Natalie Portman hasn’t been a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in over eight years; and it has begun to show. The MCU of today is much different from the one she left after Thor: The Dark World, with greater emphasis on secrecy. Actors in Marvel films are instructed and trained in how to avoid spoilers. Natalie, however, accidentally let one slip at the recent global press conference for the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder. Also read: Thor Love and Thunder first reactions out: Critics praise Natalie Portman
Hindustan Times attended the global press conference for the Thor sequel, which saw lead stars Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, and Christian Bale join Natalie. Also present were director Taika Waititi and producer Kevin Feige. In Thor: Love and Thunder, Natalie reprises her role as Dr Jane Foster, but with a twist. Her character now wields Thor’s famous hammer Mjolnir and also possesses all of his powers.
While discussing this new dimension to her role, Natalie was asked how her version of Thor is different from Chris’. She responded, “No, completely different. But I think he’s obviously very assured and experienced in being a superhero, and she’s just trying to figure it out.”
It was while elaborating on this answer that Natalie let a big spoiler slip. She added, “She’s new at it. And also keeps reverting to human form, so there’s kind of danger always that, like, it might be her last moment getting to experience that.” As she said this, the actor checked herself and added, “I don’t know that might be… that might be a big spoiler, sorry.”
In isolation, Natalie’s comment may sound innocuous but a look at her character’s comic book origins tells a lot about why she felt it was a spoiler. In the comics, Jane Foster turns into Mighty Thor after wielding the Mjolnir and even joins the Avengers. However, all this happens after she is diagnosed with cancer. In the Original Sin storyline of Marvel Comics, Thor loses his powers and Jane picks up his hammer and attains Thor’s powers. This transformation also cures her of her cancer and even rids her body of the chemotherapy being used in her treatment, restoring her health and strength.
Natalie referring to how it might be Jane’s ‘last moment’ to experience the power of Thor does hint that the character may be suffering from cancer or some other illness in the film as well. So far, the teaser and trailer have only shown Jane in her transformed look as Mighty Thor and not in her regular form. This may be because her real form is weakened due to an illness and the makers want to hide that before the release.
This is also in line with what a merchandise linked to the film had in its description. A line of character replicas from the film went on sale last month. As per The Direct, the description of the Mighty Thor’s helmet reveals that Jane got her powers from Mjolnir’s broken pieces when she visited New Asgard, the sanctuary of Asgardians on Earth. The description reads, “Suffering from cancer, astrophysicist and Thor’s ex-girlfriend, Jane Foster, visited New Asgard and her life was changed forever. Mysteriously, the broken pieces of Mjolnir, the hammer of the thunder god, transformed her into the Mighty Thor and gifted her the superpowers of Thor.” However, the merchandise from Marvel films has often been misleading, using plotlines from comics instead of films.
Fans have speculated on forums for months that the Mighty Thor storyline in Thor: Love and Thunder will be similar to the comics but the makers or stars have not commented. However, Natalie’s response and checking herself about the ‘big spoiler’ does indicate it might be the case. Unless, of course, this is all a big Marvel misdirection, something which the studio has done in the past, too. Also read: Thor merch reveals how Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster turns into a superhero
Thor: Love and Thunder is the fourth solo Thor film in the MCU, each starring Chris Hemsworth in the lead. Natalie is returning to the franchise having missed every film since the second Thor released in 2013. In the films, her character Jane and Thor broke up years ago, and will reunite now. Together, they have to face a new threat – Gorr, the God Butcher, a new villain played by Christian Bale. The Taika Waititi film releases in India on July 7.