Thor: Ragnarok screenwriter Eric Pearson reveals why Chris Hemsworth’s Thor cut off his long locks for the latest installment in the franchise. Ragnarok changes a lot more than just Thor’s hairstyle, of course. The third in the Thor solo movie franchise, Ragnarok goes inter-galactic, destroys the hero’s signature hammer, brings Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) into play again, and injects the series with some neon-colored techno energy and a new kind of humor.
It’s a bit of a departure from previous Thor films, which have been darker and based more on Earth (and in Asgard). From what’s been seen of Ragnarok so far, it’s something very new for Thor; so it makes sense that he would chop off his signature flowing hair. A new look for a new style. Of course, this change did cause a little speculation among Marvel fans. Theories ranged from an attempt to match the on-screen character to a specific comic iteration to the possibility that Marvel just wanted an excuse to make even more Thor collectibles with a new look. Turns out, it is neither of those, and one of the film’s writers has revealed the real reason.
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In an interview with CBR, Ragnarok screenwriter Eric Pearson revealed that Thor’s hair was changed for the purely practical reason that the Thor wig was driving Hemsworth crazy:
When I arrived, there were certain things they had already decided. We’re going to break the hammer.. Another one was, ‘We’re going to cut the hair.’ I said, ‘Why?’ ‘Hemsworth doesn’t want to wear the wig. It takes a lot of time to get it right.’
Thematically, what it turned into is, we were really stripping Thor down in this movie.
With such an action-heavy franchise, it makes perfect sense that Hemsworth would prefer to work without a long wig hampering his movements, or worrying that it would cover his face in a shot. Short hair is simply more practical, but Ragnarok had to do something to explain the change. Thankfully, cutting hair is routinely used in film as a way to show that a character has been stripped down or broken, especially in the case of slaves (or, for Ragnarok, galactic Gladiators).
Fans of the longer hair will be disappointed to learn that this is likely to be a style that sticks around for future films, given Hemsworth’s frustrations with the wig that has been used so far. However, there are versions of the character in the comics with short hair, so this change doesn’t mean that Ragnarok is being unfaithful to the source material. It certainly still looks fantastic on Hemsworth, and it sounds like the change has been worked into the story in a way that works.