One of the most exciting announcements to come out of a Marvel Studios San Diego Comic-Con Panel that was absolutely full of them was the news that Natalie Portman would be returning alongside Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson in Thor: Love and Thunder, with Taika Waititi once again directing.
Not only that, but Portman’s Jane Foster will be taking over the mantle of the God of Thunder, with Waititi handing Mjolnir over to the Academy Award-winning actress during the panel to the sound of deafening cheers from the audience. Many people believed that Portman was done with the MCU after Thor: The Dark World and a brief recycled cameo in Avengers: Endgame, but now she’s back and set to play a superhero no less.
After the announcement, the Ragnarok and Love and Thunder director took to Twitter to express his excitement about the upcoming project, saying:
Love & Thunder…
— Taika Waititi (@TaikaWaititi) July 21, 2019
Thor: Ragnarok is one of the best standalone entries in the MCU to date, with Waititi and Chris Hemsworth combining to reinvent the character from the stoic prince of Asgard to a hilarious Shakespearean frat-bro. This evolution has established Thor as one of the most enjoyable heroes in the entire franchise, and Endgame co-writer Christopher Markus was grateful that the biggest movie of all-time could benefit from this new spin on Thor.
“He got re-toned by Taika Waititi, Eric Pearson and Chris Hemsworth in Thor: Ragnarok, and that was a gift to us. Basically from his first movie, he is headed for the throne. He has all this burden of purpose on him. And so his arc in all these movies is learning to let go of what people expect of him and embrace what he himself feels he is. It turns out Hemsworth is a really good actor. He’s not just gorgeous, he’s funny. It’s been such a great second half of the MCU for him. I’m really, really happy that all came about.”
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While it seems unlikely that Thor will be joining up with the Guardians of the Galaxy anytime soon, Love and Thunder looks to be a big step forward for the MCU in terms of representation, with many fans hoping that another iconic comic book moment makes it to the big screen:
If this line isn’t in the film, I’m going to be disappointed. pic.twitter.com/Jxv3YMLFi7
— Daniel Meersand (@DanMeersand) July 21, 2019
Thor: Love and Thunder will be the last of the Phase 4 movies to hit cinemas in November 2021, but has already shot to the top of many people’s lists as the most anticipated project in Marvel Studios’ latest batch of superhero blockbusters, and frankly, it’s not hard to see why.