Taika Waititi reveals how he convinced Natalie Portman to return in Thor: Love and Thunder

Thor: Love and Thunder
(Image credit: Marvel)

Thor: Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi has given fans a taste of how he tempted Natalie Portman back into the MCU fold as Jane Foster.

Speaking to Fandango, Waititi explained that his previous Marvel movie, Thor: Ragnarok, has helped convince those thinking about teaming up with the director in Love and Thunder.

"What we did with Ragnarok – it made these movies appealing to other actors," Waititi said. "Christian [Bale] saw that and he was like, 'I want to do something fun'… and Natalie too."

Portman, who last appeared in Thor: The Dark World (and in deleted scenes repurposed for Avengers: Endgame), is all set to play The Mighty Thor in Love and Thunder. The promise of holding Mjolnir may have been appealing but, as Waititi reveals, making her character more exciting than in the first two Thor movies seemingly proved more crucial.

"She just wanted to make sure… I don’t know how to say this, but her character in those first two [Thor] films is probably not the most exciting version of the female character we want from these films," Waititi said. "I had to just talk to her about the fact we had 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. Natalie’s a really funny person and sometimes those sorts of things are not the main focus."

Thor: Love and Thunder, starring Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, and Christian Bale, is set for release on July 8. For more on the MCU, check out our guide to Marvel Phase 4.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.