Natalie Portman joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Jane Foster in 2011's Thor movie. At the time, Jane Foster had not wielded the power of Thor in comics. Thor #1, the issue in which Jane Foster becomes Thor, did not publish until December of 2014 (a book which now sees well-graded issues valuing north of $250). By then, Portman had portrayed Jane again in 2013's Thor: The Dark World. She was thoroughly living with the role of the astrophysicist in Marvel's movie world when Marvel Comics decided Jane would become Thor on their pages. At the time, Portman, "never," thought she would get a chance to take on the role.
"It definitely is amazing to have these, Jane as Mighty Thor comic books that Taika gave to me the first time we met as this kind of kernel of an idea for what this could be," Portman told ComicBook.com. As the story goes, Taika Waititi would be the one to help bring Jane Foster as Thor to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was a storyline which was formally announced at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019 and will be unleashed on the world when Thor: Love and Thunder hits theaters in July.
"I never did," Portman said when asked if she thought back in 2014 that she would take on the Thor role. "I really was excited by the idea of playing an astrophysicist in a movie of this size. I thought that was such a cool opportunity to, get to portray. And then, the comic book that had this idea of Jane becoming Mighty Thor only was published in 2014. So, it was like several years after I had started being part of the film. So, that's when it started coming up as an idea."
Still, despite the idea coming up, it was left on the table for years. Portman's Jane did not have roles in movies where Thor showed up like Avengers: Age of Ultron, Avengers: Infinity War, or Thor: Ragnarok. Six years after her last appearance in a Marvel film, Jane had a small role in Avengers: Endgame. The role did not require Portman to spend time on set but she did lend her voice to the film as Jane was heard speaking from a distance. At the time, her becoming Thor plans were still not made. "The conversation had not started yet," Portman recalled. "It was really fun to get, to be included in that, you know, like ultra, everyone in the universe being in one story that is so all encompassing. So I felt very lucky to get to be part of it."
Now, Portman is a Thor expert. Not only did she put in the work physically to get stronger for the role of Thor in Love and Thunder but she was trained by Chris Hemsworth on how wield the hammer, including when the hammer is not really there. "There were several versions and there's even the invisible version," Portman explained. "A lot of the time, and I would even venture to say most of the time, you're working with nothing, which was really helpful to have Chris there, you know, and his experience with it kind of guiding me through how to look like you're wielding it, even when you know, you're really holding nothing."
As for the future beyond Love and Thunder, Portman is ready to crossover with some of the other powerful characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Specifically, she wants to team up with the strong women. "So many characters that I would love to work with," Portman said. "I mean, I think there's so many incredible women now in the, in the MCU I'd be thrilled to get to work with any of them."
Are you excited to see Jane Foster as Thor? Share your thoughts in the comment section or send them my way on Twitter! Watch ComicBook.com's full interview with Portman on the Phase Zero YouTube channel. Thor: Love and Thunder hits theaters on July 8.