Just last week, Marvel wrapped production on Doctor Strange, with shooting still under way on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which is set to hit theaters next May. Thor: Ragnarok will be the next project out of the gate in Marvel Phase Three, with filming scheduled to begin this summer in Australia. Today we have word from Deadline that Creed star Tessa Thompson has joined the cast in an unspecified role, with The Hollywood Reporter revealing that Thor and Thor: The Dark World star Natalie Portman is not returning as Jane Foster.
No details were given as to why Natalie Portman isn't coming back, but given what we know about the story thus far, it would make sense that Jane Foster isn't showing up in this story. Back in December, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige revealed that Thor: Ragnarok will be set largely in the "cosmos," with "very little" of the story taking place on Earth. Stellan Skarsgård, who also starred in both Thor and Thor: The Dark World, revealed in February that he won't be returning in Thor: Ragnarok, so it would make sense that Jane Foster, and her friend Darcy (Kat Dennings) are not coming back as well.
Mark Ruffalo has been set to return as the Hulk, who will reportedly go on a "cosmic road trip" with Thor, although there isn't much else we know about the story thus far. There have been rumors that the primary villain is Hela, to be played by Cate Blanchett, who teams up Tom Hiddleston and manages to destroy Thor's hammer Mjolnir and banish him from Asgard. Thor is reportedly sent to an unnamed planet full of gladiators, where he has to battle his way to the top and fight the planet's champion, Hulk. Of course, none of these details have been confirmed, but they do fall in line with Kevin Feige's comments about most of the movie set in the cosmos.
As for Tessa Thompson, she is said to be playing "kind of a superhero," who will also return in future Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. It isn't known if her character will be based on someone from the Marvel Comics or not, but hopefully we'll find out more about her character as we get closer to production starting. Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Tom Hiddleston (Loki) are returning, with Jaimie Alexander also expected to be back as Lady Sif.
Tessa Thompson made her breakthrough performance in the critically-acclaimed 2014 indie Dear White People, and she went on to star in Selma and last year's Creed. She will next be seen in War on Everyone and the upcoming HBO series Westworld. Ironically, she has also signed on for a role in Annihilation, alongside Natalie Portman. Tessa Thompson will first shoot Annihilation this spring for director Alex Garland (Ex Machina), before moving on to Thor: Ragnarok this summer.