Will Thor: Love And Thunder Officially Pass The Torch To Natalie Portman?

We were recently treated to a new, full-length trailer for "Thor: Love and Thunder" which, as that somewhat silly title implies, looks pretty wild. Director Taika Waititi is back for a follow-up to his much-beloved "Ragnarok" and this time, he's bringing Natalie Portman's Jane Foster back to the Marvel Cinematic Universe to take up the mantle as The Mighty Thor. But does that mean this movie is going to pass the torch to her for the future of the franchise?

In a recent interview with Total Film (via GamesRadar), the filmmaker weighed in on that very question. And while you might expect a director to be cagey at this point in time, Waititi gave a surprisingly straightforward answer.

"We stick pretty closely to Jane's storyline, and what happened to Jane ... because that was such an influence on the film. We're trying to take the best parts of that. And also, it's really fun, the idea that Thor [has] got Stormbreaker, that big axe, and now his hammer's back and it's in the hands of someone else. It's no longer his hammer. It's the idea that someone's taking his place. I think a lot of fans are gonna potentially assume, 'Oh, OK, this is the passing on of the torch'... I'm not privy to any plans Marvel has for the future, but I don't think that's the case."

Now, not to get into anything that could be perceived as a spoiler here, but the run Waititi is talking about is Jason Aaron's run in the pages of "Thor" for Marvel Comics. It appears as though they are going to try and stick close to the source material in some ways and, given that Aaron's run is highly-acclaimed, that can only be a good thing.

The future of Thor in the MCU

This answer does, however, leave us with questions about the future of the franchise. Chris Hemsworth has been playing the character since 2011. Most of his early MCU counterparts such as Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Evans (Captain America), and Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow) have all moved on. Might Hemsworth also be getting ready to say goodbye to the God of Thunder? One might think. And if he is, then who shall carry the hammer in the future? The obvious answer at this time would seem to be Portman's Jane Foster. I suppose we'll just have to wait and see what Waititi has cooked up for us.

The cast also includes Tessa Thompson, Russell Crowe, and Christian Bale as the villain Gorr the God Butcher.

"Thor: Love and Thunder" is set to hit theaters on July 8, 2022.

The film finds Thor (Chris Hemsworth) on a journey unlike anything he's ever faced — a search for self-discovery. But his retirement is interrupted by a galactic killer known as Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale), who seeks the extinction of the gods. To combat the threat, Thor enlists the help of King Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), Korg (Taika Waititi), and ex-girlfriend Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), who — to Thor's surprise — inexplicably wields his magical hammer, Mjolnir, as the Mighty Thor. Together, they embark upon a harrowing cosmic adventure to uncover the mystery of the God Butcher's vengeance and stop him before it's too late.