Back in 2019, fans learned about a bombshell regarding the future of Chris Hemsworth's Thor franchise: the fourth entry in his series would see Natalie Portman's Jane Foster return to the fold. This time, however, she was set to wield the legendary Mjolnir—yes, even though the last time it was seen on Earth-616 it had been shattered. So what chain of events could possibly lead to that outcome?
In the comics, Jane Foster's Thor situation is bogged down by the not-so-happy knowledge that she's slowly dying of cancer. Every time she lifted the mythical hammer, the progress made by her chemotherapy would be reset.
Previously, it was discovered, thanks to the description on the Eaglemoss replica of Mighty Thor's helmet, that the film would be adapting the cancer storyline into a live-action setting. Now, in a new interview with D23, Natalie Portman has teased how her character will be hiding the truth from Hemsworth's Avenger.
The Dark Truth Behind Jane
In an interview with Disney's D23 Magazine, Thor: Love and Thunder actress Natalie Portman talked about returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and discussed the dark secrets Jane Foster is harboring this time around.
Portman noted that after what the team did on Thor: Ragnarok, "[Love and Thunder] seemed like a great opportunity to revisit the character:"
"I was so excited by what Taika [Waititi], Chris [Hemsworth], and Tessa [Thompson] did in Ragnarok... it just makes you smile the whole time... [Love and Thunder] seemed like a great opportunity to revisit the character and see her expand as a Super Hero herself."
She went on to reveal that while "Thor is confused [at first]... he soon sees her as a teammate rather than as competition."
The D23 Magazine then went on to note that "Jane is secretly struggling with a terrible hardship," one that she is "able to conceal so long as she's wielding Mjolnir." For those who know the source material, that sounds undeniably like her origins in the comics as she struggles to overcome cancer.
According to the magazine, Portman noted how she was interested in the idea of playing someone "who is as weak as she is strong." The actress herself stated that "there is a superhero inside of every human who is forced to face a threat head-on."
The returning MCU star is "excited for fans to see Jane get to be silly and heroic in ways she hasn't gotten to be yet in the MCU:"
"I'm excited for fans to see Jane get to be silly and heroic in ways she hasn't gotten to be yet in the MCU... Taika brings such a sense of fun, mischief, and spontaneity to the set. It was a really joyful environment, and we embraced the silly."
Thor: Love and Cancer
Jane Foster's cancer storyline is fairly vital to the character's origin, so it's no surprise to see how Thor: Love and Thunder will bring it to life. Her struggle with the sickness defines her version of the God of Thunder in ways that can't be replicated otherwise—it also potentially puts a ticking clock on her journeys.
As mentioned above, every time she takes up the hammer, Jane loses time. So could this upcoming movie be the only time fans see Natalie Portman as the hero? Fans will undoubtedly want to see plenty more of her if the trailers are any indication of how great she will be.
While audiences will have to wait to see what her future may hold in the MCU, Love and Thunder's director Taika Watiti formerly teased that those who expect Foster to replace Thor Odinson may be surprised with where the story goes. Hopefully, everything works out for them, and both can go on to have more adventures under Marvel Studios' watchful eye.
After all, while Jane does eventually succumb to her cancer, she eventually becomes a Valkyrie herself—maybe that's her true future?
Thor: Love and Thunder hits theaters on July 8.