Thor: Love and Thunder writer-director Taika Waititi says it “is yet to be seen” if his Ragnarok sequel, which will see the returning Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) wield the mighty power of Thor (Chris Hemsworth), adapts the Marvel Comics origin story that involved Jane gaining Asgardian abilities while afflicted with breast cancer. In Jason Aaron’s comic series that inspires Love and Thunder, Thor’s hammer Mjolnir is abandoned once the God of Thunder is deemed unworthy. When Mjolnir seeks out the cancer-stricken Jane and grants her its power, she becomes the new Thor, and her super-powered physique is unaffected by the mortal Jane’s cancer — unfortunately, her condition is worsened when these transformations purge chemotherapy from her body.
“I think that’s a really powerful part of the books. I think it’s really cool that she’s fighting this thing and there’s two battles going on. Personally I really love that storyline,” Waititi told Variety when promoting Jojo Rabbit. “But whether it ends up in the film is yet to be seen.”
Similar in the way Marvel Studios borrowed elements of the famed “Demon in a Bottle” storyline in Iron Man 2, Waititi’s Love and Thunder will take a pick-and-choose approach to the Marvel comics.
“We’re not sure if we’re going to do a complete lift of that whole storyline. These things change through the shoot and even when we’re editing sometimes,” he said. “Like, ‘Let’s get rid of that storyline where she’s got breast cancer. We’ll change it to something else, or maybe she’s fine.’”
The storyline is “one of the best comic runs recently,” Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige told CNN at San Diego Comic-Con in July, where the Disney-owned studio announced the Phase 4 film. “[Waititi] 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.”
When elaborating on the project at D23 Expo in August, Waititi clarified Love and Thunder will star dual Thors.
“[She’s] a Thor. There’s still the other Thor, the original Thor,” Waititi told Entertainment Tonight. “She’s not called Female Thor. In the comics, she’s called the Mighty Thor. It comes from that comic run. I couldn’t be more happy and excited.”