Chris Hemsworth thought Thor’s absence from the Avengers conflict in Captain America: Civil War meant he was “being written out” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The actor, who had headlined two Thor movies and two Avengers movies by that time, would not get to pick a side between Team Captain America (Chris Evans) and Team Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.). Along with the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) — already off-world at the end of 2015’s Avengers sequel Age of Ultron — Thor would instead return for a cosmic adventure with “work friend” Hulk in 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok.
“I remember being on the Age of Ultron press tour, and everyone was talking about Civil War,” Hemsworth recalls in the new book The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “I was like, ‘What’s Civil War?’ I asked, ‘Are you doing a side-project or something?’ They’re like, ‘Oh no, Captain America, y’know? The next one is Civil War.’ I’m like, ‘Wait… Iron Man’s in that?’ And it’s like, ‘Yeah, but there’s not just Iron Man. There’s Vision (Paul Bettany). There’s Spider-Man (Tom Holland)…'”
Thor and Hulk would warrant only a mention in Civil War, which sees a schism between Earth’s mightiest heroes when their destruction leads the world’s governments to implement superhero legislation: the Sokovia Accords. Along with a more personal fight between Steve Rogers and Tony Stark over the fugitive Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), framed for the murder of the Wakandan king, there was little room for Thor and Hulk — two heavy-hitters off on their own adventure somewhere in the galaxy.
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“‘Wait — what the hell am I doing?'” Hemsworth asked at the time. “[Marvel] said, ‘You’re doing your own thing.'” According to Hemsworth, there was an awkward moment where “I thought, ‘This is it. I’m being written out.'”
When Ruffalo confirmed that he similarly wasn’t approached for the superhero strife in Civil War — where Avengers like Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), War Machine (Don Cheadle), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), and Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) are forced to choose sides — Hemsworth recalled, “That then sparked off this whole joke about, ‘What are we doing?'”
Marvel would playfully answer the question in the Team Thor short film, shot mockumentary style over a weekend. “They had this great idea to just have Thor on a holiday, taking some time out here in Australia, just wanting to do some regular things and hang out with some regular folk,” Hemsworth said of the Taika Waititi directed short that would be followed by their collaboration on the Thor-reinventing feature film Ragnarok.
Hemsworth next returns for Thor: Love and Thunder, in theaters on July 8, 2022.
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