Thor: Love and Thunder is one of the most anticipated MCU films under the franchise's ambitious Phase 4 slate, mainly because of its stacked cast.
Directed by Taika Waititi, the fourth installment of the Thor franchise will showcase the return of Chris Hemsworth's God of Thunder alongside Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie and Natalie Portman's Jane Foster.
The trio will presumably team up against the film's chief villain, who is confirmed to be Christian Bale's Gorr the God Butcher. However, they are not the only ones who will be involved in Love and Thunder's storyline.
Set photos have revealed that a good chunk of the Guardians of the Galaxy will be part of Thor's next adventure, which makes narrative sense due to the ending of Avengers: Endgame. On top of that, Jamie Alexander's Lady Sif will also make a comeback, and she will be joined by newcomers like Russell Crowe's Zeus and Melissa McCarthy who will play a fake version of Hela a.k.a. the Goddess of Death.
Now, another returning actor has confirmed his involvement while also talking about his previous working experience in a separate MCU project.
SAM NEILL OPENS UP ABOUT THOR 4 COMEBACK
Sam Neill recently sat down in an interview with Nova, via News AU, to talk and joke around about his MCU return in Taika Waititi's Thor: Love and Thunder.
The actor first admitted that he “never understood” any of the Thor films leading up to his appearance in Thor: Ragnarok as the fake Odin, revealing that the Marvel universe is a “complete mystery” to him:
“I’ve never understood any of the Thor films, in fact the whole Marvel universe is a complete mystery to me.”
Neill then opened up about his experience doing Ragnarok, pointing out that he was “completely baffled” by the whole ordeal:
“I mean I was standing beside Jenny Morris [on set of Ragnarok] and I said, ‘Do you know what planet we’re on?” To be honest I was completely baffled, I came back I was baffled again, I did my bit, I don’t know who are playing who exactly because they are sort of swapping roles."
When one of the interviewees explained that he was the fake version of Thor's father, the Jurassic Park actor exclaimed:
“What? I wish someone had told me that, that’s so much easier!”
WHO IS SAM NEILL PLAYING IN THOR 4?
Sam Neill's admission of not knowing much about the MCU is understandable, especially after his brief stint during 2017's Thor: Ragnarok. Given that he's already playing an established character like Odin, it would seem confusing for the actor to find out that he portrayed a fake version of the King of Asgard back then.
Taika Waititi's direction of including an Asgardian play involving established Thor characters was a surprising yet seamless addition to Ragnarok, but many would agree that doing it for the second time in Love and Thunder will be tough. Still, the fact that he confirmed his return in Thor: Love and Thunder is exciting on its own, since speculation will run rampant about Neill's next MCU role.
Set photos have already confirmed that another Asgardian play will be featured in the Chris Hemsworth-related project, and there's a strong chance that Neill will be involved. Neill was previously seen wearing Odin's outfit moments before his death, and this heavily suggests that Love and Thunder will re-enact this particular moment from the 2017 MCU blockbuster.
However, the actor's remark about “swapping roles” could hint that he will play a different in-universe role, and the possibilities are endless.
Neill could easily play a random Asgardian in a different scene from the play, but it's possible that his role will be closely tied to the mainstays of the franchise. From potentially playing Heimdall to even a version of Jeff Goldblum's Grandmaster, there are various characters that Neill can portray in Love and Thunder other than Odin.
Fans will find out Sam Neill's exact role when Thor: Love and Thunder premieres in theaters on May 6, 2022.