Disney is in the middle of a—pardon the pun—tailspin as of late. The company's new animated feature Strange Worlds had an embarrassing showing in early previews and is projected to be a flop. Couple that with the steep 60% second-week declines at the box office suffered by every phase four Marvel movie not named Spider-Man: No Way Home, and Bob Iger's surprise return as Disney CEO makes more sense.
Now that it's finally come to an end, it's safe to say that Marvel's fourth phase was undoubtedly its weakest. There's an innumerable list of factors that have led to Marvel's decline, but the studio's over-reliance on its trademark "quip a minute" formula is arguably the biggest one. The movie that perfectly encapsulates Marvel's phase four woes is Thor: Love and Thunder. The film became a lightning rod of controversy during its release, as many fans believed it was entirely too goofy. As it turns out, Chris Hemsworth is in full agreement and believes the Thor franchise desperately needs a new tone.
Chris Hemsworth is in press tour mode of late, doing the rounds to promote his current Nat Geo/Disney+ documentary series Limitless. (Which, tragically, is not about what would happen if someone gave Hemsworth that pill.) The ensuing slate of interviews has had revelations both somber and not—including Hemsworth revealing he carries a genetic trait that's linked to a heightened risk of Alzheimer's disease, and that he intends to take more time away from work to spend with his family. But it's also, naturally, had a whole bunch of Thor talk, including a recent appearance on Josh Horowitz's Happy Sad Confused Podcast [h/t Screenrant] in which Hemsworth pretty bluntly stated that he's done with the more comedic version of the character that appeared in Thor: Ragnarok and this summer's Thor: Love And Thunder, both directed by Taika Waititi. "I don't know if I'm even invited back," Hemsworth hedged, echoing comments he's made about his uncertainty with the franchise at the moment. (Love And Thunder posted a perfectly respectable $760 million at the global box office, but drew middling notices from both audiences and critics.) "But if I was, I think it would have to be a drastically different version in tone, everything, just for my own sanity…"