Marvel Studios and director Taika Waititi introduced Natalie Portman as the new Thor in the fourth Thor movie, now titled Thor: Love and Thunder. During the studios' San Diego Comic Con panel, Portman was introduced last, following Waititi, Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson. As Portman was introduced, the crowd roared and Waititi presented her with her own Mjolnir.
Natalie Portman recieves her Mjolnir. Jane will become the female Thor in Love and Thunder. pic.twitter.com/OXRtvompad— Rotten Tomatoes (@RottenTomatoes) July 21, 2019
Portman will be reprising her role as Jane Foster, who takes on the mantle of Thor in the new movie.
Portman appeared in the first two Thor movies, but skipped Waititi's Thor: Ragnarok. She made a brief return to the Marvel movies with a cameo in Avengers: Endgame, during the scene in which Thor and Rocket Raccoon travel to the events in Thor: The Dark World. She also appeared at the film's premiere, leading many to believe her relationship with the studio was on the mend.
In 2018, the Annihilation star told Screen Rant she was open to returning to the Marvel world.
"I'm completely open to everything, but I have no news about that," she said.
One reason why Jane Foster was not used in Ragnarok was the story. Most of the film simply did not take place on Earth, as Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige pointed out in 2017.
The SDCC panel took place just days after The Hollywood Reporter confirmed Waititi was signed to write and direct Thor 4. This will make Thor the first Marvel Studios character to get a fourth solo movie.
The decision to keep Hemsworth in the role of Thor - at least until the part in Love and Thunder when Jane takes over - came after the character's tone changed significantly. In the first two Thor movies, fans saw a much more serious take on the character. Waititi injected some fun in Ragnarok, which continued into Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame.
"He got re-toned by [director] Taika Waititi, [writer] Eric Pearson and Chris Hemsworth in Thor: Ragnarok, and that was a gift to us," Endgame co-writer Christopher Markus told the L.A. Times. "But we also wanted to give him real obstacles and real consequences. All the things he lost in that movie, he takes it with such aplomb, but he's really lost everything."
Markus continued, "Basically from his first movie, he is headed for the throne. He has all this burden of purpose on him. And so his arc in all these movies is learning to let go of what people expect of him and embrace what he himself feels he is. It turns out Hemsworth is a really good actor. He's not just gorgeous, he's funny. It's [been] such a great second half of the MCU for him. I'm really, really happy that that all came about."
Thor: Love and Thunder will hit theaters on November 5, 2021.