‘Thor 3’ – Everything We Know About the Upcoming Superhero Sequel

Marvel Studios

'Thor 2' dropped his hammer on the box office over the weekend, posting a stout $86.1 million to lead all contenders. To date, it has banked $327 million worldwide, and has a very good chance at approaching the $1 billion global mark … something that is becoming status quo for Marvel Studios.

While the end credits for ‘Thor: The Dark World’ teased ‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ fans of Asgard’s protector probably want to know when they’ll be able to see 'Thor 3' in theaters again – if ever. Let’s break down everything that we know about ‘Thor 3,’ starting with a release date.

When Will ‘Thor 3’ Open?

Marvel operates in Phases, as most of you know, and our best guess is that 'Thor 3' arrives during the studio’s Phase Three, which takes place AFTER Joss Whedon’s ‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron’ in 2015.

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is expected to be part of the reunited team that takes on Ultron (voiced by James Spader). Marvel will close out 2015 with Edgar Wright’s ‘Ant-Man’ on July 31, 2015. Beyond that? Only Marvel President Kevin Feige knows.

Here’s what we DO know. Marvel has carved out release dates for the future. Feige has hinted that the studio knows what it wants to do through 2021, but for now, they have two concrete release dates: May 6, 2016, and May 5, 2017. Marvel loves to kick off the summer season. It will do so with mystery movies in those years.

I believe one of them will be reserved for a ‘Doctor Strange’ movie. The other probably belongs to 'Captain America 3' or 'Thor 3.'. Does that mean we might have to wait four more years before Thor gets to do his own thing in a solo sequel?

Who’ll Be the Villain?

Obviously, STOP READING if you haven’t seen ‘Thor: The Dark World yet.

Still here? Well, we know that Thor’s half-brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), faked his death, and now sits on the throne of Asgard. We don’t know what became of Odin, but Loki, posing as a fortress guard, tricked his father and, later, his brother to know lord over the kingdom he has coveted since we met him in 2011.

That’s a huge set up for ‘Thor 3,’ if producers decide to go in that direction. They’ve essentially put a pin in Loki, knowing that they can use him later is need be. And based on the reviews for ‘Thor: The Dark World,’ killing Loki off would have been the death knell. Almost every critic said that the dynamic between Hemsworth and Hiddleston saved Alan Taylor’s sequel. Loki, to date, has been the best villain Marvel Studios has come up with. Knowing that he might be back for 'Thor 3' already has us excited.

So Wait, Where’s Odin?

“He dies,” Anthony Hopkins said during ‘Thor’ interviews. “I’ve done two. That’s enough.”

Taylor basically backed up those claims, stating, “That was a big twist. It took us a while to realize that we were actually going to kill him. And then it took us a while to realize that we were going to do that at the end."

Feige tried to sugarcoat it with superhero diplomacy, explaining, "Like all of our plans at Marvel Studios, we know where we would like to go if given the opportunity. We have very good ideas whether the All-Father is with us or not."

But yeah, don’t expect Hopkins back for ‘Thor 3’ or any of the planned Marvel spinoffs.

Can We Possibly Get a Completely New Villain?

In a way, I hope so. Imagine if Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man had to face the Iron Monger in film after film. Listen, Loki’s great, but Thor has decades of comic-book antagonists from which to choose, and the movie’s stars have their own ideas of places that a Thor sequel can head.

In a recent interview, Hemsworth hinted at the expanse of the Thor universe, and the endless possibilities facing the character. He stated:

I liked that Thor has another universe or the universe to sort of take care of and keep him occupied. I think that in the comic book the sort of end of days, Armageddon aspect is probably the direction in which it will all head in. Where it’s sort of the end of all things and there’s obviously no script or anything when I read the comic books I thought it was an interesting way to go.

Fans of Thor’s books jumped on this hint as the possibility that Ragnarok – or the destruction of Asgard – could be a future plotline. With that story would come the introduction of Surtur, leader of the Fire Demons of Muspelheim. When asked, during the ‘Dark World’ junket, if he wants to see Thor take on the Fire Demons in 'Thor 3,' the actor raved, “Bring them all in!”

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