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Natalie Portman Came Back for Thor: Love and Thunder Because They Let Her Be Fun

Marvel Studios gave Taika Waititi more creative license to reimagine Jane Foster's role in the film.

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Natalie Portman as the Mighty Thor.
Image: Marvel Studios

When Taika Waititi took over the Thor franchise, fans began to hope that Natalie Portman would return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Jane Foster, especially since the two Oscar winners share similar indie dramedy sensibilities. In a new interview with Fandango, Waititi—along with Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson—discussed how Portman came to be a part of Thor: Love and Thunder.

“Her character in the first few films is probably not the most exciting version of the female character we want from these films,” Waititi said. “I had to talk to her about the fact that I wanted to change that character just like we’d changed Thor’s character for Ragnarok and give her more license to be adventurous and fun and funny, ‘cause Natalie’s a really funny person. Sometimes those sort of things are not the main focus when they come up with characters in films. The characters are both in very different places to when we saw them last. It was very also very open-ended as far as what actually happened: did they break up? Who left who? We had the creative license to do what we wanted in that sense.”


From the looks of the trailers, we get the sense that Thor might be on a journey to rediscover not just love for Jane, but for himself. Hemsworth teased where Thor is, romantically speaking. “There’s love in this film across the board. Everyone has a little awakening in one way or another—universal love and love for oneself, love for friends, love for the universe.”

Waititi added, “You can assume some things from the title but also don’t assume,” but he also elaborated on the film’s thematic approach to love. “The picture I had in my mind was like a Mills and Boon cover of a romantic book. I want it to feel like that. You know at times some melodrama and run headfirst into the romance, into the love aspect of it and not shy away from it—which I can tend to do in my films. I was looking at things like An Officer and a Gentleman, particularly the end scene where he comes in and sweeps her off her feet. I guess the influences for me were really big over the top romances.” You can watch the full interview below.

Thor: Love and Thunder opens in theaters July 8.

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