Taika Waititi recently discussed how he persuaded Natalie Portman to reprise her role as Jane Foster in Thor: Love and Thunder after Thor: The Dark World.
During an interview with Fandango All Access alongside Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson, the director of Love and Thunder revealed how he persuaded Portman to return after she sat out the last film. Natalie Portman reportedly left the MCU due to her dissatisfaction with filmmaker Patty Jenkins’ departure from Thor: The Dark World.
However, Marvel and Portman’s relationship had not totally deteriorated, as Taika Waititi was able to persuade her to comeback. He personally spoke with Portman and encouraged her to return by offering her “a little more liberty to be bold and entertaining” than in the first two Thor movies.
I think that she was just wanting to make sure that… I don’t even know how to say this, but… her character in those first few films, it’s probably not the most exciting version of the female character that we want from these films… I had to just talk to her about the fact that I wanted to change that character, just like we’d changed Thor’s character for Ragnarok and to give her a bit more license to be adventurous and fun because Natalie’s a really funny person. And sometimes… those sorts of things cannot… I don’t know, they’re not the main focus when they come up with characters and you know in films.
Taika Waititi is an Academy Award-winning screenwriter best known for his New Zealand-centric films such as Boy (2010) and Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016) before revitalizing Marvel’s Thor franchise with Ragnarok in 2017. Following the creative and economic success of that film, he was asked to co-write and direct a sequel titled Love and Thunder.
Jane will have a different role in Love and Thunder, becoming more than simply a love interest, as she takes on the title of Mighty Thor, wields Mjolnir, and works directly with Thor to take down Gorr rather than watching from the side.