Thor: Love and Thunder features a huge ensemble of new and returning characters, making it one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s biggest Phase 4 crossover films. Marvel Studios confirmed plans for a fourth installment of the Thor franchise in 2019. The news would’ve seemed impossible a few years before, but everything changed for the god of thunder once Taika Waititi joined Thor: Ragnarok. The movie infused Thor with a heavy dose of comedy and changed the franchise’s visual style to embrace the zany cosmic visuals from Jack Kirby’s comics.
Waititi is back for Thor: Love and Thunder as the director and writer, but this time Jennifer Kaytin Robinson also co-wrote the script. The latest chapter of Thor’s MCU story will pick up after the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Those films dramatically changed the character from his Thor: Ragnarok ending. Not only did he gain Stormbreaker and some extra weight, but Thor left New Asgard behind to explore the cosmos, teaming up with the Guardians of the Galaxy. Thor: Love and Thunder will go beyond their story and has been described as having an Avengers-level cast.
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In the lead up to Thor: Love and Thunder beginning production in Australia, various reports and celebrity sightings have helped give us an idea of just how big the ensemble will be. Marvel Studios originally announced the movie with just three cast members at San Diego Comic-Con 2019. But, here are all the actors appearing in Thor: Love and Thunder and who they’re playing.
Chris Hemsworth returns as Thor Odinson for his eighth MCU appearance in Thor: Love and Thunder. Thor has gone on quite a journey since the end of Thor: Ragnarok. He regained his eye thanks to Rocket Raccoon, obtained a Thanos-killing weapon in Stormbreaker, became depressed after failing to stop Thanos, and then realized he was still worthy thanks to time travel. Judging by early set photos, Fat Thor won’t return, and he’s back to his god-like physique while rocking a very different look. While he is still without Mjolnir, Thor should be off Earth and patroling space with the Guardians of the Galaxy when Thor: Love and Thunder begins.
Tessa Thompson is back as Valkyrie for Thor: Love and Thunder, and she’ll be in a new position of power this time. The movie marks her third MCU appearance but the first as the king of New Asgard. Thor appointed her the new ruler of the people at the end of Avengers: Endgame, and she vowed to make changes. Her exact role in Thor: Love and Thunder’s story isn’t known beyond searching for her queen. After Thor: Ragnarok cut an explicit confirmation that Valkyrie is queer, her sexuality will not be shied away from this time.
Jane Foster a.k.a. Mighty Thor
Thor: Love and Thunder marks Jane Foster’s MCU return, with Natalie Portman coming back to play Mighty Thor. Marvel made the surprise announcement of Portman’s return and Jane’s transformation at SDCC 2019. In the comics, Jane becomes Mighty Thor after Thor Odinson is no longer deemed worthy. However, her ability to become a superhero comes at a cost. Jane also has cancer, and the power of Mjolnir destroys her chemotherapy every time she transforms into Mighty Thor. It isn’t clear if the MCU will use a similar explanation for Jane’s transformation, but Portman has teased that the cancer storyline is in Thor: Love and Thunder.
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Gorr the God Butcher
Thor: Love and Thunder’s biggest new cast member is Christian Bale. The former Batman actor and multiple Academy Award winner is joining the MCU to play Thor 4’s main villain Gorr the God Butcher. Although Waititi took some inspiration from the character to use Hela in Thor: Ragnarok, that hasn’t stopped Gorr from facing off with Thor next. Gorr’s comic history sees him become an intergalactic god killer due to his tragic upbringing and learning that the gods were real and never answered his or his family’s prayers. He’s powered by the Necrosword and has a prominent role in Jason Aaron’s terrific Thor run, the same one that Waititi has openly said was a big inspiration for him.
Along with Gorr the God Butcher, Thor: Love and Thunder will also introduce another new character in the form of Russel Crowe’s Zeus. Like Odin, Thor, and other Asgardians, Zeus appears in the Marvel comics as an otherworldly and ultra-powerful being that mortals on Earth have worshipped as a god. It’s still unknown how large a role Russell Crowe’s Zeus will play in Thor 4, but given the presence of Gorr it seems likely that Zeus will ally himself with Thor, as they would both be targets for Gorr’s wrath.
Peter Quill a.k.a. Star-Lord
Chris Pratt is back as Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star-Lord, to lead the Guardians of the Galaxy in Thor: Love and Thunder. Star-Lord and Thor’s dynamic in Avengers: Infinity War immediately created buzz over the possibility of a team-up between them, which is why Avengers: Endgame’s ending was so exciting. The power struggle and competition between Thor and Quill should be on full display in Star-Lord’s fifth MCU film to date. According to early set photos, Thor 4 also sees Star-Lord getting a new costume.
Drax the Destroyer
Dave Bautista is also returning for Thor: Love and Thunder as Drax the Destroyer. The muscle of the Guardians of the Galaxy team marveled at Thor’s manly body in Avengers: Infinity War. He also suggested a fight to the death between Thor and Star-Lord to see who should lead the Guardians moving forward. Bautista was spotted arriving in Australia to begin quarantining ahead of filming in early 2021.
