Writer/director Taika Waititi is unsure how much of Jane Foster’s cancer storyline will be in Thor: Love and Thunder. It was announced at last year’s San Diego Comic-Con that Natalie Portman would be reprising her role as the character in the upcoming film. Portman, who did not appear in the franchise’s previous entry, Thor: Ragnarok, appeared on stage to lift Mjolnir (Thor’s hammer), revealing not only her reprisal but also the fact that she would inherit the mantel Goddess of Thunder aka Mighty Thor.
Jane Foster has lifted Mjolnir twice in the comic books: once in a 1978 “What If” storyline and once in a 2014 canonical one by Jason Aaron and artist Russell Dauterman. The latter sees Jane become worthy of Mjolnir and its powers after Thor becomes unworthy. That story also sees Jane suffering from breast cancer and instead of helping her condition, becoming the God of Thunder only worsens it, purging her of all toxins including that which is a result of chemotherapy. Being beloved by fans, Jane’s story will have an obvious impact on the way Waititi approaches his next Thor film.
Waititi, who directed Thor: Ragnarok and is set to direct Thor: Love and Thunder, spoke with Variety recently following his Jojo Rabbit Oscar win for Best Adapted Screenplay. Waititi, who has already admitted to writing at least a few drafts of Thor: Love and Thunder, was asked about the aforementioned storyline and whether or not the upcoming film would feature a cancer-plagued Jane. “We don’t know,” said Waititi. “That comics run was a big inspiration and was an influence on the first few drafts. But at Marvel, we always change everything. I could say one thing right now, and in two years, it will be the complete opposite — or that thing won’t exist. We continue writing even in post-production.”
Waititi was not officially credited as a writer for Thor: Ragnarok; however, there’s no denying the impact he had on the film’s dialogue and characters. Waititi, who voices the hilarious Kronan Korg in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is known for the relaxed atmosphere he creates on set. Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth, has said in the past that a day on set with Waititi never feels like work. This leads one to believe Waititi enjoys a fair amount of freedom in the creative process. His style in Thor: Ragnarok and continuing success outside of Marvel with films like Jojo Rabbit has him officially writing Thor: Love and Thunder. Improvisation aside, both Waititi and Portman have expressed interest in the cancer storyline.
It’s common knowledge that Marvel likes to play things close to the vest, especially now that much of what they are preparing to do with Phase Four of the MCU is unknown. A lot could be done with Jane’s story and character, especially considering Jane even becomes a Valkyrie in the comics. We already know that Tessa Thompson will be reprising her role as Valkyrie in Thor: Love and Thunder. Regardless of the approach or result, the fact that Waititi, Portman, Hemsworth, and Thompson (who will be playing an openly bisexual Valkyrie) are all returning to the MCU is exciting for fans.
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