Natalie Portman Quits Thor and Marvel Cinematic Universe
Thor movies star Natalie Portman has announced that she is “done” with making Marvel Universe comic book movies and will not appear in the upcoming third film in the series called Thor: Raganork. The Oscar winning actress made the revelation in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.
“As far as I know, I’m done. I don’t know if maybe one day they’ll ask for an ‘Avengers 7’ or whatever I have no idea. But as far as I know, I’m done.”
Portman played the native Earther love interest Jane Foster opposite the hunky Australian actor Chris Hemsworth as Thor in the two previous films. The first came out in 2011, and the second, Thor: The Dark World, in 2013.
— NataliePortman.com (@natpdotcom) August 17, 2016
While the first Thor movie came out a year after Black Swan, the film which won Natalie her Oscar, the actress clearly needed to have signed the deal to appear in the Marvel movies before she won that award.
Portman was reportedly not happy with her lack of screen time in the second film, Thor: The Dark World. It is also not easy making these kinds of films with all of the post production and action sequences and the need to act in front of a green screen a lot.
Natalie possibly also does not like being just the arm candy for the beefy super hero. While Gwyneth Paltrow made her character Pepper Potts more of an equal and a partner to Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark in the Iron Man movies, this was certainly not the case with Portman’s character in the Thor movies. Natalie, while playing a smart scientist, was really just the damsel in distress.
Also, while Portman might be concerned that continuing to appear in comic book movies could hurt her credibility as a serious actress, it should be remembered that Gwyneth Paltrow has an Oscar too, and she was in all three Iron Man movies. In fact Oscar winners and Oscar nominees alike can be seen throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including Robert Downey Jr., Anthony Hopkins, and Jeremy Renner.
Portman is not a fan of social media and does not even have her own official Twitter account. But her fans have been posting for her at #NataliePortman. A fan who clearly wants Natalie back as Jane Foster posted this.
— Hype Malaysia (@HypeMY) August 18, 2016
Thor: Raganork, is due out in 2017 and is said to be the final installment in the Thor series. Marvel Studios has made it an unofficial rule now that in the Marvel Cinematic Universe each super hero will have three stand-alone films in addition to the group movies like Avengers. However, the third and possibly final Captain America movie, Captain America: Civil War, featured a number of the other Marvel super heroes like Robert Downey Jr. as Ironman, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, and Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlett Witch.
Natalie has appeared in two Thor movies, but was notably absent from the two Avengers movies that have so far been released. This in spite of the fact that two Thor co-stars, Tom Hiddleston and Stellan Skarsgård, appeared in them.
Portman also wants to concentrate on her directing career, though. It’s one of Hollywood’s oldest clichés that every actor also wants to be a director. But few are ever good at it or even come close to winning an Oscar for directing like Clint Eastwood, Ron Howard, and Mel Gibson have all done.
Last year saw the release of Portman’s directorial debut, A Tale of Love and Darkness. Filmed in Jerusalem, the movie tells the story of the youth of Israeli writer Amos Oz. The critics were not as impressed with Portman’s directing chops as they were with her acting, and the film gets a measly 47 percent rating on the movie review site Rotten Tomatoes.
She must not have learned much from the people who had directed the actress throughout her career. And Portman told Business Insider in an interview that she did seek help from Hollywood legends like Mike Nichols, Darren Aronofsky, and Terrence Malick.
“All of them really influenced me just by working with them and getting the great luck of observing them in action, but I really leaned on them most, I think, during the editing process, where I got to show them the film and get their feedback.”
“It was really helpful mainly because they are such different filmmakers and they were all very encouraging of me making my own thing. They would say, ‘Obviously I would do this this way, but you need to do it your way.’ Especially Terry, he always said to me, ‘Paint from life. You paint from your perception of the world.'”
So maybe that wasn’t the best advice after all.
But Portman added that she really loves directing and plans to direct again. While people may enjoy acting or directing when they do it, someone should tell Natalie that not everyone enjoys seeing them or their finished project. Judging from both the poor box office and critical disaster that A Tale of Love and Darkness was, the movie can best be described a vanity project.
Finally, maybe the reason Portman won’t be in Thor number three is that she just wasn’t offered enough money to do the picture.
In any event, the fans probably won’t even notice her absence. The Marvel Studios movies are about the super heroes and super villains. They are about explosions, big fight sequences, and the heroes coming to the rescue. They are not really about romance, and the women are usually just there for the eye candy.
This is why Scarlett Johansson always wears a really tight black outfit as Black Widow when on camera in the Marvel movies. It is also a certainty that the “fanboys” will be more likely to miss the busty Kat Dennings who played Portman’s friend and sort of comic relief Darcy Lewis in the first two movies. Perhaps Dennings, who is now famous for the hit TV sitcom Two Broke Girls, will wear spandex in the next Thor movie just for their sake.
Natalie Portman can next be seen in playing Jacqueline Kennedy in the movie Jackie, which is due out next month.
[Photo by Kevin Winter for Getty Images]