Taika Waititi's Thor: Love and Thunder contains 2 massive post-credit scenes that tease massive upcoming characters and plotlines for the MCU.
Thor 4's post-credit scene shows Natalie Portman's Mighty Thor arriving in Valhalla, only to be greeted by a surprise appearance from Idris Elba's Heimdall. This marked the first time that Heimdall has been seen in the MCU after he was killed alongside Loki in the opening of Avengers: Infinity War.
However, during the mid-credits scene, it was revealed that Zeus is still alive, with him seeking revenge against Thor. As a result, the powerful God ordered his most skilled warrior to hunt down the Avenger.
Taika Waititi Explains Hercules' MCU Debut
Thor: Love and Thunder's mid-credits scene featured the debut of Brett Goldstein (Ted Lasso) as Hercules, with the character set to hunt down the God of Thunder in a future installment.
Thor 4 director Taika Waititi sat down with Uproxx to talk about Hercules' historic MCU debut and Goldstein's involvement in the long-running franchise.
Waititi, who also voices Korg in the sequel, revealed that the decision to cast Goldstein as Hercules came from Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige:
“Kevin really wanted him to do it, and yeah, Brett’s amazing. He’s great.”
Waititi also pointed out that he doesn't know the specifics about Hercules' MCU future, saying that it is unknown if the tease at the end is meant for "future Thor movies or something else entirely:"
“And I don’t know if that’s to do with Thor, or if it’s to do with how that will develop. Because, obviously, Hercules, there’s a character from the books as well. And so, yeah, this will be interesting to see because Kevin, he’s obviously the mastermind of all of these threads and how they’ll tie up and how they meet, mix and match. So I’m curious to find out myself.”
The MCU director also recalled the excitement of the audience at the film's premiere when Hercules showed up:
“And it was such a cool moment in the cinema where it played, that people went nuts. They were so excited.”
Hercules' MCU debut has been in the rumor mill since June 2020, as first reported by Cinema Spot.
Waititi and Goldstein Tease Hercules' MCU Future
Thor: Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi talks about the future of Brett Goldstein's Hercules in the wider MCU. The director jokingly mentions he did not know Hercules "was a character in Marvel" and then mentions that Hercules' inclusion in Thor 4 "opens up a whole new thing" in the MCU:
“And then [Louis D’Esposito?] is like, we’re gonna introduce Hercules, and um, that made no sense to me, I didn’t even know that was a character in Marvel, but um, apparently it is, and um... It was good, I know it’s opening up a whole new thing, uh, which I won’t be invited to come and be a part of, but I’m happy for everyone who loves Greek Gods.”
Hercules actor himself, Brett Goldstein, is less sure about future appearances by the Greek god in Phase 5 and Phase 6. Goldstein says that he "truly... [knows] nothing" about if Hercules will appear again in the MCU:
“I truly, honestly — this isn’t me lying or being coy — I know nothing,” Goldstein said. “All I know is what I did that day and that’s it. That could be it. It was a fun three seconds.”
Analyzing Hercules' MCU Future after Thor 4
Brett Goldstein is best known for his role as Roy Kent on Apple TV's Ted Lasso, for which he received the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. That said, it seems that Marvel Studios has another home run when it comes to its Hercules casting.
Taika Waititi's high praise of Goldstein is a positive development for the actor's MCU future, and signs indicate that he has a long journey ahead. In addition, the fact that Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige handpicked the actor to portray the MCU's Hercules also says a lot about his potential.
Thor Love and Thunder did end with the infamous "THOR WILL RETURN" screen, indicating that Love and Thunder will not be the last outing for Chris Hemsworth. Hemsworth did comment on Thor 5 briefly during his Marvel Studios Assembled: The Making of Thor: Love and Thunder episode, saying he would need to "talk to Marvel" about another movie.
While it's unknown if Thor 5 will be part of the MCU's Phase 5 slate, the clash between the God of Thunder and Zeus' son appears to confirm that a fifth installment will eventually happen.
At this stage, not much is known about Marvel Studios' Hercules, meaning that there's a chance that a potential solo spinoff for the Marvel hero could be announced before his eventual encounter with Thor.
In Marvel Comics, Thor and Hercules are actually friends, but it seems that the MCU will pit them against each other first before eventually teaming up against a greater threat. Hercules also fought alongside the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy in several battles, meaning that these adventures could potentially happen in the future.
Thor: Love and Thunder is now in theaters and on Disney+.