Thor: Love And Thunder’s Taika Waititi Explains How Natalie Portman’s Return Will Mess With Chris Hemsworth’s Hero

Natalie Portman's Jane Foster as The Mighty Thor
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Phase Four of the Marvel movies has already introduced plenty of new faces, and it'll soon bring back an old one too. Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster was absent in the MCU’s Phase Three and is returning strong with some epic new powers as The Mighty Thor. Now Thor: Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi explains how Portman’s big return will mess with Chris Hemsworth’s on screen superhero Thor.

Chris Hemsworth’s Thor Odinson has been through quite a bit since he’s seen Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster. I mean, half the world was blipped out of existence, for one. In the recently released trailer for Thor: Love and Thunder, we see Thor going through a transitional period and a retirement of sorts. Apparently the universe has different plans for Thor, because in an interview with Empire, director Taika Waititi says Thor is in for “a real mindfuck” when Natalie Portman comes back into the picture, new powers or not. Here it is in the filmmaker's own words:

It's been about eight years. She's had a whole other life, and then the love of your life comes back on the scene, and is now dressed like you. It's a real mindfuck for Thor.

It’s 100% time for a Thor and Jane reunion. I don’t think I’ve ever recovered from their breakup, which we didn’t even get to see play out on screen. Fans didn’t really get closure on that sweet relationship, and it really sounds like their reunion in Thor: Love and Thunder will rock Thor’s world.

As Taika Waititi explained in the same interview, it was the desire to bring Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster back that opened up the window to tell the Mighty Thor story, which is the superhero Jane becomes after touching Mjolnir, which has somehow reformed after being shattered by Hela in Thor: Ragnarok. Here is what the director says on that front:

I didn't know we were going to use the storyline of the Mighty Thor character until we started working out the actual story. I was writing and it was like, 'Wouldn't it be kind of cool to bring Jane back into the storyline?' You don't want Natalie coming back and playing that same character who's walking around with science equipment. You know, while Thor's flying around, she's left on Earth, tapping her foot going, 'When's he going to be back?' That's boring. You want her to be part of the adventure.

It’s pretty safe to say that fans would not have appreciated a Jane-centric storyline that depicted her as someone just waiting on Thor’s return. Jane, along with her bestie Darcy (who returned in WandaVision last year), are strong female characters who ride in to greet the face of danger, even before meeting Thor. It’s clear Jane doesn’t need Thor to become a hero herself, and the fact that we see a glimpse of her transformation happening without his knowledge and shocking Thor in the released trailer is honestly fantastic. 

Natalie Portman has seemingly taken the turn of her Jane role by the horns and has gotten completely ripped, despite working through struggles training for Thor: Love and Thunder. And I doubt I'm alone in thinking the actress looks utterly god-like (literally) in as the costumed Jane Foster.

While we’ve already been graced with some awesome looks at Thor: Love and Thunder, we actually don’t have too much longer to wait until we can watch the whole thing. The Marvel film is one of the most highly anticipated 2022 movie releases, and it drops exclusively in theaters on July 8th. I certainly don’t want to miss the new Jane Foster on the big screen, and I’m very intrigued by this new, “mindfucked” Thor as well. 

Carlie Hoke
Content Writer

Constantly thinking about books, coffee, and the existential dread I feel from Bo Burnham’s Inside.  While writing I’m also raising a chaotic toddler, who may or may not have picked up personality traits from watching one too many episodes of Trailer Park Boys.