczynski's Thor run from 2007. Here, Asgard was likewise left in ruins, and Thor decided to rebuild his sanctuary in Oklahoma.
Just like Ragnarok was loosely based on the various "Ragnarok" story arcs (and some elements of Planet Hulk), we wouldn't expect a perfect lift, but Straczynski's ideas could be used as a neat template. We need a New Asgard and while it could technically be remade anywhere in the galaxy, Earth is the most likely candidate - and Oklahoma is just out there enough for a Waititi movie. Once we've found a new Asgard, though, what happens next?
What's In Thor's Future?
With a new Asgard, does that also mean a new Thor? After Hemsworth's major story arc across Infinity War/Avengers 4, it might make sense for the MCU to put him in more of a backseat capacity moving forward and focus on someone else. Hemsworth is hot Hollywood property at the moment, so may want to move onto more varied projects, or at the very least change up his MCU commitment. And considering how big a shake up the end of Phase 3 promises, a replacement would make sense. But who?
The popular candidate has been the comics' female Thor, although considering Jane Foster is out of the MCU that seems unlikely. Besides, we have a better alternative. Tessa Thompson's turn as former Asgardian warrior Valkyrie was one of Ragnarok's highlights, so Marvel would be best to just bite the bullet and promote her to lead. Elsewhere, Loki had a redemptive arc that gives the character a new lease of life (although a glance at the Tesseract suggests his not fully lost his villainous ways) and one of the few named surviving Asgardians, Idris Elba's Heimdall, would feel suitable for a further boosted role.
All this said, nobody knows how the MCU will evolve beyond in next two Avengers movies - who knows if there's an even an Earth for Thor to make a new home of on - and that's true as much of structure as it is story; it's expected Kevin Feige will do away with the classic Phase makeup of solo adventures followed by an Avengers team-up, which means any Thor 4 would be a very different beast even from Ragnarok.
Thor: Ragnarok felt like a standalone, yet also created a promising future for the comic book legend; it certainly isn't quite the end of days it promised to be. In Phase 4 or beyond, someone in the MCU will surely be spinning a hammer once more.
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