Thor: Love And Thunder's Natalie Portman Explains Ragnarok Absence, Expresses Excitement to Return

Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe received the surprise of all surprises during San Diego Comic-Con earlier this year when Thor: Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi took the Hall H stage and announced that Natalie Portman would be returning to the franchise to portray Jane Foster once again. Not only that, but the new film will be borrowing from Jason Aaron's highly-celebrated comic book run, resulting in Jane wielding Mjolnir and becoming a version of Thor herself. Waititi even went so far as to hand Portman the mighty hammer on stage, resulting in an eruption from the crowd.

Everyone is understandably excited for Jane Foster's return, including Portman herself. After being away from the Thor films since The Dark World in 2013, Portman was approached by Marvel with the idea to take on the mantle. While speaking with Entertainment Tonight about her new film Lucy in the Sky, Portman opened up about her Marvel comeback.

"They came to me. Obviously I wasn't written into the third Thor because of where it took place. It wasn't really on Earth and my character was on Earth," Portman explained. "And then they came to me with the fourth idea and said, you know, 'We have this idea, that was a storyline in some of the comics, where Jane becomes Lady Thor.' And I was like, this is very exciting. And also of course with Taika, and I love Tessa [Thompson] and Chris [Hemsworth] so much. So it's exciting to get to work with them again. And yeah, I'm very excited to wield the hammer."

The Jason Aaron comics that inspire Waititi's upcoming film are based around the idea that Thor is deemed no longer worthy to wield Mjolnir. The hammer is then picked up by a mysterious woman who starts fighting crime under the Thor name, and she is later revealed to be none other than Jane Foster. On Earth, Jane Foster has been suffering from a terminal cancer and the use of Mjolnir is both keeping her alive and eliminating her chemotherapy treatments, making her sicker when she's not holding the hammer.

Fans have been asking for Aaron's story to make its way to the MCU for some time, but it was widely believed that the opportunity had been missed due to Portman's absence in the franchise. that said, it sounds like the new life that Waititi gave the Thor series after Ragnarok was enough to get Portman excited about the story once again.

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Thor: Love and Thunder is set to hit theaters on November 5, 2021.