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Does Natalie Portman Have A Future In The MCU? Let's Discuss

Natalie Portman in Thor: Love and Thunder
(Image credit: Marvel Studios )

This feature is going to dig deeper into the closing scenes of Taika Waitit’s Thor: Love and Thunder, and what it could mean for a major character going forward. Stop reading if you haven’t yet seen the movie, or if you have any concerns about spoilers. 

There were genuine stakes in Thor: Love and Thunder, with Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale) proving to be a worthy foe for The God of Thunder (Chris Hemsworth) and The Mighty Thor (Natalie Portman). There were times I honestly believed that Thor might not make it out of the movie alive… and I was kind of right. Continuing to use the power granted to her by Mjolnir, Jane Foster succumbs to her cancer and dies in Thor’s arms. However, there is a reprieve of sorts. 

In one of the two mid-credits scenes, we learn that The Mighty Thor is able to enter Valhalla, probably because (as was discussed earlier in the film), she died in battle. Heimdall (Idris Elba) is there to great Jane and welcome her to the afterlife. So, Jane is dead. But, is she really? Do people ever really die in comic-book movies? I think that there are two interpretations of the intention of Portman’s mid-credits scene, so let’s discuss them below, and how they relate to the actress’s future in the MCU.

Natalie Portman

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Natalie Portman Receives Emotional Closure

Let’s say that Natalie Portman’s time in the MCU is over following Thor: Love and Thunder. She redeems the disappointing ending that she got in Thor: The Dark World. She’s able to participate in the anticipated adaptation of Jason Aaron’s Thor, which first introduced Jane Foster as the Asgardian warrior. Elements of that comic run are spread throughout Thor: Love and Thunder, and it’s one of the most significant storylines for Foster, so letting Portman play along in this movie makes all of the sense in the world. 

She got a worthy death. She helped save Asgard’s children, and stop Gorr the God Butcher. And she lives her eternity amongst other celebrated warriors in Valhalla. Gods dream of reaching the afterlife, and Jane has arrived. If this scene is meant as a fond farewell, and Portman has no future in the MCU, then this is a very fitting conclusion to Jane’s journey. 

Tessa Thompson and Natalie Portman

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Natalie Portman Is Placed On Hold… Until Later

If the MCU needs Jane Foster later, perhaps as a replacement for Chris Hemsworth’s Thor should the actor ever want to retire, then the Thor: Love and Thunder mid-credits scene stashes her away some place safe, where she could be retrieved if necessary. What, you don’t think that with all of the realms Thor is capable of visiting, he couldn’t find a way into Valhalla to spring Jane (and even Heimdall) out? Of course he could.

This leaves Jane Foster’s future open. A lot would have to come to fruition for her to return. The story would have to make sense. And Natalie Portman would want to do it. Personally, I think that Portman got a tremendous opportunity to fully show off all that she is capable of in this sequel, and returning might cheapen the effect. But you never know what the MCU might have in mind for Phase 5 and beyond, so it’s good that we still know, with certainty, where Foster resides. 

Natalie Portman in Thor: Love and Thunder

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Our Conclusion

My bet is that Natalie Portman is done. I think she agreed to return as Jane Foster to wash the bad taste of Thor: The Dark World out of her mouth. She saw what Taika Waititi had done with Thor: Ragnarok and wanted in on the fun. But now, having played The Mighty Thor, there’s nothing else significant she needs to accomplish, and so the Valhalla finale is closure to her journey. 

Time will tell if Jane Foster shows up in an upcoming Marvel movie. In the meantime, go watch her latest adventure opposite Thor and Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) in Thor: Love and Thunder

Sean O'Connell
Sean O'Connell

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.