Even the most ardent fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe would probably concede if pressed, that Natalie Portman didn’t receive the superhero treatment in the franchise’s early installments. Thor: The Dark World and Thor: The Dark World Portman’s two major MCU films came before Marvel figured out what to do with Chris Hemsworth’s God Of Thunder, a process that began with the first Avengers film and culminated with Taika Waititi’s goofy depiction of the character in Thor: Ragnarok in 2017. That picture properly understood, among other things, that Hemsworth’s talents were best focused on buddy-com vibes rather than rom-com vibes, relegating Portman’s love interest Jane Foster to such a tiny position that she didn’t even get to dump the huge lug on-screen.
Now, in Waititi’s Thor:
Love And Thunder, Portman is scheduled to return, on somewhat more even terms. The teaser trailer for the film, which will be released on July 8, previously showed Portman’s Foster clutching Mjolnir for herself, in a clear nod to Jason Aaron’s The Mighty Thor from a few years ago. However, Empire has revealed a new shot from the set that shows Portman in Goddess Of Thunder form, complete with a more modest (but still gleaming) version of the Thor armor.
Meanwhile, Waititi gave Empire a few hints about how Thor and Foster’s relationship might play out in the forthcoming film—without offering any major plot spoilers. Waititi said, “It’s been about eight years.” “She’s lived a completely other life, and then the love of your life reappears, clothed as you. Thor is having a mental breakdown.” Waititi also nailed one of the major reasons why Foster’s character never quite fit into a film series about a man fighting trolls and bad elves with his massive magical hammer:
You don’t want Natalie to come back and play the same character with the same science equipment. While Thor is flying around, she is alone on Earth, tapping her foot, wondering when he will return. That’s tedious. You want her to join in on the fun.
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