For the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok, Marvel’s Kevin Feige tells Entertainment Weekly that it was imperative to avoid “threequel-itis,” the state of lazy inertia that can affect a franchise in its third outing. As such, the film is taking the opportunity to make a “fresh start” with unexpected locales—in this case, the distant planet Sakaar—and an exciting new villain in the form of Cate Blanchett’s Hela, Goddess of Death, along with a tonal shift toward, as Chris Hemsworth puts it, the more “quirky, left-of-field sense of humor” of director Taika Waititi. But perhaps most importantly, Thor has a new haircut.
The haircut is very short, but that’s fine. Everything’s fine.
As revealed in this week’s EW cover story, Thor: Ragnarok finds the Norse god banished by Hela to a world where he’s forced to become a gladiator, in a realm that’s overrun with other super-powerful beings. There he must battle his old friend The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo, whose hair is reportedly normal) and teaming up with his Asgardian ally Valkyrie, played by Tessa Thompson. Throughout it all, he will have a different haircut than the one fans are used to seeing—which is fine. Once his haircut was very long, but now it is not.
Sure, comic book fans, notorious for being resistant to changes, may find reason to be wary of Thor’s haircut, which is now very short and also a bit tousled in a sort of kicky, insouciant upstyle. But both cast and crew have assured skeptics that everything’s going to be fine. “I think tonally it’s like a slight shift. I don’t feel nervous—I feel good about it,” Waititi says of the film’s slightly more comedic direction but also, implicitly, the haircut. Hemsworth agrees, saying of the haircut, “It felt like a rebirth for me as the actor but also as the character,” who now does not have long hair. Totally fine.
In fact, it’s great! Forget everything you thought you knew about the old Thor! Write everything you thought you knew about Thor down in a notebook, throw it in a garbage bag, then bring that bag with you as you visit every salon within a three-mile radius of your home to ask if you can have the discarded hair from their customers, and—when they tell you that your request makes them uncomfortable and ask you to leave—keep insisting, “It’s not like it’s illegal!” when they threaten to call the cops. Hey, that’s fine too! You can just go skulk around the alleyway waiting for them to dump all that hair in the trash, which you can then scoop out and put inside your own garbage bag along with your Thor notebook. Then light that bag on fire and begin to dance gleefully around it, your soul unburdened by years of needless anxiety, and—after the salon employees come out back to try to find the source of the acrid black smoke that’s now choking the air and infiltrating their vents—tell them that you’re keeping an open mind about the next Thor movie.
The EW cover also reveals that Thor won’t have his signature hammer, which, fuck that, we’re not seeing it now.