Thor: Love and Thunder star Natalie Portman has shared her enthusiasm for Jane Foster's potential storyline in the upcoming MCU film. After sitting out 2017's Thor: Ragnarok, Portman is set to return to the Thor franchise in Taika Waititi's second outing. Her big comeback was announced this summer at San Diego Comic Con, along with the added bonus that she'll be playing the female Thor version of Jane.
This portion of Love and Thunder is inspired by a 2014 comic storyline. Written by Jason Aaron, the storyline followed Jane as she became worthy enough to lift Mjolnir when Thor himself became unworthy, thus taking on the role of Goddess of Thunder. However, Jane also had breast cancer at the time, and every time she picked up Mjolnir and used her newfound powers, her chemotherapy treatments became less effective. Aaron's storyline was critically acclaimed, and fans are thrilled to see it adapted onto the big screen.
Speaking with Variety at a recent event, Portman spoke about the possibility of Jane's cancer being included in Love and Thunder. She said, "It’s just very rare that these kinds of big entertainment films look at more serious, real-life issues... I really don’t know anything about it. I haven’t seen anything, but I’ve heard the same rumors as you have, and it’s exciting to think about." Portman has long been a champion of better stories for women, and this would surely be the perfect opportunity for one. The MCU has been gradually bringing female superheroes to the forefront of the franchise, with Phase Four featuring prominent roles for characters like Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and new characters like She-Hulk and Ms. Marvel.
Little is known about Love and Thunder's plot beyond Jane's involvement, and that it'll allow Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie to be openly bisexual. Waititi has been busy promoting his latest film Jojo Rabbit, but it's been said that he has written several drafts of the script. He's also spoken about Jane's cancer storyline, saying "I think that’s a really powerful part of the books. I think it’s really cool that she’s fighting this thing and there’s two battles going on. Personally I really love that storyline... But whether it ends up in the film is yet to be seen." Given Waititi's comedic style, it would be interesting to see how he handles a cancer plot.
Both Portman and Waititi are correct in saying the inclusion of the storyline would be exciting to see play out, especially in a superhero film. With the recent debate surrounding the validity of superhero movies, Love and Thunder could make a bold statement by featuring a storyline where one of its female characters grapples with a serious illness. It would also give Portman even more opportunities to flesh out her character and give a great performance, something she was unable to do in previous MCU films. Some fans were disappointed with how the MCU treated her character in the past, especially in Ragnarok, where her disappearance was explained in a throwaway moment.
- Black Widow (2020) release date: May 01, 2020
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) release date: Feb 12, 2021
- Eternals (2020) release date: Nov 06, 2020
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2021) release date: May 07, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2021) release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 (2021) release date: Jul 16, 2021
- Black Panther 2 (2022) release date: May 06, 2022