‘Thor: Love and Thunder’: Is Jane Foster Just ‘a Multiverse Thor’?

It seems like a lifetime ago now, but it was only a little more than a year ago that Natalie Portman appeared at the San Diego ComicCon, held up Thor’s hammer, and Marvel fans went absolutely wild. 

After sitting out the third Thor movie, Portman’s Jane Foster would return, and Marvel’s Thor: Love and Thunder would wrap up the next MCU phase in grand style in November 2021.

Flash forward to 2021, when we can’t have crowds to cheer on Portman, and when the MCU release schedule has shuffled not once but twice, no thanks to the pandemic. Now the movie isn’t expected until 2022, and  fans are hoping the whole Lady Thor thing isn’t some kind of fake out.

What is known about ‘Love and Thunder?’ 

Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman | Amy Sussman/Getty Images

We know that the movie picks up Thor’s story thread where he left off in Avengers: Endgame, when he went off with his new pals, the Guardians of the Galaxy. Jane Foster did not appear in Thor: Ragnarok, but she will return in this fourth movie, when she becomes some sort of female Thor. 

Behind the scenes, the story was a bit thornier. Portman had appeared in the first two Thor films, but had not been pleased after Patty Jenkins left the second film, The Dark World, citing the usual “creative differences.”

Then, Portman surprised everyone by showing up at the Endgame premiere. Her character did appear briefly in that movie, although Portman had not shot anything new  – it was footage repurposed from The Dark World

Then Portman held the hammer high, having been lured back by director Taika Waititi, who had made Ragnarok and had given the Thor series its greatest commercial and critical success, and Waititi had also made a reputation for inventive movies like What We Do in the Shadows and Hunt for the Wilderpeople

What do fans think will  happen?

RELATED: ‘Thor: The Dark World’: Leaving Jane Foster Out Would Have Made a Better Movie, Fans Say

The last MCU movie, Spider-Man: Far from Home introduced to the MCU the concept of a multiverse, which is a fancy way of saying “multiple parallel universe.” The MCU hasn’t really played with the multiverse yet, but Sony’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse certainly did, with the movie delighting many with Spider-Men, a Spider-Woman and a Spider-Pig. 

One fan on Reddit said: “The MCU should never use its Multiverse to interact and crossover with other Studio’s movies (In reference to all those Live Action Spider-verse and Doctor Strange rumours). Hopefully they refrain from also using it to conjure up plot points and characters they need out of convenience (For example, really hope Jane Foster Thor isn’t a Multiverse Thor but actually MCU Prime Jane becoming Thor).”

In other words, fans hope this is the Jane Foster we’ve seen already becoming Thor and not some kind of alternate version.

Some fans think Marvel is risking muddying the waters by having Doctor Strange appear in the third MCU Spider-Man, for instance, knowing that the doctor’s next movie has “multiverse” in the title. 

What did Natalie Portman say about the matter?

Portman gave an interview at Fatherly, to whom she said, “I can’t tell you that much. I’m really excited. I’m starting to train, to get muscles. If there can be all these female superheroes, the more of them they are, the better it is. I’m trying to think — it’s based on the graphic novel of the Mighty Thor. She’s going through cancer treatment and is a superhero on the side.”

So that would seem to confirm Jane’s long talked about breast cancer plotline, while perhaps making the multiverse theory unlikely.

Given how Marvel has been known for fudging the truth, (such as Hulk charging into battle in Infinity War when that turned out not to be in the movie), one shouldn’t place any bets, but fans can be assured with Waititi at the helm, the fourth Thor will have some other surprises.