One of the biggest surprises of this year's San Diego Comic-Con came when it was announced not only that Thor 4, officially titled Thor: Love and Thunder, was happening, but that it would feature the return of Natalie Portman to the franchise as our new Thor. As it turns out, this isn't something that came together at the last second, as Portman's deal has been in place for quite some time. Marvel managed to lock her down six months ago and, somehow, they managed to keep it a secret.
According to a new report, it was director Taika Waititi's idea to turn Natalie Portman into the Mighty Thor, an idea which he had while filming Thor: Ragnarok. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige then set up a meeting between the two and the Oscar-winning actress agreed to bring back her character Jane Foster for a hero's turn in the upcoming sequel. Here's what Feige had to say about it.
"One of the ideas, and perhaps the biggest, was the idea of Jane. We set Natalie and Taika up and in one meeting she agreed to do it."
Speculation that Jane Foster could return in the MCU began to run wild when Natalie Portman was spotted at the Avengers: Endgame premiere. Portman appeared as Jane Foster in the first two Thor movies alongside Chris Hemsworth's God of Thunder. Her last appearance (technically speaking) was in 2013's Thor: The Dark World, which is still considered by many to be one of the worst entries in the MCU. Jane did appear on-screen in Avengers: Endgame, but the actress didn't shoot any new footage.
The idea of turning Jane Foster into Mighty Thor is nothing new. The idea is ripped right from the pages of Marvel Comics. It was cooked up by writer Jason Aaron and his run has since gone on to become a fan-favorite. Aaron actually responded to the news of Natalie Portman becoming the new Thor on Twitter following Marvel's SDCC panel. Naturally, he's excited about it.
"Consider me thunderously excited. The Jane Foster Thor storyline I did with Russell Dauterman, (Eisner winner!) Matt Wilson & so many more talented artists is one of my proudest moments in comics. I can't wait to see Taika Waititi & Natalie Portman bring the Goddess of Thunder to life."
Right now not a ton has been revealed about the movie at this time. We know Tess Thompson will be back as Valkyrie and, in another big reveal, it's been confirmed that she will be the first major open LGBTQ character in the MCU, as she'll be looking for a Queen to help her rule Asgard. Valkyrie, as fans will surely recall, was made the new ruler of Asgard at the end of Avengers: Endgame. Chris Hemsworth is also set to return. Thor: Love and Thunder is set to arrive in theaters on November 5, 2021. This news comes to us via The Hollywood Reporter.