With the Marvel Cinematic Universe's recent inclusion of so many heroes, some supporting characters are bound to fall to the wayside. We've seen Gwenyth Paltrow's Pepper Potts fade out of the MCU, and now it appears that the same is happening with another romantic interest character: Natalie Portman's Jane Foster. Jane won't be back for Thor threequel Ragnarok, and now we know more about why.
Jane is one of the main stars of the Thor franchise, so it's sure to disappoint some fans that she was excluded this time around. But Marvel president Kevin Feige recently explained the choice to EW, citing that he wanted someone a bit more powerful for Thor to interact with this time around. Cue Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie.
We wanted Thor to encounter somebody that was near his equal and that his relationship with Jane may have evolved in unexpected ways in between The Dark World and Ragnarok and we wanted to pit him against a character who was much more his equal and in many ways his superior. Valkyrie is trying to not embrace any sort of Asgardian heritage that she has. Thor thinks maybe that will create a bond between them and, on the contrary, she wants to forget it all entirely.
Well this is certainly an interesting dynamic to explore. While we'd previously reported that Ragnarok's many non-Earth settings were a reason why Jane was cut, it appears to be more complicated than that. Thor's conflicting relationship with both Asgard and Earth has never really been explored, but it's an interesting way to bring the real life issue of nationalism and immigration into an otherwise very otherworldly blockbuster.
I feel my response to this epic loss can only be summed up through Natalie's prior work.
Sorry, I had to.
In all seriousness, I think that Kevin Feige and the folks at Marvel may have made the right choice here. Jane was a vital part of the first Thor movie, introducing the character to life on Earth and love. But her role in Thor: The Dark World seemed a bit more force. Plus, Jane was never included in the events of either Avengers movie. She was referenced, but never made any appearances. And at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Thor once again departed for Asgard without saying goodbye, so it seems like that relationship is over.
Plus, Chris Hemsworth recently revealed what Thor is like at the start of Ragnarok, it seems like he's got not time for romance.
He's off exploring the universe, still trying to police it and control the mayhem. But he's certainly enjoying being a drifter, being a solo cowboy out there.
And that makes sense, given the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been functioning lately. Romantic storylines have all but been abandoned in recent years, instead focusing on group dynamics and family unites being established throughout the various properties. Sure, Captain America gets to get semi-incestuous with Sharon Carter in Civil War, but it's hardly the film's focus. Thanos is coming, so the stakes suddenly feel far too high to include frivolous and flirtatious relationships.
Thor: Ragnarok will hit theaters, sans Jane Foster, on November 3, 2017.