Natalie Portman has already taken to prepping for the role of Thor in Taika Waititi's Thor: Love and Thunder by digging into Marvel's Mighty Thor comics. Her unexpected return to the MCU was officially confirmed during Marvel's grandiose Hall H panel at this year's San Diego Comic-Con. It was announced on July 16 that Waititi would be returning to the director's chair for Thor's fourth installment, and following his mini-presentation for the film during Marvel's 90-minute panel, he surprised the crowd with Portman's return to Thor's cosmic universe. Her entrance was welcomed with a passing of the torch, or hammer more specifically, signifying that she'd be returning to the MCU as the Mighty Thor.
Portman will star opposite Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson, who are returning as Thor and Valkyrie respectively. Thompson's Valkyrie also garnered a lot of attention during Waititi's presentation for Love and Thunder, as Marvel Studios' head, Kevin Feige, has confirmed that she will be the MCU's first LGBTQ hero. Thompson enjoyed making this announcement as well, proclaiming to the ecstatic Hall H crowd that as the new King of Asgard she first needs to find her queen, which was met with rousing applause from the audience. It's clear that Marvel's Phase 4 will be their most progressive and diverse yet, and Portman is ready to start learning everything and anything about her mighty new role.
Jason Aaron, the writer behind Marvel's Mighty Thor comic series (2015 to 2018), shared a screenshot on Twitter from Portman's Instagram story that featured the actress getting some Marvel-related homework done. The shot featured several Mighty Thor comics with the caption, "Werk @marvel." Aaron commented on the screenshot saying, "Looks like Natalie's already getting that thunder in her veins." Check out the tweet here:
Looks like Natalie’s already getting that thunder in her veins. pic.twitter.com/KwrH9f1kCr— Jason Aaron (@jasonaaron) August 1, 2019
Portman's return to the MCU was an exciting surprise for many, as many believed her time in the comic world was done, but it turns out that her comeback was set six months ago. Waititi had the idea for bringing Mighty Thor into the MCU while working on his wildly successful Marvel debut, Thor: Ragnarok, which garnered both critical and audience acclaim for providing a refreshing, comedic take on the Norse God's narrative. After expressing the idea of Jane's return to Feige, the studio head decided to set up a meeting between Portman and Waititi to discuss the possibility, and the rest was history. Her debut in Love and Thunder will take inspiration from Aaron's initial comic series that tackles Jane assuming the superhero title following a cancer diagnosis.
After the climactic finale of Avengers: Endgame, and Thor passing the mantle of King of Asgard off to Valkyrie, it makes sense to have Jane Foster assume the role of the God of Thunder next. This transition serves as the perfect way to keep the franchise alive and thriving in the MCU, and with Waititi back at the helm, fans know they're in for a comedic treat. Although Thor: Love and Thunder isn't expected to hit theaters until November 2021, Marvel fans still have a stacked Phase 4 slate that's filled with exciting new content to look forward to until then.
Source: Jason Aaron
- 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