‘Thor: Love And Thunder’ Director Taika Waititi Wants To Make It Very Clear That Natalie Portman Is Not ‘The Female Thor’

During this year’s Comic-Con, Marvel introduced Natalie Portman as the “female Thor” who will star in the upcoming film Thor: Love and Thunder during Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, director Taika Waititi insists that Portman – who previously played Jane Foster in the first two Thor films in 2011 and 2013 – is not the “female Thor.” Instead, she is very much her own character.

'Thor: Love And Thunder' director Taika Waititi and star Natalie Portman
‘Thor: Love And Thunder’ director Taika Waititi and star Natalie Portman | Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

Just like the comics

Waititi recently spoke to Entertainment Tonightabout Portman returning to the MCU, and he made it clear that she was not taking over Chris Hemsworth’s role. Rather, she will be joining him.

‘[She’s] a Thor. There’s still the other Thor, the original Thor (Hemsworth),” explained the New Zealand filmmaker. “She’s not called Female Thor. In the comics, she’s called the Mighty Thor. I couldn’t be more happy and excited by how it’s panning out.”

It was a surprise to many that Portman agreed to reprise her role as Jane Foster from Thor and Thor: The Dark World to become the newest hammer-wielding Thor in the MCU. But, Kevin Feige said that when he and Waititi pitched Portman the idea “she was in right away.”

The Oscar-winning actress apparently noticed – just like everyone else – that Waititi breathed new life into the Thor character when he directed Thor: Ragnarok, a film Portman declined to be a part of after the disappointing The Dark World.

Doing something really different

Waititi says that he was able to convince Portman to return to the MCU because he promised to turn her into a superhero. He says that he asked the 38-year-old actress if she was ready to come back and “do something really different” because no one wants to keep repeating themselves and no one wants to play the same characters all the time.

“And I think for her, just coming back reprising that character but in this whole fresh new way, is really what I think would interest anyone,” explained Waititi. “Especially, in most of these films, if you’re not a superhero… do you really want to keep doing that? I mean, I wouldn’t. I would want to come back and change things up.”

In the Marvel Comics, Jane Foster becomes The Mighty Thor after the original Thor Odinson becomes unworthy thanks to a scheming Nick Fury. This meant that Odinson couldn’t wield his beloved hammer Mjolnir, and the power went to Jane, who joins The Avengers as The MIghty Thor.

Will the Grandmaster return?

In Thor: Ragnarok, Jeff Goldblum played the role of the Grandmaster, an exuberant ruler who presided over the “Contest of Champions” gladiator competition. However, by the end of the movie, the God of Thunder, Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), and Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) lead a coup to capture the character.

Will there be a place for Goldblum in Thor: Love and Thunder? Speaking at the recent D23 Fan Expo, the 66-year-old actor said that he can’t reveal any secrets – and he doesn’t know anything definitively – but there is a “whisper of a thought or notion” that he might have some participation in the upcoming film.

Goldblum says he would love to reprise the Grandmaster role, especially since Waititi is returning as the director.

“I would show up anywhere where Taika Waititi is – and all of Marvel too,” said Goldblum.

In addition to a possible return in Thor: Love and Thunder, Goldblum will also star in his own Disney Plus TV show, The World According to Jeff Goldblum, when the streaming service debuts in November 2019.

Thor: Love and Thunder is scheduled to begin production in early 2020, and it will hit theaters on November 5, 2021.