We already know that Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster, the astrophysicist who became the God of Thunder’s love interest across his first two solo movies, won’t be appearing in this year’s Thor: Ragnarok. But it seems Marvel has changed its tune ever so slightly.
Originally, the studio’s reasoning behind Jane’s absence was that most, if not all of Ragnarok takes place on Asgard and beyond (see: Sakaar), leaving little room for planet Earth in Taika Waititi’s galactic threequel. How and ever, considering that Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sorcerer Supreme is officially on board, Marvel has posted an updated status report on Jane Foster. Spoilers: It seems Portman’s scientist and the God of Thunder simply decided to call things off in between The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok.
No one said long distance was ever easy and sure enough, Marvel boss Kevin Feige revealed to Entertainment Weekly today that Ragnarok will introduce Thor to a character that is not only his equal, but his superior. He is, of course, referring to Valkyrie, the badass warrior brought to life by Creed breakout Tessa Thompson.
“We wanted Thor to encounter somebody that was near his equal and that his relationship with Jane may have evolved in unexpected ways in between The Dark World and Ragnarok and we wanted to pit him against a character who was much more his equal and in many ways his superior. Valkyrie is trying to not embrace any sort of Asgardian heritage that she has. Thor thinks maybe that will create a bond between them and, on the contrary, she wants to forget it all entirely.”
Driving that point home was Chris Hemsworth, who noted that, “(Thor)’s certainly enjoying being a drifter, being a solo cowboy out there.” It’s disappointing, then, particularly when you consider that Marvel executed a similar off-screen break-up to explain Gwyneth Paltrow’s absence from Age of Ultron. Rendering female leads disposable is a worrying sign for the MCU, so let’s hope the loss of Paltrow and now Portman are the exceptions to the rule.
Thor: Ragnarok opens on November 3rd.