Marvel fans were surprised when Natalie Portman showed up on the red carpet of the Avengers: Endgame premiere, as it heavily suggested that she would return as Jane Foster for the movie for the first time since 2013’s Thor: The Dark World. Sure enough, we did see Jane again in the film, but it was later revealed that the actress only provided some voiceover and the footage of her was just recycled deleted scenes.
Originally, though, Jane could have had a much bigger role. Writers Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus spoke about all things Endgame with Fandango recently and revealed why Jane had to return. McFeely explained that, due to the Aether AKA the Reality Stone only previously appearing in TDW, the plot required her to make a comeback when the heroes travelled back in time to claim the Infinity Stones.
“It was very hard to find a way to not do that, seeing as one of the Infinity Stones is inside her for primarily the only time we’ve ever seen it. It’s literally inside her arm, so there weren’t too many variations that didn’t have Natalie Portman in them.”
McFeely then went on to hint that some versions of the script featured more of Jane. However, if there was ever any reunion between the present-day Thor and his ex, this was ultimately replaced by his heartfelt discussion with her mother Frigga (Rene Russo), as that was a character dynamic the writers wished to further explore.
“There were longer ones, but they … you know you wound up before Thor and his mother was so rich and so on point in terms of what he needed to learn that in already a three-hour movie we couldn’t really have a long scene between, say, Rocket and Jane, because, again, it’s drifting off of the character stories that we wanted to tell.”
Markus and McFeely probably made the right choice there. Frigga is a character who was severely under-utilized in the first two Thor movies, which made her death in TDW rather underwhelming. Thanks to Avengers: Endgame, Thor’s relationship with his mother now has some extra weight to it. Besides, her words to her son directly inspire his decision to leave behind New Asgard and join the Guardians of the Galaxy.