Natalie Portman is firmly back in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) in the forthcoming Thor: Love and Thunder. She returns as scientist Jane Foster, having last appeared in 2013's Thor: The Dark World. (Her cameo in 2019's Avengers: Endgame was comprised of archive material.) However, this isn't the Jane that we knew from before...
As directed by Jojo Rabbit's Taika Waititi, Thor: Love and Thunder sees Jane wielding Thor's mighty hammer, Mjolnir. She has now taken up the mantle of the Goddess of Thunder, Chris Hemsworth's title character Thor having ventured into space with the Guardians of the Galaxy at the close of Endgame.
In conjunction with Tessa Thompson's newly appointed Asgardian leader Valkyrie, the fourth Thor movie is bringing gender parity and a greater sense of inclusivity to Phase Four of the MCU. Portman recently arrived in Sydney to begin shooting the movie, and has teased Jane's awesome new abilities.
"She does have powers," Portman told The Kelly Clarkson Show. "It's not exactly the same as Thor – it's her own version of it. And she's called the Mighty Thor." Jane's empowering role was first teased during the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con in which Waititi presented Mjolnir to her on-stage in Hall H.
Having snazzed up 2017's Thor: Ragnarok, bringing delirious visuals and surreal humour to the MCU party, Waititi is now poised to make Love and Thunder another memorable outing in the franchise. The presence of two strong women characters at the centre of the story also promises a change of pace for the Marvel series.
"I think people usually say how great it is for the girls [to see female heroes on screen] but it's really important for the boys," Portman said. "For boys to get to see women in those kinds of characters and in those kinds of personalities. It just expands opportunity for how we all see each other."
This ties into Letitia Wright's desire for an all-female Avengers movie, so we'll see how the MCU develops from here. In the meantime, Thor: Love and Thunder is scheduled for release (at the time of writing) on 11th February 2022, delayed from 2021 owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Christian Bale co-stars in the movie, allegedly as the villain.
Before we get there, Scarlett Johansson's Natasha Romanoff steps up to the plate in Black Widow. The movie's new release date is 7th May 2021 (again, at the time of writing) and sends the former Soviet agent back to Russia on a mission of intrigue. Check out the trailer below and tweet us your thoughts on Jane Foster's Thor return @Cineworld.