Earlier today, the much-anticipated Thor: Love and Thunder teaser trailer arrived and sent the whole comics-hungry internet into a tizzy. The trailer is a bit all over the place, but fingers crossed the movie itself will be something more than the sum of the teaser’s parts, which appear to be frantically stitched together with more CGI than The Mitchells vs. The Machines.
With writer-director Taika Waititi at the helm, fresh off the Revenge (in our hearts, at least, since the filming of Our Flag Means Death wrapped after Thor), we also get looks at Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Natalie Portman as Jane Foster/Lady Thor, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, the remaining Guardians of the Galaxy, and Russell Crowe as Zeus. No sign of Gorr, the God-Butcher, the villain played by Christian Bale, but still plenty to look at, some of it even kind of fun.
As Thor gives us a voice-over intro, we get a few images of younger Thors running through a forest, for some reason. It’s very silly, but we do get a glimpse of a retro Thor costume, complete with yellow wraps for shoes, goofy helmet, and weird belt! This is one of the early comic-book Thor designs that was updated before his cinematic debut.
On a planet with a binary sun system, Thor meditates underneath a tree with small pieces of fabric tied to the branches. This is a wishing tree, which is common folklore in many cultures, but this image feels directly inspired by the Hindu tradition, with the tree’s silhouette resembling a Banyan tree. This might also represent Yggdrasil, the Norse tree of life upon which the universe is hung. I can tell already this is going to be a Marvel version of Eat, Pray, Love.
It seems Marvel never learns its lesson. Sure, Thor is known for being a very fit god, and sure, Chris Hemsworth was hired because he looks like that, but did we really need this poorly-thought-out “get back in shape” training montage? Especially after how a lot of fans reacted to the fatphobia surrounding Thor in Endgame, this seems like a bad choice. You could have just not made a joke at the expense of fat people. If you didn’t want Hemsworth in a fat suit, fine, but you didn’t need this gag, just have him show up without a fat suit in the first scene. We don’t need this, and we didn’t ask for it.
There’s also this giant, chained skeleton that looks horrible. I know that I expect a lot of Marvel, but the studio has millions of dollars to spend on CGI and I’d like to be impressed. No hints about who this guy is, either. Ymir? (Too tropical.) Surtur? (This guy still has his skull.) Some unknown rock giant held for eternity underneath… wherever this is? Whoever this guy is, he looks like he’s the first model for an Elden Ring villain and not something that should have made it into the final cut of a Marvel movie.
Thor shows up where the Guardians are helping protect a blue-skinned alien species and dramatically throws off his robe, unveiling a rock-god look that wouldn’t be out of place in a Guns N’ Roses music video. The vista appears to be the same as the wishing tree, but I could be wrong.
In one of the most brilliant CGI costume decisions I’ve ever personally seen, Korg shows up in blue and red harlequin pants with gold accents and boots with the fur, and I love it. I want to personally thank Taika Waititi for being the most extra bitch on the planet.
This might be the Marvel version of Olympus, but with a hanging garden vibe and a lot of peaked structures that more resemble Angkor Wat than the Parthenon, who’s to say. I’m not looking to Marvel for historical accuracy by any means, but it would be nice to have the home of Greek and Roman gods at least look like it’s inspired by Greek and Roman architecture. You know what, I’m expecting too much from Marvel.
Here we have two seconds of Norse myth/Marvel characters Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr (aka Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder). While they seem to be performing their mythological duties, carrying Thor’s ship away from New Asgard, they might show up for more than a cameo in the full film.
Who is this mystery babe?! Is this Valkyrie getting her just desserts (unlikely) or is this just another random lady thrown into the MCU to round out a man’s emotional arc without any follow-up or secondary appearances?
There’s a lot of this pose going around. Here we’ve got a close-up on a lot of very bad gold lamé and an incredibly cheesy-looking lightning bolt courtesy of Russel Crowe’s Zeus. I wish I could say I enjoy something about this CGI monstrosity that more closely resembles a Mughal palace than a Greek pantheon, but the fact that Crowe is literally wearing gold lamé forearm straps and has two bodacious babes to his right kills the vibe, entirely.
This image is taken from a comic panel drawn by Esad Ribíc for Thor #3 in 2012 (see original here). This was the God Butcher arc, so the movie’s sticking to that, at least, but who knows if Ribíc was credited or even paid for this. Considering Marvel’s track record when it comes to acknowledging the contributions of comic book creatives to the MCU, my bet’s on no, but we’ll see.
King Valkyrie gets one second of screentime and I’ve never felt more robbed in my life. She clearly doesn’t love what’s going on around her, and it seems like she’s dissatisfied with ruling New Asgard, which has been turned into a tourist destination, judging by the cruise ships sliding around the background of the harbor.
Here it is! The reason I can’t quit the Thor franchise: I love a buff lady who can kill me. I wish we got more of Jane Foster-Thor in this trailer, but this is a teaser, so I suppose this brief glimpse will have to do for now. After all the hype around Natalie Portman picking up Mjolnir, this seems like a bit of an undersell, but who knows when this happens in the movie. All I know is that I will watch Thor: Love and Thunder solely for this woman.
Also… there’s a car? In the background? What is happening? Thor: Love and Thunder hit theaters on July 8.