natalie portman thor

Natalie Portman is playing a female Thor in Thor: Love and Thunder, and before anyone whines that she’s too scrawny to wield Mjolnir, the Oscar-winning actress has teased that she’ll be getting “jacked” for the role. The actress will make her triumphant return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe after not being prominently featured in a Marvel movie since 2013’s Thor: The Dark World, and a new report says that her deal to appear in this new sequel was signed six months ago.

Because certain segments of fandom inexplicably still get extremely hung up on stuff like this, you don’t have to search very hard to find people complaining about how Portman doesn’t have the physique to play a superhero role. Oh, what’s that? A person who’s going to be in a movie that doesn’t come out until 2021 doesn’t look the way you think she should look? I thought we’d moved past this complaint as a culture, but apparently not. Anyway, Portman promises that she’s going to get “jacked” for the part, but don’t be expecting the doubters to eat their words when she does, because that’d be way too mature for them.

In any case, we knew Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, and Taika Waititi would be heading back for the newest Thor movie, but Portman’s announcement came as a big surprise. But it turns out the idea to bring her back was not a last-second pitch, but something Waititi wanted to do ever since he was reading Thor comics on the set of 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok. Heat Vision says Waititi was reading Jason Aaron’s fan-favorite comic run that featured a female Thor, and had the idea then and there.

“One of the ideas, and perhaps the biggest, was the idea of Jane,” producer Kevin Feige told them of Waititi’s pitch for Thor: Love and Thunder. “We set Natalie and Taika up and in one meeting she agreed to do it.” Elsewhere, Feige told ET that Portman “has always stayed in contact with” Marvel, and that when Waititi pitched the idea, “she was in right away.”

According to Heat Vision, Portman’s deal was “done in secret six months ago”, which predates Avengers: Endgame by several months. One would think that if Portman was excited enough about returning to the MCU for this Thor sequel, maybe she could have actually appeared in Endgame instead of having that production rely on recycled footage from Thor: The Dark World – although she did help the Russo brothers out by recording new dialogue, so maybe scheduling conflicts were all that prevented her from doing a full appearance there.

Thor: Love and Thunder hits theaters on November 5, 2021.

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