When reporting on cast additions to Your Highness the other day I’d been thinking about what an interesting career Natalie Portman has crafted, in terms of playing in genre-ish films while keeping a pretty serious offscreen persona. And now Portman has been confirmed as part of the cast in Kenneth Branagh‘s Thor opposite Chris Hemsworth (as Thor) and Tom Hiddleston (as Loki). She’ll play Jane Foster, nurse to Thor’s human alter-ego Donald Blake. Nikke Finke had reported the casting news back in March, but this is the first confirmation, and the first release to specify Portman’s role.
Jane Foster is a more sedate role than I’d hoped for her in this one, but I suppose it’s an offset to her warrior princess character in Your Highness. It also pegs the movie as taking place more on Earth than some had assumed; if Foster is a major character then we’ll be seeing a lot of the human version of Thor. She’s got to fall for him somehow, right? In the core storyline Foster learned that Blake was Thor, and even went with him to Asgard, but we don’t know if that’ll happen on screen. Let’s hope Hemsworth is able to work with Portman in a way that Hayden Christensen was never quite allowed to.
Here’s the synopsis from Marvel’s press release, which notes that the character will be ‘updated’:
Marvel Studios expands its film universe with a new type of superhero: Thor. This epic adventure spans the Marvel Universe; from present day Earth to the realm of Asgard. At the center of the story is The Mighty Thor, a powerful but arrogant warrior whose reckless actions reignite an ancient war. Thor is cast down to Earth and forced to live among humans as punishment. Once here, Thor learns what it takes to be a true hero when the most dangerous villain of his world sends the darkest forces of Asgard to invade Earth.