After the insanity and gravity that came in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Marvel Studios will return to one of its funnier franchises with Thor: Love and Thunder in July. With Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman both in tow as the Gods of Thunder, this new solo outing looks to take the Thor franchise to new levels of excitement and hilarity at the same time.
For Portman, this will be her first full appearance as Jane Foster in nearly a decade, save for a few seconds of footage in 2019's Avengers: Endgame, and it comes with a major upgrade for her character. Foster will take on the mantle of The Mighty Thor after becoming worthy of wielding a pieced-together Mjolnir, finally getting the opportunity to be a superhero in her own right.
Under the direction of Taika Waititi, Love and Thunder is sure to be another outing filled with comedic genius; the director has mentioned that everybody is even funnier this time around than in 2017's Thor: Ragnarok. According to the latest quotes surrounding the sequel's release, this includes Portman, who will get to shine on the comedy side as well as in her action sequences.
Natalie Portman's Comedic Chops In Thor 4
In the latest edition of Empire Magazine, Thor: Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi discussed how Natalie Portman will make her return as Jane Foster as she debuts as The Mighty Thor.
Waititi wanted to make sure that Portman wasn't "coming back and playing that same character" that she played in the first two movies, restricting her to doing the science stuff while Thor's flying around being a hero. He also mentioned how the actress is "really funny in real life," which he wanted to bring into this movie more for her return to the role:
"Well, you don’t want Natalie coming back and playing that same character who’s walking around with science equipment. You know, while Thor’s flying around, she’s left on Earth, tapping her foot going ‘When’s he going to be back?’ That’s hoping. You want her to be part of the adventure. And with the character of Jane, you want a little bit more. Natalie’s really funny in real life. She’s kind of goofy and has got a great sense of humor, and I don’t think that was exploited enough in the first films."
The Marvel filmmaker also looked at the relationship between Thor and Jane, which has been largely on hiatus for nearly a decade as both of them had a "whole other life." He couldn't promise that the story would focus on that loving relationship between the two, but it's clear that the dynamic between them will be something to watch out for.
"I always think about it in real time, for humans who have been watching the movies. So it’s been about eight years. She’s had a whole other life, and then the love of your life comes back on the scene, and is now dressed like you. It’s a real mindfuck for Thor. But I can’t promise anything. I think most people will assume that the love story is between Chris and Natalie. I can’t promise that what people think is going to happen in this film will happen."
Mighty Thor Bringing the Funny in Comeback
Taika Waititi is known as a master of comedy, as seen in his work in the MCU on Thor: Ragnarok and non-MCU on projects like What We Do in the Shadows. It seems only right that with Portman back in tow for Thor: Love and Thunder, she'll get the opportunity to partake in some of that comedy herself, especially as she learns how to work her newfound powers.
The best part of these quotes is the confirmation that Potman's Mighty Thor evolution will mean she's not sitting on the sidelines anymore during the cosmic action scenes that are sure to bring the heat in this sequel. This was already teased for a quick moment in the movie's first trailer, released a few weeks ago, which gave the first glimpse at both her costume and the hammer in her hand.
It's still a mystery how the comedy with Portman will come through after her absence in the last movie, but it's clear that Waititi has made it a mission to make sure she shines in her third MCU outing.
As for the Thor/Jane relationship, Thor's "old flame" will certainly throw him for a loop as she comes back into the story after 10 years in the universe, particularly now that she's wielding his old hammer. Throw in the cancer storyline for Jane from the comics and Thor's new journey after defeating Thanos, and the God of Thunder will be in for his wildest solo ride yet as he tries to finally live his own life.
Thor: Love and Thunder will debut in theaters on July 8.