Slated to hit theaters on July 8, 2022, “Thor: Love and Thunder” will see the God of Thunder taking some time off and Natalie Portman starring as Doctor Jane Foster, the new Mighty Thor with Mjolnir in hand.

Directed by Taika Waititi, this will be the fourth film in the “Thor” series and will follow after “Avengers: Endgame,” which ended with Thor Odinson (Chris Hemsworth) leaving Earth with the Guardians of the Galaxy after his kingdom Asgard collapsed.

As the new member of the group, Hemsworth is joined by Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord, Pom Klementieff as Mantis, Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon, and Vin Diesel as the lovable Groot. As seen in the new trailer, Thor will leave the Guardians of the Galaxy to discover his own path.

Disney’s description of the film is,

The film finds Thor on a journey unlike anything he’s ever faced—a quest for inner peace. But his retirement is interrupted by a galactic killer known as Gorr the God Butcher, who seeks the extinction of the gods. To combat the threat, Thor enlists the help of King Valkyrie, Korg and ex-girlfriend Jane Foster, who—to Thor’s surprise—inexplicably wields his magical hammer, Mjolnir, as the Mighty Thor. Together, they embark upon a harrowing cosmic adventure to uncover the mystery of the God Butcher’s vengeance and stop him before it’s too late.

Others returning include Tessa Thompson (Asgardian King Valkyrie), Sean Gunn (Kraglin), Jeff Goldblum (The Grandmaster), Jaimie Alexander (Lady Sif), and Waititi himself playing rock gladiator Korg. Christian Bale will play Gorr the God Butcher, and Russel Crowe is confirmed to be Zeus.

The trickster god, Loki, will not be played by Tom Hiddleston, as he said earlier in a June 2021 interview. Although he did die in “Avengers: Infinity War,” the Marvel Cinematic Multiverse does exist, so he is technically back.

Also confirmed to play the characters Thor, Loki, Odin, and Hela in an in-movie play retelling the story of Asgard will be Luke Hemsworth, Matt Damon, Sam Neill, and Melissa McCarthy, respectively.

The story of “Love and Thunder” is based on Jason Aaron’s comic book “The Mighty Thor,” which saw Foster, who dated and broke up with Thor, taking over as the Goddess of Thunder after the Mjolnir deemed the Odinson unworthy, taking away his powers. In the comics, whenever she uses the hammer, her breast cancer worsens each time. However, it’s unclear whether the movie will use the same storyline.

Jane Foster was first introduced in the 2011 “Thor” as an astrophysicist and returned in 2013’s “Thor: The Dark World,” becoming Thor’s love interest. Portman reportedly left the series due to being unhappy with the film, in particular, the replacement of the original director Patty Jenkins with Alan Taylor. Waititi apparently convinced the actress to return to the MCU for this new project.

Previously scheduled to release on May 6, the Marvel film was delayed to later in the summer. The new “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” is now slated for May 6 instead. Thor’s new date, July 8, used to be when “Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever” would be released but has moved to a later date in the winter. While it’s confusing, these delays and rescheduled dates are nothing new to a Marvel fan, as the pandemic has shifted and delayed many other productions.

“Thor: Love and Thunder” will most likely begin streaming on Disney+ in September. In the meantime, feel free to stream “Moon Knight,” and on June 8, “Ms. Marvel” will hit the platform.

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