Kevin Feige Reveals Why Natalie Portman Returned for Thor: Love and Thunder

There were a ton of major announcements that came out of San Diego Comic-Con, but few got fans as excited as the reveal that Taika Waititi, Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson AND Natalie Portman were returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe for Thor: Love and Thunder. And not only that they're coming back for another round, but that Portman's Jane Foster is set to become the new God of Thunder.

It's a surprising sequel to Thor: Ragnarok, especially after the events of Avengers: Endgame, but Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige revealed that it has been in the works for a long time, and there was one moment that convinced Portman to return to the MCU — and it had to do with Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman's run on The Mighty Thor.

"We love the story -- it's one of the best comic runs recently," Feige recently explained to CNN. "[Director Taika Waitit] would flip through and read that run while he was doing Ragnarok. And I think when he agreed to come back and do another Thor, he was like, 'How do we--?' This is a very big movie that'll be folding in a lot of elements. That is a huge important part of it. He pitched it to us, and we were totally in. We loved it. We'd been in touch with Natalie. She's part of the MCU family and we put she and Taika together. It took one meeting and she agreed to do it."

Feige also explained the reasoning behind Marvel Studios' slate for Phase 4, hinting that it's teeing up an even grander plan for the future of the dominant, multi-billion dollar franchise.

"There always is [a bigger vision], and it sort of only comes into view for others as it all solidifies," Feige explained when asked about Phase 5 movies. "So ask me again at the end of 2021. But I will say, post Endgame, we were always about the new. We were always about doing what we always tried to do in Phase One, Two and Three, which is do a film of character you already know, [like] Black Widow, in a way that you don't expect."

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With Portman set to return as the new Thor, we might be ushering in a whole new wave of New Avengers... but that's a story for another time.

Thor: Love and Thunder premieres in theaters on November 5, 2021.