Taika Waititi "Didn't Have to Do Much" to Convince Natalie Portman to Star in Thor: Love and Thunder

Natalie Portman returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe was one of the most surprising tidbits that came out of San Diego Comic-Con earlier this summer. With the return coming in entirely under the radar, Thor: Love and Thunder Taika Waititi admits he "didn't have to do much" to get the actor to return to the MCU. In fact, he thinks Portman decided to come back because of the new era he's ushered in with the Asgardian God of Thunder.

"I mean, I didn’t have to do much," Waititi told Uproxx on the press tour for Jojo Rabbit. "And, I think for her it was about making the character interesting. And I think especially when you’re playing “an Earthling who’s just into science” in one of these big movies, it kind of gets a bit sort of, you know… After doing that for two movies, you want to do something different. I think for her, the thing that might’ve been attractive about this is being able to step it up and be a superhero. And I’d rather her do that than play a scientist. And it’s also from the comics as well. So it’s not something we made up."

Now, in addition to playing Jane Foster, Portman also gets to play the Mighty Thor — a character ripped straight from Jason Aaron and Esab Ribic's fan-favorite comic series. In a previous interview, Portman herself revealed she wasn't aware of that particular character development on-screen when she initially signed on for the movie.

"I did not know. I mean I was aware that there was a storyline, but I didn't know that they were actually planning on doing that in the movies," Portman said.

Thor: Love and Thunder is expected to be released November 5, 2021.

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Other upcoming Marvel Studios projects include Black Widow on May 1, 2020, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier in Fall 2020, The Eternals on November 6, 2020, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on February 12, 2021, WandaVision in Spring 2021, Loki in Spring 2021, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 7, 2021, Spider-Man 3 on July 16, 2021, What If…? in Summer 2021, Hawkeye in Fall 2021, and Black Panther 2 on May 6, 2022. Marvel Studios Disney+ series without release dates include Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, and She-Hulk.

What are you hoping to see in Love and Thunder? Share your thoughts in the comments below!