Thor: Love and Thunder hasn’t even started filming, but we already know a lot about Chris Hemsworth’s fourth solo movie. Earlier in October, Natalie Portman confirmed rumors that her character’s story would be based on the critically acclaimed The Mighty Thor comics. And on October 15, we learned the film’s working title, and it could reveal a lot.
According to a tweet from Skyler Shuler, the editor-in-chief of Disney fansite The DisInsider, Thor: Love and Thunder is being developed under the working title “The Big Salad.”
What does this mean? Well, it could reveal a lot — or nothing at all.
Before we put on our tinfoil hats, let’s hedge this one just a bit. For one thing, this rumor is unconfirmed. Until someone snaps a photo of a movie production sign with the words “The Big Salad” written on it, we won’t know for sure. And even if it’s true, a movie’s working title is often totally random or an inside joke. It doesn’t necessarily reveal anything about the actual film. (“The Big Salad” is also the title of a Seinfeld episode. Maybe Kevin Feige is just a Larry David fan.)
That said, there’s a lot we can read into with this Thor: Love and Thunder leak. At the very least, “The Big Salad” is definitely a reference to a line in Avengers: Endgame where Thor’s mother Frigga tells him to “eat a salad.”
If Thor followed his mom’s advice, then this working title seems to suggest that the superhero will have shed those extra pounds by the time Thor: Love and Thunder begins. Or else he’ll spend some of that movie getting back in fighting shape.
It’s also worth noting that we don’t know when the new Thor movie will take place. Back in October 2019, Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi told Yahoo:
“This is an ongoing debate that we’re still having at Marvel. Cause we’re trying to figure out how long — how many months or years — this is after Endgame, at what point does this take place?”
So Thor: Love and Thunder could easily pick up years after Endgame. Or it might begin moments after that movie ended.
Why does this matter? It’s not a huge surprise that Marvel might want Thor to look more like his usual self in his next movie, but this could undercut one of the most powerful scenes in Avengers: Endgame.
The decision to make Thor fat drew plenty of criticism when Endgame was released, especially when the transformation turned him into the butt of jokes from his fellow Avengers. However, fans and critics also pointed out that when Thor regains his full powers at the end of the movie, he doesn’t just magically become skinny. It was a nice detail that resonated with some moviegoers and helped smooth over the other issues surrounding the character’s portrayal in that movie.
But if Thor: Love and Thunder pretends none of that ever happened — and this leaked working title seems to suggest it might — it would undo one of the most powerful moments in Avengers: Endgame and confirm that the only reason Marvel made Thor fat was so Tony Stark could make a few mean jokes.
Thor: Love and Thunder is scheduled to release on February 11, 2022.