WARNING: Spoilers ahead for Avengers Endgame.
In the very first act of Marvel’s epic, the surviving Avengers – plus Carol Danvers, minus a wounded Tony Stark – hunt down Thanos and, when they discover he has destroyed the Infinity Stones, Thor kills him.
Time then jumps forward five years, by which point all of the main characters have responded to their tragedy in different ways.
For Thor, he has entered a state of depression wherein his physical appearance has transformed: he has gained weight, and his hair is longer and unkempt.
In a new interview with Sirius XM, the Russos spoke out on the process of telling Chris Hemsworth about their suggestion.
“Hemsworth is up for anything,” Joe said. “He likes to take risks.”
Anthony added: “Before the script was ready, when we called him to pitch the character arc, he was either still finishing or had just finished Ragnarok.
“But he was so energised by the work he had done with Taika [Waititi] in that movie in terms of coming up with a more comedic and irreverent Thor.”
Joe quipped: “And we were like, ‘wait until you hear what we’ve got for you’.”
The brothers argued that the new Thor is just as “inspiring” as the past Thor, because of the way he overcomes the huge trauma he suffered over the course of his last few movies, with the deaths of both parents, his brother, his planet and Heimdall.
Anthony explained: “Joe and I love subversion and to take the God who looks like a God and find a way to subvert that and re-invent the character…
“We find ‘fat Thor’ as inspiring as any version of Thor because he’s so relatable.
“It’s a very human version of the character.”
The jokes made at the expense of Thor’s physical appearance have proven somewhat divisive among viewers, but the fact that the God of Thunder never at any point goes through any kind of stereotypical weight loss or training montage as he becomes more at peace with himself has been praised.
The Russo brothers also denied that they were purposefully setting Thor up to join the Guardians of the Galaxy at the end of Endgame – but said it is up to that movie’s director, James Gunn, in terms of where he takes that group next.
Avengers: Endgame is out now.