Promising even more larger-than-life zaniness than his previous MCU directorial feature, "Thor: Ragnarok," AAPI filmmaker Taika Waititi keeps the rock a rollin' in the upcoming "Thor: Love and Thunder."
*Note – all photos in this story from "Thor: Ragnarok."
Here's what we know. Both Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy (Star-Lord, Drax the Destroyer, Mantis, Nebula), all last seen heading out into the universe at the end of "Avengers: Endgame," are still tied at the hip in this new story.
Natalie Portman returns to the "Thor" franchise as Chris Hemsworth's love interest Jane Foster. This time, though, in keeping with the comics, Portman will assume new duties as Mighty Thor.
Christian Bale takes on villain duties this time as the awesomely named character Gorr the God Butcher.
And also returning for duty are Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie and Jeff Goldblum as Grandmaster. Valkyrie, too, will claim her bisexuality, becoming the MCU's first LGBTQ superhero.
As in "Ragnarok," Waititi will pull double duty as director and the character Korg, the Kronian gladiator with rock-solid strength and a nice bedside manner.
Expect lots of cameos as well, from Matt Damon, Sam Neill and Luke Hemsworth as the stage versions of Loki, Odin and Thor; Melissa McCarthy as Hela; and Russell Crowe as Zeus.
The AAPI Connection
Taika Waititi, the AAPI legend, has been somewhat mum about "Thor: Love and Thunder's" exact plot details, but we know his brand of filmmaking guarantees over-the-top craziness. He has admitted it will make the gleefully wacky "Ragnarok" look safe in comparison.
To us, seeing what Waititi's already pulled off in the WWII dramedy "JoJo Rabbit," the vampire chronicles "What We Do in the Shadows," and the wilderness adventure "Hunt for the Wilderpeople," super unsafe is a good thing.
Why You Should See It
For starters, the all-star ensemble and Waititi's direction will make this a funnier version of an "Avengers" movie. Second, Christian Bale as Gorr the God Butcher is bound to take this thing to another galaxy. Lastly, Natalie Portman will be able to assert her full powers as Mighty Thor. That will be awesome.
This movie is the interstellar party to attend. We're there, and hope to see you rocking your Ragnaroks, too. "Thor: Love and Thunder" arrives in theaters February 11, 2022.
Did You Know
To provide more opportunities for the local film crew at Fox Studios Australia in Sydney, "Thor: Love and Thunder" shot back to back with another AAPI and MCU upcoming blockbuster, "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings."
Chuck is an editor/writer who's worked for NCM, Fandango, Movies.com, MediaTrip, Hollywood.com and Newsweek. His favorite movie is "Jaws." He's definitely a dog guy.