Prior to 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, Natalie Portman had been absent from the Marvel Cinematic Universe since 2013’s Thor: The Dark World. While it had previously been announced that Natalie Portman would be returning for the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder and playing Thor, a recent interview by Portman hints at more of what’s to come from her return as Jane Foster.
In an interview with Fatherly, Natalie Portman spoke about what is coming in Thor: Love and Thunder, “I can’t tell you that much. I’m really excited. I’m starting to train, to get muscles. If there can be all these female superheroes, the more of them they are, the better it is. I’m trying to think – it’s based on the graphic novel of the Mighty Thor. She’s going through cancer treatment and is a superhero on the side.”
Natalie Portman’s confirmation means a lot. In The Mighty Thor, Jane Foster is diagnosed with breast cancer. After going to Asgard when Thor invites her to represent Midgard in the Congress of the Worlds, Foster receives therapy but refuses any magical treatments. Thor loses the power to wield Mjolnir and tries to reclaim his power, but backs down once he sees an unnamed woman taking hold of Mjolnir’s power. Thor thinks it might be Jane Foster, but doesn’t believe it to be likely, since she is weakened by her chemotherapy.
The power of Mjolnir gives Jane Foster great strength when she takes on the Thor persona, but when she puts down the power, it only makes her cancer worse. Her transformation into Thor takes all the toxins out of her body, including the chemotherapy treatments. In later comics, Jane Foster sacrifices her life, but she returns, gives up the Thor title, and focuses on her chemotherapy until the cancer is in remission. It sounds like this is the story Natalie Portman is going to be using as inspiration.
While Taika Waititi was a great choice for Thor: Ragnarok and its humorous style, it’ll be very interesting to see how Waititi tells the story of Jane Foster’s cancer. Maybe this more dramatic take is what interested Natalie Portman in returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Waititi’s past films like Jojo Rabbit and The Hunt for the Wilderpeople have mixed comedy with dramatic elements, so this will surely be some interesting subject matter for Waititi to tackle.
It’ll also be fascinating to see if and how Thor: Love and Thunder deals with the increasing evidence that many films in Marvel’s Phase Four might deal with Multiverses. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, scheduled for March 25, 2022, has it right in the title. And December 17, 2021’s Spider-Man sequel has greatly hinted it will also feature Multiverse elements, with the casting of Jamie Foxx’s Electro from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Benedict Cumberbatch having just been cast in Peter Parker’s third adventure.
It seems highly unlikely that Thor: Love and Thunder, with its February 11, 2022 release date – two months after Spider-Man 3 and a little over a month before Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness – wouldn’t also include some elements of the Multiverse.
Despite the next Marvel film not coming until May 7, 2021, with Black Widow, it certainly seems like Marvel is kicking up the information for their upcoming films in order to boost anticipation for the return of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Natalie Portman just dropped a big piece of information and now we are even more excited for Thor: Love and Thunder.