Thor: Love & Thunder director/co-writer Taika Waititi can’t say for sure whether Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie will be explicitly portrayed as queer in the upcoming fourth Thor movie – but if Marvel and Tessa Thompson are on board, he’s ready. Waititi is writing the script himself, reportedly alongside recent hire Jennifer Kaytin Robinson.
“I think so. The IP is not mine. But with the actors, I feel whatever makes them comfortable,” Waititi told Variety backstage at the Oscars Sunday, following his ‘Best Adapted Screenplay’ win for Jojo Rabbit. “Whether they feel like there’s a natural choice, or a natural way for that character to go — then I’m pretty supportive. If Tessa wanted to do that, I’m in.”
Both the IP holder – in this case represented by Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige – and Thompson herself have stated they’re on board to explicitly depict Valkyrie’s queer identity in the film.
“The answer is yes,” Feige said when asked if Valkyrie would have an “explictly LGBTQ storyline” in Love & Thunder following the film’s announcement at Marvel’s Hall H presentation during Comic-Con International: San Diego in 2019. “How that impacts the story remains to be seen with that level of representation you’ll see across our films, not in just Thor 4.”
Thompson herself told fans at Marvel Studios’ Hall H presentation that as Asgard’s “new king,” Valkyrie “needs a queen.”
In his post-Oscar interview last Sunday, Waititi went a little further in explaining Marvel’s involvement in crafting the film’s story, and how closely the return of Jane Foster and her ascendency to Thor would hew to Jason Aaron’s longrunning comic book arc.
“We don’t know. That comics run was a big inspiration, and was an influence on the first few drafts,” Waititi explained frankly. “But at Marvel, we always change everything. I could say one thing right now, and in two years, it will be the complete opposite — or that thing won’t exist. We continue writing even in post-production.”
However, Waititi also clarified it’s not just Marvel Studios that specifically dictates where the story goes – it’s the fans.
“Based on what the audience wants. We test the film. We shot for two weeks on [Thor: Ragnarok] with our pickups,” Waititi said. “There were huge, huge character changes, huge story changes. We reshot entire scenes. I think that’s why they do good work. They’re relentless in their pursuit of just a good movie.”
Thor: Love & Thunder is due out in theaters November 5, 2021.