Marvel Studios

Every two weeks, a new Marvel movie gets a magazine cover. It's one of the key forces that ensures balance in the world. This time it's—booming blockbuster soundtrack drumrolllllThor: Ragnarok on Entertainment Weekly.

Just up front: Chris Hemsworth's Thor is now in The Short Hair Club alongside his fellow dude-heroes Iron Man, Captain America, Spider-Man, Hulk, Black Panther and Hawkeye. No more luscious golden Asgardian locks. “It felt like a rebirth for me as the actor but also as the character,” Hemsworth tells EW.

New Zealand director/writer/actor Taiki Waititi is at the helm this time, and the strong personality evidenced in great works like last year's luminous Hunt for the Wilderpeople and 2007's Eagle vs. Shark will be present. “Taika has such a quirky, left-of-field sense of humor, which forced all the characters and the tone of the whole story to head in a new direction,” Hemsworth says. “Each day we were like, ‘Are we pushing it too far? Are we allowed to have this much fun?’”

MARVEL STUDIOS for EW

Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige assures EW it's not a risky gambit but rather a quality-assurer. “I have a belief that if you’re lucky enough to get to part 3 of a franchise, it is your obligation not to fall to threequel-itis."

Waititi has this to say about the change in flavor:

“I think sometimes people mistake a tonal shift as ‘We’re just going to make some ridiculous broad comedy where no one gives a shit what happens and everyone gets stoned and sits around talking about saving the universe.' We want people to care what happens and care that the hero succeeds. I think tonally it’s like a slight shift. I don’t feel nervous—I feel good about it.”

Thor: Ragnarok drops Nov. 3 and will also feature Jeff Goldblum as Grandmaster and Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, plus the return of Mark Ruffalo's Hulk as well as previous Thor-ers Anthony Hopkins, Tom Hiddleston and Idris Elba. For more from Entertainment Weekly's cover story preview, including info on Cate Blanchett's Hela, head here.

Next, watch Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Axel Alonso outline the ways the publishing empire is syncing up with its movie and television offerings: