Taika Waititi teases Natalie Portman’s return in ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’

Marvel Studios

(NOTE LANGUAGE) In a new chat with Empire magazine, Jojo Rabbit Oscar winner Taika Waititi chats about Natalie Portman‘s return to the Thor franchise — and her claiming the God of Thunder’s mighty mantle herself.

“It’s been about eight years” since Chris Hemsworth‘s character has seen his former flame, physicist Jane Foster, the writer-director explains about the plot of the upcoming film, titled Thor: Love and Thunder. “She’s had a whole other life, and then the love of your life comes back on the scene, and is now dressed like you. It’s a real mindf*** for Thor.”

This time around, Portman’s character traces the arc of the Mighty Thor comics, which sees a cancer-stricken Jane being cured with a little lightning therapy.

Waititi adds, “You don’t want Natalie coming back and playing that same character who’s walking around with science equipment. You know, while Thor’s flying around, she’s left on Earth, tapping her foot going, ‘When’s he going to be back?’ That’s boring. You want her to be part of the adventure.”

Aside from her Portman’s Thor-like arms after she takes up the mantle, the Oscar-winning actress shows other strengths in the film, according to Taika.

“Natalie’s really funny in real life,” he explains. “She’s kind of goofy and has got a great sense of humor, and I don’t think that was exploited enough in the first films.”

The movie, which also stars Tessa Thompson, Chris Pratt, Russell Crowe and Christian Bale, opens July 8.

Marvel Studios is owned by Disney, parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.