Natalie Portman is set to be the female Thor in Thor: Love and Thunder, which was officially announced at 2019 Comic-Con International: San Diego Saturday.
“So thrilled to share the news with you today at #sdcc2019 that I’ll be returning to the @marvel #mcu as female Thor with legends @taikawaititi @tessamaethompson and @chrishemsworth. (Remember this as the before picture for when I get jacked)” Portman wrote on Instagram.
In response to the surprising news, fans are showering Portman with praise.
“I can’t wait. Congrats,” one fan wrote.
“Yay!!” said another.
“My daughter started cheering when I told her this news,” another follower revealed.
Portman previously said she was done with the Marvel Comic Universe (MCU). In an interview with Vanity Fair, she was asked about returning to the franchise after her appearance in 2011’s Thor directed by Kenneth Branagh and Thor: The Dark World by Alan Taylor.
“As far as I know, I’m done,” she said.
“I mean, I don’t know if maybe one day they’ll ask for an Avengers 7, or whatever,” she continued, adding that Thor “was a great thing to be a part of.”
But per Gizmodo, it appears Portman has had a change of heart. She will return to her role as Jane Foster, who takes up the hammer for the upcoming Thor movie, which is directed by Taika Waititi, who also directed Thor: Ragnarok.
According to Vanity Fair, rumors suggest that Portman wasn’t happy with Marvel firing director Patty Jenkins from the Thor sequel, which would have been the first Marvel film directed by a female. It’s possible that Portman’s return to the franchise is due to the chance to play the first-ever female Thor.
Portman recently revealed to The Guardian that she has undergone a transformation as an actor in recent years, especially after her directorial project, A Tale of Love and Darkness. She reportedly directed the movie as part of her mission to change the lack of female directors in Hollywood.
“Having to watch my own footage in the editing room completely changed me as an actor.”
The 38-year-old said the process revealed to her that she had fallen into a pattern of doing the same thing as an actor during each take. Although Portman admits it’s late in the game for her to realize the importance of doing different things as an actor, she appears committed to doing so — especially with the recent announcement of her new Thor role.