Of the “leading ladies” in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Natalie Portman is perhaps the most accomplished. She has two Golden Globe awards and one Academy Award under her belt. However, her relationship with Marvel Studios isn’t the smoothest.
She had a fallout with the studio, which happened during the production of Thor: The Dark World. The movie was directed by Game of Thrones director Alan Taylor. But he wasn’t the original choice – Patty Jenkins was initially tapped to direct the movie. However, Marvel Studios unexpectedly made a U-turn and removed Jenkins from the picture, a decision which did not sit well with Portman. Jenkins would have been the first female director in a superhero movie if Marvel Studios kept her aboard.
After fulfilling her contract duty in Thor: The Dark World, Portman’s future in the MCU became hazy, with the actress previously saying that she’s done with the franchise. Her character, Thor’s love interest Jane Foster, won’t make an appearance in Thor: Ragnarok later this year. The last time we heard of the character was in Avengers: Age of Ultron when Thor and Tony Stark were boasting about their respective ladies.
But the third installment in the Thor series will be largely set in the cosmos. So the non-appearance of most of the human characters would be understandable. Actor Stellan Skarsgård, who plays an arguably more important role as Eric Selvig in the MCU, also won’t make an appearance in Thor: Ragnarok. But is Portman’s tenure in the MCU totally done? According to a recent comment made by the actress, it appears nothing is set in stone yet.
When asked by Deadline regarding her status in the MCU, Portman did not cross out a possible return, saying that one day she hopes to figure that out. She could have just said that she’s done with Marvel Studios altogether. Her comment might mean that she’s not entirely sure of her future in the MCU or what Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has in store for her character. But if Feige decides to keep her, does that mean Thor will be sticking around beyond the still-untitled fourth Avengers movie?
Well, not necessarily. In the comic books, Jane Foster is actually the current Thor. Mjolnir, Thor’s badass hammer, chose her as a worthy wielder when it deemed the “real” Thor as unworthy. If Thor – the Chris Hemsworth version – meets his demise at the end of Phase 3, Marvel Studios could opt to follow the same storyline and hand over the big bad hammer to Portman. It’s possible, given the recent trend in Hollywood where male-dominated movies are getting an all-female touch-up (see: Ghostbusters and Ocean’s Eight).
Portman is popularly known for portraying Queen/Senator Padme Amidala in the Star Wars prequel trilogy. She’s the wife of Anakin Skywalker who died in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith after giving birth to Luke and Leia. She won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the psychological thriller Black Swan. Unbeknownst to some, the Thor series wasn’t the first time Portman ventured into the comic book superhero business. Her first turn came in V for Vendetta opposite Hugo Weaving. Portman will next appear in the drama Song to Song later this March.