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Karen Gillan reprises her role as Nebula in Thor: Love and Thunder. The adopted daughter of Thanos and former antagonist to the Guardians of the Galaxy is now firmly part of their team after Avengers: Endgame. She was one of few members to survive Thanos’ snap and finally decided to stay with the team instead of running away again. Nebula has already worked closely with Thor in preparation for Avengers: Endgame’s time heist. Now she’ll get to work with Thor again for an unknown amount of time.
Rocket Raccoon will be back alongside Thor in Thor: Love and Thunder. Rocket and Thor developed a strong friendship during Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. They traveled to Nidavellir together, and Rocket played a part in convincing Thor to rejoin the fight against Thanos. Sean Gunn’s presence in Australia should partially be for him to do motion capture for Rocket again, just as he’s done in all of Rocket’s prior MCU appearances. Bradley Cooper will once again voice the talking “rabbit.”
Groot will be featured in Thor: Love and Thunder alongside the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Vin Diesel was the first to mention the Guardians will appear in Thor 4. He’ll voice the walking-talking tree, but it isn’t confirmed what stage of life Groot will be in this time. He was an adolescent during Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
Pom Klementieff returns as Mantis too in Thor: Love and Thunder. Mantis only joined the MCU and the Guardians of the Galaxy team by the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. She helped wake Thor up once the team found him floating in space at the start of Avengers: Infinity War. This will mark her fourth MCU appearance overall.
Related: Thor 4 Is Finally Paying Off Yondu’s Other MCU Legacy
Sean Gunn is also returning for Thor: Love and Thunder to play Kraglin. The Ravagers member was last seen with the Guardians of the Galaxy during Yondu’s funeral at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Kraglin received Yondu’s fin around that time and was expected to stay with the team, but he wasn’t with them anymore when Avengers: Infinity War began. Although Kraglin had scenes for Avengers: Endgame, they were cut. He wasn’t with the Guardians and Thor at the end, so how and why Kraglin links up with them here remains to be seen.
Jaimie Alexander makes her long-awaited return to the MCU as Lady Sif in Thor: Love and Thunder. She played Sif in the first two Thor movies but couldn’t appear in Thor: Ragnarok due to scheduling conflicts. This might’ve been for the best since the Warriors Three all died quickly in their appearances. Alexander last played Sif in two episodes of Agents of SHIELD, so it will be fascinating to see how Lady Sif’s Thor 4 return plays out. For what it’s worth, Alexander has volunteered Sif to become Valkyire’s queen.
Korg & Miek
Thor: Love and Thunder will also bring back Korg and Miek, the two lovable sidekicks Thor gained in Thor: Ragnarok. They met the god of thunder on Sakarr and helped lead the revolution against Grandmaster. Korg and Miek were last seen in Avengers: Endgame hanging with Thor in New Asgard, but they also joined the massive fight against Thanos in the end. Taika Waititi will once again provide the voice for Korg, and the director has teased some surprising developments for Miek.
The Actors In The Play From Thor Ragnarok
Fortunately, it’s also confirmed that Thor 4 will see the return of Matt Damon, Luke Hemsworth, and Sam Neill as the actors who play Loki, Thor, and Odin, respectively, in the play at the beginning of Thor: Ragnarok. Since even more has transpired since then, there’s plenty of material for them to adapt in Thor: Love and Thunder. Matt Damon’s Loki return may even be overshadowed by Thor newcomer Melisssa McCarthy, who is confirmed to be playing a fake Hela in Thor 4.
Related: What Happened To Thor Between Endgame & Love & Thunder
Will Thor 4 Kill Any Of Its Main Characters?
With so many beloved Marvel characters returning for Thor: Love and Thunder, it raises questions about how many will survive the film. Especially given that Thor 4 is billed as an Avengers-level team-up, the risk of fatality seems high. As his name implies, Gorr the God Butcher’s primary objective is to slay powerful beings that are worshipped as gods, which makes Thor, all other Asgardians, and Zeus primary targets. While it would be truly tragic to see Thor Odinson meet his end in Thor: Love and Thunder (and likewise with Valkyrie, Lady Sif, Jane Foster, and others), Asgardians may not be the most likely to die. Zeus’s death in Thor 4 would actually make a lot more sense, as it would offer the perfect setup for the MCU to introduce Hercules sometime in the future. This would also come as less of an emotional blow, as Zeus doesn’t already have a loyal following among Marvel’s viewership. Regardless of who lives or dies, however, Thor: Love and Thunder’s cast of characters is sure to provide an epic, hilarious, and emotionally gratifying spectacle.
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About The Author
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Cooper Hood is a news and feature writer for Screen Rant. He joined Screen Rant in late 2016 following a year-long stint with MCU Exchange, which came after first developing an MCU blog of his own. He graduated college in 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in Media & Public Communication, with a minor in Media Production. Cooper’s love for movies began by watching Toy Story and Lion King on repeat as a child, but it wasn’t until The Avengers that he took an invested interest in movies and the filmmaking process, leading him to discover the world of film journalism. Every year Cooper looks forward to seeing the latest blockbusters from the likes of Marvel, DC, and Star Wars, but also loves the rush to catch up on Oscar films near the end of the year. When he isn’t writing about or watching new releases, Cooper is a fantasy football obsessive and looking to expand his Blu-Ray collection – because physical media is still king! Follow Cooper on Twitter @MovieCooper.
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