The Marvel Cinematic Universe made some big announcements last week at San Diego Comic-Con. With Spider-Man: Far From Home marking the end of Phase Three, the studio revealed its outline for the next slate of storytelling, which includes TV projects on Disney+. One of the most shocking announcements to come from Marvel's presentation was news that Natalie Portman would be returning to the role of Jane Foster, and will even become a Thor in her own right during the fourth movie, Thor: Love and Thunder.
Fans didn't really expect Jane to return to the MCU, especially after stock footage was used to include the character in Avengers: Endgame's time heist. And it's doubly exciting that she'll be a female Thor, breaking new ground for the shared universe. And director Taika Waititi has already gone to social media to clarify this upcoming plot twist, specifically what to call superhero Jane. As he put it:
And just like that, Natalie Portman has become a bonafide superhero. Jane Foster will be known as Mighty Thor in her resurgence in the MCU, and its a pretty badass title to go by. Just how she becomes a God of Thunder remains to be seen.
Taika Waititi's tweet is the most recent example of the Thor: Ragnarok director communicating directly with the fandom. And its a method he'll likely have to continue for the next few years, given the excitement about Thor: Love and Thunder, and his return to the MCU. Waititi brought new life to the Thor franchise, which struggled a bit with its first two entries. Ragnarok was both bonkers and emotionally-driven, allowing Chris Hemsworth to reach new comedic heights with his signature Marvel hero.
Natalie Portman was noticeably absent from Thor: Ragnarok, and it seemed like she might have left the Marvel Cinematic Universe forever. Her departure made way for Thor to meet characters like Valkyrie and Korg, and she was written off in just a line or two of dialogue. Jane broke up with Thor, and she wasn't expected to be seen again.
Jane was shown onscreen in Avengers: Endgame, although Natalie Portman didn't return to film new scenes. Instead, unused footage from Thor: The Dark World was used to briefly bring her to life. At least, before Rocket got to her and procured the Ether/ Reality Stone. Since Portman was the one actor in the cast who didn't actually film a role, all signs pointed to Jane's permanent absence from the MCU.
But Marvel Studios pulled another fast one over on us, as there were obviously negotiations to bring Natalie Portman back into the fold for the fourth Thor movie. Thor: Ragnarok may be the reason for this, as it was a critical and box office darling that made the franchise more viable for the future. Besides, how can you turn down becoming Mighty Thor?
Thor: Love and Thunder is currently set to arrive in theaters on November 5th, 2021. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.
Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.
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