This year’s San Diego Comic-Con might be in the past, but the news surrounding Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is still coming thick and fast. One of the biggest stories to come out of the Marvel Studios panel was the announcement that not only would Natalie Portman be returning alongside Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson and director Taika Waititi for Thor: Love and Thunder, but she would be suiting up to play the God of Thunder.
Many people were surprised that the actress decided to return to the MCU, given that there had been rumors she had been disappointed with her ‘token love interest’ role in Thor and its sequel The Dark World, with the actress neglecting to return for the third installment Ragnarok and saying in a somewhat dismissive interview at the time:
“As far as I know, I’m done. I mean, I don’t know if maybe one day they’ll ask for an Avengers 7, or whatever. I have no idea”
It seemed as if the tensions between Portman and Marvel Studios had thawed slightly when the Academy Award winner appeared at the premiere of Avengers: Endgame and even made a brief cameo in the movie, but even then that was recycled footage from The Dark World, with Portman recording only one line of new dialogue.
Now that the cat is out of the bag and the actress is returning to the Thor franchise, it turns out that Portman had agreed to reprise her role as Jane Foster six months ago after meeting with Taika Waititi, with the notoriously secretive Marvel Studios choosing to save the announcement for Comic-Con, where it would generate the biggest buzz.
Kevin Feige revealed the clandestine negotiations in a recent interview, adding that bringing back Jane had always been Waititi’s intention, with the filmmaker convincing Portman to rejoin the MCU in the space of just one meeting:
“One of the ideas, and perhaps the biggest, was the idea of Jane. We set Natalie and Taika up and in one meeting she agreed to do it.”
Portman has already promised to get into God of Thunder shape before Love and Thunder starts shooting, and has also proven quite adept at wielding Mjolnir. As such, we can’t wait for her to finally suit up.
Thor: Love and Thunder is currently scheduled to be the final movie in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and is set to hit theaters in November 2021.