The fourth Thor movie — now revealed to be called Thor: Love and Thunder — is on its way, and it’s bringing a surprising cast member: Natalie Portman, reprising her role as Jane Foster, who’ll be following in her comic counterpart’s footsteps to take on the role of Thor in the film, announced as part of Marvel’s massive San Diego Comic-Con panel.
The news come after an early announcement ahead of SDCC that revealed that Thor: Ragnarok director Taiki Waititi would be returning to direct the fourth installment of the superhero franchise. Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson will also return for Thor: Love and Thunder, reprising their roles as Thor and Valkyrie, respectively. Hemsworth and Portman are also confirmed to be part of Marvel’s upcoming What If? animated series for Disney+, too.
Portman hasn’t appeared in an Marvel film since 2013’s Thor: The Dark World (outside of a brief cameo in Avengers: Endgame using cut footage from that film), with Portman herself commenting in 2016 that “As far as I know, I’m done,” in reference to future Marvel appearances. There were also reports back in 2011 that Portman had fought with Marvel over the decision to drop Patty Jenkins, the original director for Thor 2, from the project. Her absence in subsequent films had been hand-waved away in Ragnarok by explaining that Thor and Jane had broken up offscreen between films.
As for Portman’s role in Thor: Love and Thunder, Marvel is keeping that (along with basically any information about the film) under wraps for now. On the comic book side of things, Jane Foster became Thor after the original Thor was deemed unworthy to wield his hammer, Mjolnir. Given the current Mjolnir-less state of the MCU following the third Thor film, though, it’s possible that Portman’s Foster will gain her godly powers some other way.
Presumably, we’ll find out more closer to Thor: Love and Thunder’s release date on November 5th, 2021.