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Marvel reportedly forced Thor: Love and Thunder to be under 2 hours

Jane Mighty Thor (Natalie Portman) holding a repaired Mjolnir

Thor: Love and Thunder is out now in theaters — a “classic Thor adventure” that shows us what the God of Thunder has been up to since Endgame. But the sequel isn’t quite what we expected. The story has some issues, and we’ve already discussed the big Thor: Love and Thunder plot hole that you can’t ignore.

It turns out that it might be Marvel’s fault that Love and Thunder has such middling reviews, not director Taika Waititi’s. Before we explain, know that big spoilers will follow below.

The story isn’t perfect

Love and Thunder isn’t Ragnarok, and that’s understandable. Once you’ve surprised audiences by giving an Avenger a complete personality reboot, you can’t do it again.

But we can’t ignore the Thor: Love and Thunder plot issues and the way Marvel tells this story. We hardly get to see Gorr in action in this movie. Christian Bale delivers an excellent performance in the scenes he’s in. But plenty of scenes were deleted.

Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale) in Thor 4 trailer.
Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale), the Thor: Love and Thunder villain. Image source: Marvel Studios

We know from the actor that he shot scenes with Peter Dinklage and Jeff Goldblum which never made it into the final cut. Natalie Portman also said that entire planets aren’t in the story. And we learned from a lawsuit that Lena Headey shot scenes for the movie as well.

Then there’s the glaring Avengers plot hole. Thor never tries to recruit any of his friends from work in Love and Thunder to beat Gorr. Yet he is traveling the universe to seek help.

We already explained it would only take a few extra scenes for Thor to explain why he thinks the Avengers won’t cut it. It would be silly, considering they beat Thanos (Josh Brolin), but it would be his opinion. And the plot would not suffer from it.

How Marvel influenced the Thor: Love and Thunder plot

But the final Love and Thunder cut makes no mention of the Avengers even though Thor is facing a very serious adversary. Gorr might have succeeded in taking out every god in the universe, and that could have set in motion a chain of catastrophic events.

It turns out that Marvel might have negatively influenced the Thor: Love and Thunder plot by imposing a time limit for the story. The studio reportedly wanted a two-hour runtime, and that might explain why Waititi had to remove so many scenes.

Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) in Love and Thunder trailer
Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) in Love and Thunder trailer. Image source: Marvel Studios

“Taika having a blank check on this is absolutely not the case,” The Ringer-Verse’s Joanna Robinson said. “He got more leeway than he got with Ragnarok, but there was a mandate to bring this movie in under two hours. This comes in under two hours, and they cut a ton of stuff out of this movie.”

Can Marvel fix it?

“Taika is on record as not being into director’s cuts,” she continued. “We know Jeff Goldblum, Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey [were supposed to appear], and Simon Russell Beale appeared as Dionysus and had like two lines in this movie but has an above-the-line credit, so he was definitely supposed to be in this more. Gorr was definitely supposed to come in and kill a bunch of other people.”

Waititi dispelled the notion of a Love and Thunder director’s cut in other interviews where he addressed the deleted scenes. And it’s unlikely that we’ll ever see it anyway, considering that the MCU doesn’t have any director’s cuts to date.

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) shocked to see Mighty Thor (Natalie Portman) in Love and Thunder trailer.
Thor (Chris Hemsworth) shocked to see Mighty Thor (Natalie Portman) in Love and Thunder trailer. Image source: Marvel Studios

Marvel will probably release some of the deleted scenes when Love and Thunder hits Disney Plus and other digital services. But deleted scenes are not canon. They never are. The Love and Thunder plot will remain unchanged, no matter what Marvel includes in the digital and Blu-ray releases.

What Marvel can still fix is the plot hole. The story probably wouldn’t have mentioned the Avengers regardless of the movie’s length. But Marvel can explain in other movies and TV shows why Thor never called the Avengers. Or what they were doing while Thor was dealing with Gorr.


More Marvel coverage: For more MCU news, visit our Marvel guide.

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.