Avengers: Endgame filmmakers defend Thor's startling look
The God of Thunder has seen better days.
Avengers: Endgame features Chris Hemsworth’s Thor with a startling new appearance that has fans talking — and not in the usual way when it comes to his physique.
Directors Joe and Anthony Russo explained to EW why they went this direction…
*** Spoilers Below ***
So… about Fat Thor.
Not only is it a shocking place to start given that Hemsworth’s ripped physique has been a signature part of this character’s appeal, but the Russo Brothers leave him this way.
There’s no magical pulse of power that instantly shreds him again. He stays in Lebowski mode through the end.
“No, he’s broken and that’s who he is moving forward,” said Joe Russo, who described it as their way of showing how he has fallen apart after the Snap, the destruction of his homeworld Asgard, and the loss of nearly everyone he knew or loved.
“How is everyone processing their grief? We wanted them all to process it in very different ways. And Thor is an exceedingly tragic character who was built from the time he was a boy to be a king,” Joe continued. “What is the distance that a character like that can travel, a god? Somebody, especially, who looks like Chris Hemsworth?”
So they made him a physical and emotional trainwreck.
There are a lot of jokes at his expense. Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) calls Thor a “melting ice cream cone,” and even his mother, Frigga (Rene Russo), pleads with him to eat more salad before bidding him adieu. But the Russos insist there’s a serious side to Out-of-Shape Thor, too.
“Even though there’s a lot of fun to be had in the movie with his physical condition, it’s not a gag,” Anthony said. “It’s a manifestation of where he is on a character level, and we think it’s one of the most relatable aspects of him. I mean, it’s a very common sort of response to depression and pain.”
“What would happen if that character became extremely angry and started to punish himself and didn’t care anymore?” Joe said. “What would happen to him? He’s an alcoholic now, he doesn’t care about anything. He doesn’t care about himself.”
“That’s the reason why we didn’t end up turning him back,” Anthony said. “It’s an experience that stays with him.”
When Thor journeys back in time to Asgard during the era of The Dark World, he encounters his mother again, who is about to lose her life. “The future has not been kind to you,” she says after laying eyes on him.
Thor breaks. He tells her he failed to live up to what was expected of him.
“Everyone fails at who they’re supposed to be, Thor,” she answers. “The measure of a person, of a hero, is how well they succeed at being who they are,” she tells him.
That fortifies the Thunder God enough to keep going. “I missed you, Mum,” he says.
By the end of the story, Thor has ceded the crown of the survivor colony New Asgard to Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie, who has been filling the role of leader anyway. “It’s time to be who I am rather than who I’m supposed to be,” he tells her, echoing his mother’s words. “But you — you’re a leader. That’s who you are.”
Then he decides to become part of a new team — venturing off in the Benatar with the Guardians of the Galaxy, and chafing Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord by referring to the group as “The Asgardians of the Galaxy, back together again!”
It’s a glint of optimism. Maybe the next time we see him he’ll be in a better place.
“He may have made some repair in this movie and made progress, but that experience that brought him to that physical condition is still with him, and it’s a longer road beyond that,” Anthony said. “We don’t know what that road beyond that is for him.”