'Thor: Love & Thunder' might just be the Marvel romcom you never knew you wanted
'Thor: Love & Thunder' is set up to be one of the more unique romantic comedies in the history of the genre if Marvel decides to go that route
Marvel movies tend to stick to a certain familiar style, but they have dipped their toes into other genres with their superhero films. 'Captain America: The First Avenger' was a World War II movie, with its sequel aiming to be a spy thriller. 'Ant-Man' set itself up as a heist film and 'Guardians of the Galaxy' gave the MCU its first real space adventure. Taika Waititi shook the familiar Marvel style up somewhat with the retrofuturistic stylings of 'Thor: Ragnorak' and may just be shaking things up again by making 'Thor: Love & Thunder' Marvel's very first romantic comedy.
The comedy aspect is all but assured. There's not been a single Marvel Studios movie that's completely abandoned the MCU-brand of a lighter, comedic tone. 'Thor: Ragnorak' leaned a lot more heavily into the comedy, definitely playing to Waititi's strengths. 'Thor: Ragnorak' was the most successful Thor movie by a significant margin and its irreverent comedy is definitely a big part of that - so why fix what's broken?
Then there's the title itself - 'Love & Thunder.' It's public knowledge now that Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) will be the new Thor in the movie, that's taking a cue from Jason Aaron's epic 'Thor' run. However, there are already some significant changes from that era of the comics. In the comics, Jane took the place of a Thor who had become unworthy to wield the Mjolnir - furthermore, neither of them were in a point in their lives to pursue a romantic relationship with each other, though they had in the past.
When we last saw the movie-Thor (Chris Hemsworth), he not only was worthy of lifting Mjolnir, but he had discovered that the hammer wasn't the important thing - the real power of Thor was inside himself all along, making the hammer just a convenient smashing weapon for the son of Odin - but still a very empowering weapon for a worthy mortal like Jane Foster. While Thor and Jane have not been a couple for a while in the MCU, the reasons for their break-up were never explicitly stated. In all honesty, the major reason for the Thor-Foster split had less to do with story and more to do with Portman's unavailability for Marvel movies.
With 'Ragnorak,' Thor has pretty much come to the end of his hero's journey. He has literally seen the end of Asgard and brought his people through it. In 'Endgame,' we even see him brought to his lowest point and he's come back from there, as well. There is only one major facet of Thor's life that remains relatively unfinished - that of Thor's love life. With the confirmation of Jane's return in the next movie - not to mention her promised prominence in it - a romance is definitely back on the table.
The addition of Jennifer Kaytin Robinson to the writing team does likely mean that the movie will be more than your typical romantic comedy, of course. She has been known to write engaging, supportive, varied women characters, most recently with the hit Netflix film 'Someone Great.' Waititi's movies excel at taking well-known tropes and spinning them into entirely fresh new ways. Even though 'Thor: Love & Thunder' as a romantic comedy is hardly a groundbreaking idea, it will still be an incredibly fun one. That, ultimately, is very much within the Marvel Studios brand.
'Thor: Love & Thunder' is set to release in cinemas on November 5, 2021.