In the fourteen-year history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, no single phase has ever matched Phase 4. Despite the fact that it just debuted in January 2021, its repertoire has included five theatrical pictures, five live-action Disney+ series, and the animated What If…? Apart from Ms. Marvel on Disney+, the next project on the horizon is Chris Hemsworth’s fourth solo MCU adventure, Thor: Love and Thunder.
Despite the fact that Phase 4 has been an embarrassment of riches in terms of material, one of the most vocal fan complaints has been the absence of the Marvel Studios hallmark: interwoven storyline.
Many people anticipated Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness to serve as the thesis for the MCU’s Multiverse Saga and the connecting thread across its diverse slate of projects. When that did not happen, supporters were furious and even questioned if there is a strategy in place this time.
With the current advertising for Thor: Love and Thunder, it seems like those crucial Phase 4 connections are finally forming via a film worthy of the cause.
Phase 4 Role of Thor: Love and Thunder
Thor: Love and Thunder, which is planned to be released on July 8, will explore the God of Thunder’s post-Endgame journey while also presenting Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster as the Mighty Thor and Christian Bale’s Gorr the God Butcher.
Even though the film’s marketing campaign has just recently began, numerous motifs and details from Thor 4’s promotional stills and two trailers either explicitly reference or have the potential to reference earlier Phase 4 films.
With that in mind, might Thor: Love and Thunder be the most essential MCU Phase 4 film to date? Here’s a list of every Phase 4 film or Disney+ series that Love and Thunder mentions or sets the scene for.
Is Thor 4 a prequel to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3?
To begin with the most apparent, Thor 4 is linked to the Guardians of the Galaxy since Star-Lord and the crew have already been confirmed to be a member of the film’s ensemble.
Thor entrusted the sovereignty of Asgard to Valkyrie at the conclusion of Avengers: Endgame before joining the Guardians aboard the Benatar. The first teaser for Thor 4 gave viewers a glimpse of their interstellar travels and relationships, as well as Thor’s objectives in forging a new path.
While the scope of the Guardians’ presence in Love and Thunder is unknown, the July feature is anticipated to set the setting for 2023’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3 and maybe the Guardians’ impending Holiday Special.
Is Thor 4 a Foreshadowing of Black Panther 2?
The Black Panther franchise’s future remained unclear with the death of Chadwick Boseman. When Marvel Studios, together with the original supporting cast and director Ryan Coogler, agreed to continue through with the sequel, the issue of whether there would be a new Black Panther arose. And, if so, who is it?
While the answer has yet to be disclosed, an official Thor: Love and Thunder still suggests that moviegoers will encounter the goddess of Bast or Bastet in the film. Bast is the creature that created the heart-shaped purple plant that gives the Black Panther its abilities.
Given this information, it seems like Thor 4 will be doing some heavy lifting in terms of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever history and mythology; maybe Bastet will discover another means to bestow abilities on a Wakandan?
Will Thor 4 Explain the Mythology of the Moon Knight?
Because gods and goddesses will be discussed in this film, it’s probable that Moon Knight’s Egyptian mythology, as well as Khonshu, Taweret, and Amit, may be mentioned or linked in some way.
For example, Russell Crowe’s Zeus, together with Valkyrie and Jane Foster, may be seen in Love and Thunder attending a type of council or audience of the gods. If the Black Panther’s Bastet is there, it stands to reason that Egypt’s fabled gods and goddesses will be there as well.
Will Kingo be reunited with the God of Thunder in Thor 4?
When Eternals premiered in late 2021, many people thought the story of Celestials, Eternals, and Deviants was a little out of left field. Fans are now yearning for a project that will harmonize and explain the MCU’s spiritual and otherworldly creatures’ hierarchy.
Again, since Thor 4 looks to be bringing the many gods and myths together, fans may learn where Celestials come into the equation and how they connect to Zeus, Odin, Bastet, and the like.
Regarding the Eternals, it’s worth noting that Kumail Nanjani’s Kingo mentions Thor many times and even mentions that they know each other. Could fans expect a Kingo and Thor reunion, as well as fresh Eternals information?
Will Thor Meet the Disney+ Loki Variant?
While Chris Hemsworth’s fourth solo picture does not seem to be a Multiversal film, Loki is Thor’s brother, and there has yet to be a God of Thunder film without the God of Mischief. Although the MCU’s original God of Mischief is no longer alive, there is another Variant roaming the Multiverse, one who is now entangled with TVA in Loki.
Of course, the present Loki is stuck in a separate timeline, and this Variant hasn’t seen the redemptive events of The Dark World, Ragnarok, or Infinity War with his brother. Still, these brothers are overdue for a reunion, and given how insane this fourth picture is expected to be, no one should bet against director Taika Waititi going for it.
It’s also worth mentioning that the future film has previously alluded to Loki via Thor’s back tattoo. It remains to be seen if this is foreshadowing.
If Loki does not make the Love and Thunder call sheet, he is a strong possibility for a post-credits sequence, particularly considering Loki Season 2 starts production on June 6 with a summer 2023 release date in mind.
The Watcher Makes Its Live-Action Debut?
Despite the fact that What If…? is an animated series, several of its characters have previously featured in live-action in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. And now it seems that Thor: Love and Thunder may do the same.
While it seems that Thor 4 would not deal with the Multiverse, the second teaser showed Jane casting lightning while surrounded by towering sculptures. One of the sculptures is modeled like Uatu or The Watcher from the anime program.
Because The Watcher is barred from interfering, only the most catastrophic situations would justify a live-action appearance. But Marvel certainly picked this photo and his statue for a purpose.
Will Thor 4 be compatible with Sony’s Venom and Venom: Let There Be Carnage?
MCU lovers, brace yourself. Love and Thunder seems to be linked to Sony’s Venom series, and it’s all because to that famous, but troublesome, black space ooze.
Love and Thunder’s Gorr the God Butcher will wield All-Black the Necrosword, which is a symbiote, much as in the comics. While there hasn’t been much video of the God Butcher, Gorr’s Funko POP figurine has shown dark, symbiotic tentacles underneath the villain, and Bale is seen holding a blade in the latest teaser.
Given that Marvel Studios does not control the rights to Venom, the issue now is how the company wants to modify the weapon and employ its symbiotic nature.
The Seven MCU Projects Connected in Thor 4
For those keeping score, that’s a staggering seven Marvel projects, all of which (except for Venom) are part of the MCU’s Phase 4.
Will Thor’s personal journey serve as the impetus for Love and Thunder? Yes. Is it enough only to introduce Jane Foster’s Mighty Thor and Gorr the God Butcher? Absolutely.
However, it looks that the forthcoming picture will serve not just its characters, but the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe as well, perhaps making it the most essential Phase 4 film viewers have seen so far.
Since Captain America: The Winter Soldier in 2014, the MCU has been unusual in its ability to mix genres while maintaining a consistent world. Now, it seems that one of the few remaining original Avengers will collect the studio’s newest stories.