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How Sam Raimi’s Unmade Thor Movie Would Have Changed The MCU

Sam Raimi pitched a Thor movie to 20th Century Fox in the early 90s, which could have had significant ramifications for the MCU if it was made.

Sam Raimi nearly made a Thor movie, which could have had significant ramifications for the eventual MCU. Sam Raimi is famous for his horror films, particularly the Evil Dead series. Still, among comic fans, he’s renowned for his Spider-Man Trilogy, which helped establish the modern superhero blockbuster film which now dominates pop culture through the MCU. Although Raimi is known for his passionate Spider-Man fandom, he very nearly made a film based on the Thor comics. Given his success with Spider-Man, a Thor movie (or movie series) in the early 90s could have resulted in a different superhero film landscape.

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Raimi’s Spider-Man films demonstrated, among other things, how well-suited he was for adapting Marvel’s superheroes to film. Raimi understood the core of the Spider-Man characters and depicted them flawlessly, even when making some changes for the sake of adaptation. The Spider-Man trilogy’s combination of comic accuracy and superb filmmaking made it enjoyable for Spider-Man fans and casual filmgoers, helping inspire the style of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Related: Why Doctor Octopus Tried To Kill Peter Parker (Not Spidey) In Spider-Man 2

In the early 90s, Sam Raimi collaborated with Thor co-creator Stan Lee to adapt the God of Thunder to film. The two completed a script and pitched it to 20th Century Fox, who promptly rejected it, with their rationale being that superhero films generally weren’t proper fodder for good movies. While this is laughable in the age of the MCU, the only successful superhero films at the time of Thor’s pitching were the Richard Donner Superman and Tim Burton Batman films, whose respective heroes were pop culture icons outside of the comic genre. Had Fox greenlit Thor, however, Raimi and Lee would have likely initiated a highly successful superhero film franchise that could have prevented Marvel Studios from using a key Avengers member in the MCU.

In the 90s, a financially-struggling Marvel sold the film rights to numerous iconic superheroes to various film studios. The Hulk went to universal, Spider-Man became a Sony property, and the X-Men and Fantastic Four were acquired by Fox. Thor’s film rights briefly belonged to Sony in the mid-2000s but reverted to Marvel Studios shortly before the MCU began with 2008’s Iron Man. In Marvel’s comics, Thor was a founding member of The Avengers, but if Raimi had made a successful Thor film series, the rights would have likely stayed with Fox for years, blocking Marvel Studious from using an essential hero in their initial Avengers lineup.

Given Raimi’s success with Spider-Man and clear understanding of the comic source material, his iteration of Thor would most likely be far more comic-accurate than his MCU counterpart. Raimi’s Thor would most likely be introduced as Donald Blake, a doctor from Manhattan who discovers Mjolnir and receives his powers from it, eventually discovering that he is Thor (albeit without any memory of his former life as an Asgardian). Raimi’s signature sense of humor and emotional sincerity would juxtapose the humanity of Blake and his supporting characters with the high-concept cosmic lore of Asgard.

A Thor film series from Fox would likely prevent Raimi from making Spider-Man films for Sony in addition to keeping Marvel from using a key Avengers character for their MCU. In this scenario, Marvel would most likely proceed with the MCU’s Phase 1 but replace Thor with Ant-Man and The Wasp, a superhero duo who were also founding members of The Avengers in the comics (and were both absent from the 2012 film). Thor’s film series would have most likely continued until Disney (the eventual owner of Marvel Studious) acquired 20th Century Fox, allowing an MCU Thor to be introduced through either a reboot or retroactively adding Sam Raimi’s version into the continuity.

More: Every Plot Hole In Party Thor’s Invasion Of Earth

  • Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
  • Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
  • The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Jul 28, 2023

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