If you don’t have time to binge 21 Marvel films, take 90 seconds to learn how we got to “Avengers: Endgame.”
An original Avenger, Thor is indeed one of the key players in Marvel’s epic superhero team finale “Avengers: Endgame” (in theaters now). But he isn’t the same Norse god we left in 2017’s “Thor: Ragnarok” or 2018’s “Avengers: Infinity War.”
Warning: Stop reading if you don’t want to know early plot details of “Avengers: Endgame.”
Seriously stop reading if you haven’t seen it.
Most of “Endgame” takes place five years after Thanos’ “Infinity War” snap wiped out half of humanity. In that time, Thor hasn’t stayed mentally and physically fit as usual. He’s depressed, he has a gigantic beer belly, he’s grown his hair out almost into dreads and he’s barely left his house where he trash-talks fellow Fortnite gamers through a headset.
The Thor with shorn hair, a stylish beard and a statuesque physique has not aged well as he struggles with guilt over not being able to save his friends and brother Loki, killed by Thanos.
What does star Chris Hemsworth say about all of that? Well, at the “Avengers: Endgame” premiere in Los Angeles on Monday, when USA TODAY asked him about his involvement with his character’s evolution, Hemsworth said he was happy that filmmakers were on board with a new direction for Thor.
“I just had an opinion. I wanted to do something different this time. Each film I’ve wanted to, in particular the last couple, and they were on board,” he said, referencing how his once serious, long-haired warrior became a goofier, edgier-looking good guy in “Thor: Ragnorak” and “Infinity War.”
“Infinity War” and “Endgame” writers Steve McFeely and Chris Markus said on the premiere red carpet that collaborating with Hemsworth was “instrumental” in redefining Thor.
Hemsworth added, “We shot for many hours and days and discussed how far could we push (Thor) and what we could do different.”
At the “Endgame” premiere, the audience applauded and laughed during the introduction of fat Thor, and continued to roar when subsequent comments were made about the new body of the guy who once had the most chiseled abs in the galaxy. One character lured Thor out of his videogame cave with the promise of beer. Another suggested the son of Odin eat a salad. Comparisons were made between Thor and “The Big Lebowski.”
The new Thor was a hit of the premiere, but that doesn’t mean he was welcomed by all. Site The Mary Sue calls the new characterization of Thor “problematic” and “depicted as one non-stop fat joke.”
Many other early “Endgame” viewers aren’t laughing at Thor’s new pounds.
On Twitter, fans wrote that they were “viscerally upset” that fat Thor was “the butt of jokes,” and said that Marvel wasted “a brilliant opportunity to show how trauma can turn an iron willed warrior into a … mess.”
But it seems that Thor was bound have a different bodytype onscreen at some point. “Ragnarok” director Taika Waititi revealed in MTV podcast “Happy Sad Confused” that he wanted the character to be a chubby child in a scene that didn’tmake the final film.
“I wanted to do some flashbacks to when Thor was a fat little kid (in) an ‘80s version of Asgard where everyone had massive shoulder pads and everyone had mullets. Thor was the fat kid,” Waititi said, “Just this pudgy little kid walking around with a mullet and being picked on by other kids.”
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