If you’re a Marvel Comics fan beyond the MCU, you may know that when Jane Foster becomes the new Thor, it’s as the cathartic result of a hard-fought battle with breast cancer. In fact, every time Foster uses Mjolnir, Thor’s mighty hammer, it eliminates any evidence of her chemotherapy, making her cancer stronger. Will Thor: Love and Thunder, the upcoming MCU film starring Natalie Portman as Jane Foster/Thor, use this very real-world conflict for a dramatic punch in the otherwise fantastical film? Portman spoke to Variety about this very subject, and her thoughts… are inconclusive.
While attending a gala for the L.A. Dance Project, Portman straight-up admitted that “I haven’t seen anything, but I’ve heard the same rumors as you have, and it’s exciting to think about.”
Portman, who beyond her MCU work has appeared in recent provocative dramas like Lucy in the Sky and Vox Lux, thinks the storyline would be a welcome addition to the Taika Waititi-directed Thor film: “I think that’s a really powerful part of the books. I think it’s really cool that she’s fighting this thing and there’s two battles going on. Personally I really love that storyline.” As to whether it’ll make it into the script? “Whether it ends up in the film is yet to be seen… It’s just very rare that these kinds of big entertainment films look at more serious, real-life issues.” If anyone can handle the tonal balancing act of big-budget, comedy-tinged entertainment with heartbreaking jolts of sincerity, it’s Waititi. His most recent Jojo Rabbit is an inspirational feel-good comedy about Nazis starring Waititi as Hitler, for goodness sake. Heck, his Thor: Ragnarok features upsetting depictions of slave labor amidst its shenanigans!
So, we may have to wait until Thor: Love and Thunder hits the big screen to find out whether this particular storyline makes it. But it’s nice to see that, in general, Portman is happy to be back in the MCU. She originally ducked out after Thor: The Dark World, but is now speaking in nothing but positives about Marvel’s shared universe: “All of the supporting players in each movie — you’ve seen movies where they’re the leading players. So you really relate to all of the characters in such a deep way.” She namechecked Brie Larson as Captain Marvel specifically, calling her work “inspiring.” “It was so incredible what she was able to do.”
For more on Thor: Love and Thunder, check out the recent announcement of the return of a beloved fan favorite.