Chris Hemsworth has suggested that Thor: Love and Thunder might not be his final Marvel movie outing after all.
Speculation has been rife that Hemsworth will call time on his time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) after Thor: Love and Thunder hits theaters in July. The upcoming Marvel movie will be the eighth time Hemsworth has played the character, while Thor will become the first MCU superhero to star in four solo adventures.
It stands to reason, then, that Hemsworth may have given serious thought to calling time on his MCU journey once Thor 4 is released. And, with Hemsworth previously telling Wired that Love and Thunder "may be my last [Marvel movie]" earlier in June, the actor hasn't exactly played down reports that he might walk away after the forthcoming MCU Phase 4 flick.
However, speaking to ExtraTV before Thor 4's world premiere, Hemsworth appeared to walk back on those claims, suggesting that he would certainly be open to reprising the role in the future.
Asked if this would be his last outing as Thor, Hemsworth said: "Every time I play Thor, I'm like 'this is the last time they'll let me do it', so I don't know."
When the interviewer indicated that Hemsworth's use of the phrase 'let me' suggested that the actor would be open to returning, Hemsworth added: "I love it. I'd come back for more and more until someone kicks me off the stage. My whole career has been based around playing this character. Coming back and play him again with different directors and cast members has been an absolute joy. We'll see what the fans want. I'm down for whatever."
This isn't the first time that Hemsworth has seemingly retracted his answer from his Wired interview either. Speaking to Vanity Fair, Hemsworth said he'd "absolutely" love to return as the god of thunder. Meanwhile, chatting to Den of Geek, he reiterated his stance on reprising the role, saying: "If the opportunity comes up and presents itself, I’m just open to whatever creative exploration can happen."
It won't be long until we find out if Thor is even able to return (more on this in a moment) for future MCU movies. Thor: Love and Thunder will exclusively bolt its way into theaters on July 8 (US and most international territories), while it lands on July 7 in the UK.
Analysis: time to hang up the hammer?
With four solo superhero movies under his mighty belt, Thor has stuck around longer than most of those who featured in the Avengers' original line-up.
Sure, Hawkeye and Hulk will claim that they share equal billing with the Norse god – you know, as they're still alive (unlike Iron Man and Black Widow) or active as superheroes (unlike Captain America). However, with Hawkeye starring in his own Disney Plus show and Hulk set to play a prominent role in another MCU TV series – She-Hulk: Attorney at Law – it seems that their time on the silver screen is at an end.
Thor, then, is the only original Avenger whose MCU film journey has continued post-Avengers: Endgame. Clearly, there's been more story to tell in his Marvel movie arc. But, with a new batch of superheroes emerging with Phase 4's arrival, now might be the right time for Hemsworth's Thor to take a backseat in proceedings.
Truth be told, he's deserved it. Thor has endured his fair share of grief and trauma over the past 11 years and, while he's bounced back from that pain time and time again, he deserves to finally put his feet up and enjoy a well-earned rest. You know, just like Nick Fury was doing during Spider-Man: Far From Home's post-credits scene.
Of course, this isn't to say that we don't want to see Hemsworth play Thor again. The MCU's next generation of heroes will need mentors, so Thor could always pop up in a co-starring capacity. Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye and Mark Ruffalo's Hulk have (or will have, in Hulk's case) performed similar roles with Kate Bishop and Jennifer Walters, so whose to say Hemsworth's Thor won't do likewise to a kindred spirit? If Jane Foster's Mighty Thor survives the events of Love and Thunder, we suspect she could use a mentor in her former flame.
Alternatively, Hemsworth could make surprise cameo roles in other Marvel projects. He's already voiced Frog Thor in Loki season 1, plus an animated version of Thor in Marvel's What If...? anthology series. Hemsworth could lend his talents to other animated versions of Thor in the future, then, or even make a hugely surprising cameo in Loki season 2 as a live-action, alternate universe version of the Norse god. We'd love to see that if nobody else would.
Thor's MCU future will ultimately depend on how well Love and Thunder performs at the box office – after all, Marvel Studios would be silly to put a cap on Thor's MCU series if Love and Thunder powers its way past the $1 billion mark globally. Even so, Thor: Love and Thunder seems like the perfect time for the god of thunder to finally find that inner peace he's searching for, pour himself a giant glass of Asgardian ale, and retire from the superhero business. He's certainly earned a rest, in our view.
For more MCU-based content, check out our ranking of every Marvel movie to date before Thor 4 lands in theaters.