Natalie Portman's role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is set to drastically expand in the next Thor sequel, as her franchise character will soon enough be the next to wield the hammer. Ever since the news of her return to the MCU for Thor: Love and Thunder was announced at San Diego Comic-Con, many fans have taken to referring to her character as "female Thor." Noticing the trend, the movie's director Taika Waititi took to Twitter to offer an official correction, noting Portman will actually be referred to as Mighty Thor in the upcoming movie.
Natalie Portman first made her debut in the MCU all the way back in 2011 in the first Thor movie from director Kenneth Branagh. The love interest to the Norse god, Portman played astrophysicist Jane Foster. She later returned to reprise the role for the first sequel, Thor: The Dark World, in 2013. The character then seemed to all but vanish from the MCU, as she was nowhere to be found in the 2017 sequel, Thor: Ragnarok. As we know now, however, Portman made her MCU return this year for Avengers: Endgame, making her continued appearances in Phase 4 more likely. Now that she'll next be Mighty Thor, Portman's importance in the franchise is now increasing tenfold.
Calling her character Mighty Thor won't come as much of a shock to comic book readers. In the comics, Jane takes up the hammer when Thor is stricken with the inability to do so. Although the character is battling breast cancer, she decides to fill in at a time when a hero is clearly needed and can be quoted as saying, "There must always be a Thor." Jane then becomes Mighty Thor in his place, even joining the Avengers in one comic timeline. However, in becoming the new Thor, Jane loses all of the progress she had been making with her chemotherapy. As her cancer progressed, Jane was told one more transformation into Thor would kill her, but still makes the decision to do it anyway when Asgardia needs her help.
There were tons of amazing announcements to come out of SDCC concerning the MCU, but Thor: Love and Thunder seems to be among those getting the most attention. While Robert Downey Jr. seems to be no longer a part of the MCU, fans are stoked to see the return of Chris Hemsworth's Thor in the beloved character's next solo outing. That he'll have a badass like Portman at his side to become the next Thor only makes it that much better.
Thor: Love and Thunder is slated to release November 5, 2021. For now, we can all imagine how Portman will appear when she makes the transition from Jane Foster into Mighty Thor. Artist Jake Bartok on Twitter has gone the extra mile to pen up a quick sketch to give fans a basic idea of what she'll look like, and you can take a look at it below. It's fun to see, but without a doubt, nothing will top seeing Portman wielding the hammer herself on the big screen.