Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe were taken by surprise at this year’s Comic-Con when the franchise’s producers announced that in the new Taika Waititi-helmed Thor movie, Love and Thunder, the long-forgotten romantic interest Jane Foster will become the new God of Thunder. This seemed unusual, since the character, played by Natalie Portman, hasn’t had a major MCU role since 2013 and proved to be controversial among fans for her general dullness.
This was never Portman’s fault; it was how the character was written. Waititi has a chance to rectify those mistakes in the same way he saved Thor from losing fans’ interest. So, here are 10 Ways Taika Waititi Can Fix Jane Foster In Thor: Love And Thunder.
10 Give her funny lines
The greatest strength of the characters in Thor: Ragnarok – including the characters we’d already become acquainted with, like Odin, the Hulk, and Thor himself – was that Taika Waititi made them so darn funny. MCU fans were instantly endeared to newcomers like Valkyrie and Korg, while their waning interest in the God of Thunder was immediately renewed, because they made them laugh.
Waititi needs to give Jane the interesting dialogue – and in one of his films, that means funny dialogue – that she sorely lacked in her early appearances. She can even make meta-references to her own dull former characterization, like how Loki joked about how many times Thor has fallen for his projection trick in Ragnarok.
9 Let her get in on the action
Since Ike Perlmutter was in charge at the MCU’s inception and used his power to marginalize female and minority characters, a lot of the Phase 1 love interests have had little to do. Most of the love interests of characters who were introduced later, like the Wasp and Gamora, were already involved in the action from the get-go. But characters like Pepper Potts have had to wait years before being involved in an action scene as more than just a damsel in distress, like when Pepper donned the Rescue armor during the Battle of Earth.
Taika Waititi can make Jane Foster a more compelling character by letting her get in on the action, and based on the premise of Jane taking on the mantle of Thor, it seems like she’ll be pretty heavily involved in the superheroics.
8 Develop her character arc
One of the main reasons for the MCU’s longevity is its engaging character arcs. We spent 11 years watching Tony Stark go from a selfish playboy profiting from the deaths of innocent people to a superhero who sacrificed himself to save the world.
Taika Waititi made Thor’s character arc more interesting by taking away everything he had – his father, his home, his royal protections, one of his eyes – and making him prove himself. He could do the same (well, not the exact same, but something similar) for Jane Foster in Thor: Love and Thunder. She’ll have to prove her worthiness of the Thor name somehow.
7 Make her relationship with Thor seem real
The romance shared by Thor and Jane Foster in the first couple of Thor movies was about as exciting and passionate as a rotten pear. Apart from maybe Scarlet Witch and Vision, they’ve long been considered the most boring couple in the MCU.
Thankfully, this has been due to the writing and not due to a lack of chemistry between Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman, so the relationship can still be salvaged and have some life breathed back into it. The most interesting MCU couples, like Tony Stark and Pepper Potts or Peter Quill and Gamora, share a real connection. One needs to be created between Thor and Jane.
6 Show the effects of her exposure to an Infinity Stone
The last time we saw Jane Foster in a major role was in Thor: The Dark World, and while that movie is mostly maligned by the MCU fan base, it was pretty important in the development of the Infinity Stones storyline, as shown by Thor and Rocket’s time travel destination in Avengers: Endgame. In The Dark World, Jane had the Reality Stone, reduced to an “angry sludge” called the Aether, literally coursing through her body.
As demonstrated by the permanent damage to the Hulk’s arm, the permanent damage to Thanos’ arm, and the death of Tony Stark, exposure to Infinity Stones can be an incredibly dangerous thing. Jane’s reappearance will need to explain the effects of her exposure to the Reality Stone (some fans have predicted a cancer storyline).
5 Depict her as a scientific genius
Jane Foster is one of the smartest characters in the Marvel universe, and we have to assume she was “dusted” by Thanos, because she has the quantum physics know-how to have been a great help in the Avengers’ struggle to figure out time travel via the Quantum Realm. The broad problem with Jane’s characterization in the early Thor movies was that she wasn’t much more than a love interest for Thor and wasn’t developed too much on her own.
Science is her whole passion in life – and remember, she was a scientist long before Thor even showed up – and it’s been suggested that she’s sort of a celebrity on Earth for her scientific accomplishments, so Love and Thunder needs to focus on that aspect of her character.
4 Catch her up with Thor’s transformations
When Jane was last seen with Thor, he had long hair and chiseled abs. Now, he has short hair and a beer belly. He also has a new weapon in the form of Stormbreaker, he’s lost his father, and Asgard has been destroyed. A lot has happened to Thor since then, so it would be disingenuous to reintroduce Jane with no changes of her own.
Maybe she’s changed her hair color or gotten married or taken a job at S.W.O.R.D. There are all kinds of crazy and surprising ways that Jane can be brought back into the MCU, like how all the characters’ differences were revealed after the five-year time jump in Avengers: Endgame.
3 Turn Darcy Lewis into her comedic sidekick
Kat Dennings was the comic relief in the Thor movies before they were 100% comic relief, so it would only be fair to bring her back into one of the entirely funny sequels, where her hilarious charm wouldn’t feel out of place. In the early movies, her character Darcy Lewis was Jane’s best friend and they had a lot of banter together, but the writers never really worked up the right dynamic between them to make them a truly great MCU double act. And if anyone can do that, then surely it’s Taika Waititi.
Plus, the whole success of this movie will lie in female representation, and if Jane and Darcy pair up and Valkyrie spends the movie searching for a queen, then Thor: Love and Thunder could give us the most female lead characters in any MCU movie to date.
2 Give a real reason for her worthiness of being Thor
When Jane Foster became Thor in the comics a couple of years ago, while it did mark a significant moment for female representation in the Marvel universe, it was controversial among some fans, because the storyline never gave a reason why Jane was worthy. The writers expected female readers to simply get excited about a female Thor.
Love and Thunder needs to give us a real reason why Jane Foster is about to become Thor. What got fans so excited when Steve Rogers summoned Mjolnir in Endgame wasn’t simply that he could hold the hammer – it was that we’d been given countless reasons for his worthiness, and we were blown away when it actually happened.
1 Collaborate with Natalie Portman on the character
By the time it came to do the third Thor solo movie, Chris Hemsworth has admitted that he’d grown tired of the character. He was vaguely Shakespearean and regal and he was always after revenge and he never seemed to fail – it was getting pretty boring. But then Taika Waititi worked with Hemsworth to rework the character into someone he enjoyed playing and, in turn, he’s ended up staying in the role beyond his Marvel contract, making him the only major MCU actor to do so.
Natalie Portman stopped playing Jane because the character never excited her and, as a result, she didn’t enjoy playing the part (and it’s easy to see why). Waititi can do the same with Portman that he did with Hemsworth and revitalize the character as someone she would actually want to play.