Save for that repurposed daily in Avengers: Endgame, Natalie Portman has been absent from the Marvel Cinematic Universe for a very long time.
As a matter of fact, you’d have to cast your mind back to The Dark World, arguably the weakest entry into the MCU, to recall Portman’s last appearance as Jane Foster, though Marvel Studios has, at the very least, kept her character alive thanks to mentions in Age of Ultron, Ragnarok and even Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
But with Thor: Love and Thunder, Portman is returning to the limelight (and in some style), after agreeing to reprise her role as Jane Foster for the 2021 blockbuster. In so doing, she’s destined to become Mighty Thor in the Taika Waititi-directed film, and it seems that character arc effectively cemented Portman’s decision to circle back to the MCU for the first time since 2013.
“They came to me with the idea and said, ‘We have this idea for you that was a storyline in some of the comics where Jane becomes Lady Thor,’ and I was like, ‘This is very exciting!'”
The big reveal came during San Diego Comic-Con back in July, when Natalie Portman walked out to a sea of adoring fans – she even wielded Mjolnir! As for her character, well, last time we caught up with Jane Foster, she was still recovering from the effects of the Aether (read: the Reality Stone).
Five years after the Snap, and the MCU landscape is practically unrecognizable: Asgard is toast, Thor is tubby, and Valkyrie has been sworn in to lead the Asgardians in lieu of Chris Hemsworth’s God of Thunder. Where, exactly, Jane Foster fits into all this remains to be seen, but above all else, we’re happy to see Natalie Portman returning to the fold.
Hailed as a cornerstone of the MCU Phase 4, Thor: Love and Thunder is scheduled for release on November 5th, 2021.