Natalie Portman is not replacing Chris Hemsworth as Thor

Screenshot from Thor: Love and Thunder teaser. Image: Marvel Studios.
Screenshot from Thor: Love and Thunder teaser. Image: Marvel Studios. /

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hasn’t even been out a month yet, but already the excitement is shifting to the next movie coming down the Marvel pipeline: Thor: Love and Thunder, which will give us our first look at Chris Hemsworth’s Thor since Avengers: Endgame in 2019. The movie also features Christian Bale as the villain Gorr the God Butcher, Russell Crowe as the Greek god Zeus, and the Guardians of the Galaxy.

But the cast member who’s generating the most buzz by far is Natalie Portman, who will be reprising her role as Jane Foster from the first two Thor movies. In the years since we’ve last seen her, Jane has begun wielding the hammer Mjolnir and become a superhero in her own right, known in the comics as the Mighty Thor.

With so much of Marvel’s Phase 4 revolving around “passing the torch” from the older generation of heroes a new one, a lot of fans have been wondering whether we’ll see Portman take over as Thor in the MCU from now on. After all, Hawkeye set up Kate Bishop, She-Hulk will see Bruce Banner train his cousin Jennifer Walters, and Black Widow introduced Natasha Romanoff’s sister Yelena. Could a similar treatment be in the works for Thor?

According to Thor: Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi, that’s not the plan.

Thor 4 director on whether Portman will replace Hemsworth: “I don’t think that’s the case”

Thor: Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi got to talking about the god of thunder’s latest adventure in the current issue of Total Film magazine, per Gamesradar. “We stick pretty closely to Jane’s storyline [in the comics], and what happened to Jane… because that was such an influence on the film. We’re trying to take the best parts of that.”

Waititi also weighed in on the question many fans have been asking: will Thor: Love and Thunder serve as a way for Chris Hemsworth to pass on the title of god of thunder to Portman?

“[I]t’s really fun, the idea that Thor [has] got Stormbreaker, that big axe, and now his hammer’s back and it’s in the hands of someone else. It’s no longer his hammer,” Waititi said. “It’s the idea that someone’s taking his place. I think a lot of fans are gonna potentially assume, ‘Oh, OK, this is the passing on of the torch’… I’m not privy to any plans Marvel has for the future, but I don’t think that’s the case.”

While Marvel may have some plans Waititi doesn’t know about, it sounds like Hemsworth will continue on in the role. Which is great; the Marvel Cinematic Universe is big enough for all sorts of heroes, and Hemsworth has always brought a ton of charisma and fun to these movies. The more the merrier.

Thor: Love and Thunder is out in exclusively in movie theaters on July 8.

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h/t The Direct