Spoilers for Thor: Love and Thunder ahead!
Marvel may have been secretive towards its fans, hiding plot details and casting decisions to maintain surprises. However, with Thor: Love and Thunder, Kevin Feige opted to hide facts from the film’s own production team, making it a unique strategy for the studio. After tonnes of surprises, Thor: Love and Thunder dropped the most shocking moment right at the full stop of the film during the post-credits sequence.
Earlier in the film, Thor encounters Russell Crowe’s Zeus, who is revealed to have survived and is visibly angry at Thor. In a significant character reveal, Zeus orders his son, Hercules, to avenge him and bring down Thor. The sequence also revealed Brett Goldstein (famous for his Emmy-winning role of Roy Kent in Ted Lasso ) as Hercules, bringing another fresh face and new character into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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Earlier, Taika Waititi clarified that Goldstein’s involvement in the film was entirely Kevin’s idea; however, it turns out that it wasn’t even known to some crucial crew members of the movie. Screenwriter Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, who co-wrote the film with Waititi, has revealed that even she wasn’t aware of Hercules’ reveal, let alone Goldstein’s involvement in the fourth Thor movie. Talking to Variety, Robinson said,
I saw that at the premiere with everybody else. In the same way that I guess [Taika Waititi] didn’t know Thor was coming back, I did not know that Roy Kent was Hercules. I’m a huge Marvel fan, so I was delighted to have one moment in the movie where I was truly surprised.
Though Robinson is delighted to have one surprising moment to share with fans, it’s quite a major decision to have the screenwriter in the dark regarding the inclusion of an important character. But, given that the sequence was just a post-credits cameo, and Marvel is often very discrete about its future plans, it’s not entirely surprising that the studio decided to not include Robinson in the final decision. However, Robinson stated that she was most probably aware that the film would have Hercules as she eavesdropped on a conversation on the sets.
I knew there was talk about Hercules. The name Hercules was not ‘not’ said in conversations that I definitely, probably wasn’t supposed to overhear, but did. So the minute I saw the beginning of the scene, I knew he was gonna be talking to Hercules. I didn’t know who they cast. But I was like, is this gonna be Hercules? I just knew that it was a thing that they were like, “We’re gonna want leeway with this, so stay away from it.”
Where Hercules will end up now in the MCU is unknown, but Brett Goldstein’s appearance in the movie wasn’t the only surprise.
Hercules and Thor Might Meet Again
Though the post-credits scene was about Hercules and his potential future in the franchise, the film ended with a somewhat surprising note – Thor Will Return, indicating that Thor will be back for another appearance in the franchise, possibly for a fifth film.
However, neither director Taika Waititi nor actor Chris Hemsworth was aware of the message at the film’s end. Both revealed that it was a surprise for them to see Marvel addressing a possibility for a Thor 5. That would make Hemsworth the only actor from the original Avengers to have a chance to continue playing his role as God of Thunder in the franchise. Currently, Hemsworth isn’t on contract to reprise his part, but it’s possible that he shows up in the fifth film in a couple more years or maybe teams up with another character from the MCU.
As for Goldstein, he earlier cleared that he hasn’t been given any intimation to reprise his role in the future and that it was just for that three-second cameo that he was brought on board for in Thor: Love and Thunder.
Thor: Love and Thunder was just Robinson’s third film overall, and her next would be Camila Mendes and Maya Hawke-starrer Strangers. Responding to a question on her involvement with another Marvel project, the screenwriter declined any current development in that regard; however, she’s open to possibilities.
I don’t know. At this point, I’m very open to wherever life takes me. Something that I’ve learned in this business is that you can try to plan and plans will be thrown back in your face, and you’ll be laughed at. So I have stopped planning. If I get a call, and they want me to come in and pitch on something, and it’s something that I feel like I would be right for, yeah, I would work with Marvel again. The one thing I’ll say is Kevin really understands putting together writers and directors and executives and projects — creating that creative soup. So if Kevin feels that I am right for something, I really trust him, because I think I would be set up for success.
That is quite true that Feige is cleverly putting together the creative teams for upcoming MCU projects, many of them coming on board for multiple projects. After serving as a writer for Loki, Bisha K. Ali created Ms. Marvel. Loki creator Michael Waldron further wrote Multiverse of Madness, and not long ago, Jon Watts was supposed to direct Fantastic Four before he stepped down. So, one can’t rule out the possibility of seeing Robinson return to write something set in the MCU soon.