While the comic book community has had about a full decade to get used to the idea of Jane Foster as Thor, and she’s shown up in the Avengers Assemble cartoon from a few years back, Thor: Love & Thunder marks the first real attempt at making Jane Foster’s mighty brand of lightning strike with wider audiences. It’s one thing to hear about the news and see Natalie Portman hold Mjolnir at Comic-Con three years ago, and it’s an entirely different thing to see it come to life in a trailer. And from the sound of things, that shocked expression that Chris Hemsworth’s Thor has upon seeing his old love pick up his once shattered weapon is going to inform much of his journey throughout the film.
Director Taika Waititi said as much in a recent interview with Empire Magazine. Jane hasn’t been seen since she was an Infinity Stone vessel in 2013's Thor: The Dark World, and the two split up between then and 2017's Ragnarok. If it’s weird to see your ex while you’re out and about one day, imagine seeing your ex wielding your old hammer and body slamming monsters with lightning. Waititi promised that seeing Jane again in this new context would be “a real mindfuck” for our fabulously blond hero. “It’s been about eight years, and she’s had a whole other life. Then the love of your life comes back on the scene and is now dressed like you.”
Choosing to adapt Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman’s acclaimed Mighty Thor run that began in 2014 only came about while breaking down Love & Thunder’s story. While the specifics of what all from that run is being brought over for the film are under wraps, Waititi did say that he wanted to ensure Jane wasn’t here to just be The Girlfriend again. It’s a problem that plagued the early MCU days, and some of the more recent works as well, but his plan is for her to be on equal footing as the prince of thunder we’ve known and loved since 2011. “You want her to be part of the adventure,” he continued, saying that it would be “boring” if she was just waiting for Thor to return and doing science.
Beyond that, Jane’s return will allow Portman to show more of her comedic chops, something we haven’t gotten in a good long while. Waititi called her “goofy” and doesn’t think she got to be funny in the first two movies, something that’s quite hard to disagree with. Look forward to seeing her comedy talents on display when Thor: Love & Thunder hits theaters on July 8.
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