Thor: Love and Thunder is set to bring back Natalie Portman's Jane Foster in a special way, as the character is poised to transform into the Mighty Thor. The award-winning actress first made her MCU debut during 2011's Thor as the titular Asgardian's love interest, with it continuing in 2013's Thor: The Dark World. However, after the events of the first two films, Thor and Jane broke up, but no other details were shared about the unfortunate incident.
Jane's comeback in Love and Thunder is expected to address the fallout of that breakup through flashbacks, with trailers teasing that the pair will share awkward yet heartfelt moments throughout the movie. While it is unknown if Thor and Jane will end up getting back together, some fans have speculated that they will eventually sort it out and be romantically involved once again.
Now, Love and Thunder's director addressed Portman's return and how different this iteration will be in the film.
Thor 4's Taika Waititi Addresses Natalie Portman's MCU Return
Thor: Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi and lead star Chris Hemsworth sat down with Fandango All Access to talk about the highly-anticipated comeback of Natalie Portman's Jane Foster in the upcoming MCU sequel.
When asked what it was like bringing Portman into the "Taika-Verse," Hemsworth first admitted that it was "awesome" since Thor and Jane are "both in very different places to when we saw them last." As a result, this allows Waititi and the creative team to "do whatever we wanted" in answering the question of how the pair broke up.
Waititi chimed in by teasing that they filled in the blanks while also "inadvertently making more blanks:"
Hemsworth: “That was awesome because the characters are both in very different places to when we saw them last. It was also very open-ended as far as what actually happened. Did they break up, who left who, so on… And I think we all, at one point, had to go back and look at the second film and go, ‘How did they split up?’ So we had the creative license to do whatever we wanted in that sense and then a lot of fun filling in the blanks and…”
Waititi: “And making up the blanks… Filling in the blanks and then inadvertently making more blanks.”
Hemsworth: “And creating even more questions and uncertainty.”
In a separate interview, Portman revealed that "it was really fun" to get to fill in those blanks between Thor and Jane and "imagine the parts of their relationship we hadn't seen."
Meanwhile, Waititi revealed how he convinced Portman to come back for a "more exciting" role in Thor 4, critiquing how Jane was written in both Thor and The Dark World as "probably not the most exciting version of the female character." This gave the Oscar-winning actress "a bit more license to be adventurous and fun" in Love and Thunder:
“I went to her house and she gave me a glass of water… I think that what we did with Ragnarok was, it made these movies appealing to other actors as well, like Christian [Bale] really he saw that and he was like, ‘I want to do something fun,’ and came here, wanted to be part of this thing. And Natalie too and… I think that she was just wanting to make sure that… I don’t even know how to say this, but… her character in those first few films, it’s probably not the most exciting version of the female character that we want from these films… I had to just talk to her about the fact that I wanted to change that character, just like we’d changed Thor’s character for Ragnarok and to give her a bit more license to be adventurous and fun because Natalie’s a really funny person. And sometimes… those sorts of things cannot… I don’t know, they’re not the main focus when they come up with characters and you know in films.”
Natalie Portman's Bright MCU Future After Thor 4
Thor: Ragnarok reinvented Chris Hemsworth's God of Thunder by showcasing his funnier side and, based on director Taika Waititi's comments, it's safe to say that Love and Thunder will do the same thing to Natalie Portman's Jane Foster. This is in line with Waititi's earlier comments about bringing out the "goofy" side of the award-winning actress, instead of "walking around with science equipment."
Marketing for Thor 4 has already teased the funnier side of the award-winning actress, with one promo showcasing her hilarious dynamic with Hemsworth. It will be interesting to find out how Waititi utilizes Portman's goofy humor in the film, especially considering the actress' experience.
Given the fact that Waititi already managed to allow Hemsworth to expand his range during Ragnarok, Portman's willingness combined with the director's dedication to maximizing the character is already a perfect combination to achieve success in Love and Thunder.
Jane's transition into Mighty Thor also gives the character more freedom, mainly because becoming a hero gives a different type of confidence. This would allow Jane to embrace her more comedic side and seeing it side by side with Thor's brand of humor offers many storytelling opportunities.
Thor: Love and Thunder is set to premiere in theaters on July 8.