Natalie Portman will be returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Thor: Love and Thunder, but her journey with the franchise has been a long and bumpy one. She first appeared as Jane Foster in Kenneth Branagh’s Thor in 2011. At the time, the casting was a coup, as Portman was fresh off an Oscar win for Black Swan and had risen to the top of Hollywood by that time.
The experience was a good one, though, and the actress returned for the 2013 sequel, Thor: The Dark World. This production, however, was fraught with controversy and Portman made no bones about being upset when director Patty Jenkins was let go from the pic. In post interviews, she would make it clear that she had no interest, nor intention, to return to the franchise again.
And true to her word, Portman would sit Thor: Ragnarök out. In fact, she wouldn’t be seen in the MCU again until a surprise cameo in Avengers: Endgame that saw Rocket Racoon and Thor travel in time to the events of The Dark World in order to retrieve the Aether.
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Now, all the troubles of the past seem to have been washed away and Portman is not only coming back for the fourth Thor film, but, according to Taika Waititi during a recent interview, she jumped at the chance.
The director elaborated, stating:
I mean, I didn’t have to do much. And, I think for her it was about making the character interesting. And I think especially when you’re playing ‘an Earthling who’s just into science’ in one of these big movies, it kind of gets a bit sort of, you know… After doing that for two movies, you want to do something different. I think for her, the thing that might’ve been attractive about this is being able to step it up and be a superhero. And I’d rather her do that than play a scientist. And it’s also from the comics as well. So, it’s not something we made up.
Not only will Portman be coming back, but she’ll be suiting up as the Mighty Thor, just like the character did in the comics in the early 2010s. Fans are ecstatic about the news, too, and it’ll be interesting to see how the storyline plays out and how Jane gets her powers when Thor: Love and Thunder hits screens in November of 2021.