Cate Blanchett is very excited for Natalie Portman's new role in Taika Waititi's Thor: Love and Thunder. Last month, Marvel Studios' president Kevin Feige donned the stage at San Diego Comic-Con's Hall H to lay out his plans for MCU's Phase 4 - among which is a fourth standalone film for the God of Thunder. Aside from Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie) returning, a surprise announcement that Portman is also returning for Thor 4, reprising her role as Jane Foster and wielding Mjölnir as the female Mighty Thor.
This was, arguably, one of the biggest reveals from the Marvel Studios panel - even more so than that the casting for new properties such as Chloe Zhao's ridiculously star-studded Eternals and Destin Daniel Cretton's Shang Chi and the Ten Rings. It's no secret that Portman's stint thus far in the MCU hasn't been smooth sailing. The public criticized her stale chemistry with Hemsworth as the two played in-love couple of Jane and Thor. When Thor: Ragnarok came around and overhauled the whole sub-franchise, it was revealed that the pair broke up with nothing but a brief expository line. But like many, Blanchett is very excited for what's in store for Jane's return, especially since she'll have a significantly bigger role as Mighty Thor in Love and Thunder.
Speaking with ET while promoting her new film, Where'd You Go, Bernadette, the actress was asked for her two cents about Portman returning to the MCU as a proper superhero in Love and Thunder, saying she's "so, so excited." And that's not just because she was once a part of the franchise as villain, Hela, but "because I absolutely loved seeing them all with my kids. But I really, really loved Captain Marvel. No offense, Taika, but it was probably my favorite."
Debuting in Ragnarok as the first villainess in the MCU, Blanchett's Hela is revealed to be the first born of Odin (Anthony Hopkins). She was banished when she became too greedy for power, but with the death of the Allfather, she returned to battle Thor and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and resulting in the destruction of Asgard. Raganarok, however, didn't show her actually dying, which to some suggests she could come back and potentially wreak havoc once again. When asked regarding this possibility, the Academy Award-winning address seems to be more than willing to step back into the shoes of Hela, reminding Marvel Studios: "I'm here."
Blanchett's not alone in feeling extremely excited about Portman's return in the MCU as it felt like she was underutilized in the Thor films in which she's appeared. If Hemsworth's title hero had another shot to redeem the character in Waititi's hands, Portman's Jane also deserves that as she was a major part of the Marvel franchise. As for the idea of Hela returning into the fold, there's a string of ways Marvel Studios can spin the narrative to bring the villainess back. Great as she was in Ragnarok, it felt like there's still so much of her character that can be explored. While it may not happen in Thor: Love and Thunder, it can still come to fruition down the road.
- Black Widow (2020) release date: May 01, 2020
- Eternals (2020) release date: Nov 06, 2020
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) release date: Feb 12, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2021) release date: May 07, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2021) release date: Nov 05, 2021