Chris Hemsworth Wants A Proper Conclusion For Thor In The MCU

As of 2022, Chris Hemsworth has played Thor for 11 years, which is the same length as Robert Downey Jr.'s run as Tony Stark in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Downey Jr. depicted the "genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist" across nine movies (not counting his credits scene cameo in "The Incredible Hulk"), which is just one more MCU film than Hemsworth has under his belt at this stage (not counting his own cameo in the credits for "Doctor Strange"). Who will emerge triumphant in this totally arbitrary contest?

The key to Hemsworth's durability as the blonde Asgardian beefcake is a combination of the actor's dedication to sustaining the superhero's incredibly defined physique and to changing up his portrayal of the character from one film to the next. Depending on who's calling the shots, no two versions of Thor are quite alike. In Kenneth Branagh's hands, he's an arrogant royal son in need of a lesson in humility. In the hands of Joss Whedon, he's a cosmic soldier whose swaggering masks his emotional fragility. Under Taika Waititi's watch, he's become a risible yet earnest himbo scarred by years of mental trauma.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Hemsworth commented on the ending to Waititi's "Thor: Love and Thunder," which left the door open for the God of Thunder's return to the MCU. "Look, I'm completely open to it if there is something unique and fresh and unexpected to do with the character and the world," the actor explained. He cited his ability "to do something different each time" he portrays Thor as the thing that allows him to keep enjoying the role after all these years. Even so, he too reckons it's about time for him to hang up Mjolnir for good.

The death of a hero

Of the original six members of the MCU's Avengers, two have since died (Tony Stark and Natasha Romanoff), one is mostly retired (Clint Barton), and one might be — but probably isn't — on the moon (Steve Rogers). That leaves Bruce Banner and Thor as the only two whose ultimate fates remain unsettled. The former most recently popped up to mentor his cousin Jennifer Walters on the Disney+ series "She-Hulk," but if the latter were to come back again, Hemsworth feels "we'd probably have to close the book."

"I feel like it probably warrants that. I feel like it'd probably be the finale, but that's not based on anything anyone's told me or any sort of plans," he clarified. "You have this birth of a hero, the journey of a hero, then the death of a hero, and I don't know — am I at that stage? Who knows?"

While "Love and Thunder" left Thor in a good place (protecting the Nine Realms with his adopted daughter Love), the impending threat of Kang the Conqueror in the MCU suggests it's only a matter of time before the God of Thunder is called back into action. Still, after going through the Asgardian equivalent of a mid-life crisis, it feels as though Thor should be very much nearing the conclusion of his journey as a hero, ideally in a way that allows Hemsworth to end his run as the character on a strong note. Perhaps the actor can even celebrate by eating some actual carbs (he more than deserves it).

You can currently catch Hemsworth risking life and limb in the docuseries "Limitless," which is streaming on Disney+.