Natalie Portman is headed back to the MCU as Jane Foster in the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder. Some curious fans finally got some closure on how things ended between her and Thor in the new deleted scenes in Marvel’s Infinity Saga box-set. It would seem like the material left on the cutting room floor from Thor: The Dark World would indicate that the breakup actually kind of happened. Jane ends up telling Thor that she loves him, but can’t go to Asgard because she wouldn’t have a purpose there. (Somewhat echoing some of her bewilderment at the place from the movie.) Thor is upset by that admission and reminds her that as King he won’t stay on Earth for her. Odin and his son go back to Asgard and Thor looks out at his people before accepting the throne. So, that would be that…until now. As Taika Waititi and Marvel Studios have indicated, Portman will be back in the MCU for the next Thor movie.
Marvel Studios of course has a history with nabbing elements from popular character storylines and incorporating them into films. The company incorporated the “Demon in a Bottle” arc for Iron Man 2 and Waititi is looking forward to some similar sampling in Thor: Love and Thunder.
He began, “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 said to CNN at San Diego Comic-Con in July. “[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.”
Waititi revealed how he managed to get Portman back in the fold. The director attributed some of it to the fact that he wanted to transform her into a full-fledged superhero.
"I just said to her, 'Are you interested in coming back to this thing, but doing something really different?'" Waititi revealed in an interview with Variety. "Because another thing, no one wants to keep repeating themselves and no one wants to play the same characters all the time. And I think for her, just coming back reprising that character but in this whole fresh new way, is really what I think would interest anyone. Especially, in most of these films, if you're not a superhero... do you really want to keep doing that? I mean, I wouldn't. I would want to come back and change things up."