Natalie Portman’s big return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in “Thor: Love and Thunder” has created the possibility for Jane Foster’s breast cancer storyline in the comic books to be represented on the big screen. “Thor” director Taika Waititi sparked rumors earlier this month that Jane’s breast cancer storyline was a possibility for his next sequel. Variety caught up with Portman this week at an L.A. Dance Project fundraising gala and asked the actress to weigh in on the rumor. The Oscar winner is hopeful Jane’s breast cancer storyline makes the cut, although she has yet to see a “Thor 4” script.
“It’s just very rare that these kinds of big entertainment films look at more serious, real-life issues,” Portman said. “I really don’t know anything about it. I haven’t seen anything, but I’ve heard the same rumors as you have, and it’s exciting to think about.”
Waititi originally said that Jane’s cancer was a “really powerful part of the books” that he was considering making a part of his upcoming movie. “I think it’s really cool that she’s fighting this thing and there’s two battles going on,” the filmmaker said. “Personally I really love that storyline. But whether it ends up in the film is yet to be seen.”
The filmmaker added, “We’re not sure if we’re going to do a complete lift of that whole storyline. These things change through the shoot and even when we’re editing sometimes. “Like, ‘Let’s get rid of that storyline where she’s got breast cancer. We’ll change it to something else, or maybe she’s fine.’”
Portman last appeared as Jane in a major role in 2013’s “Thor: The Dark World.” The actress sat out Waititi’s “Thor: Ragnarok” and made an appearance in this year’s “Avengers: Endgame” using leftover “Dark World” footage. Portman will be paired with both Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson in “Thor: Love and Thunder,” which will also bring back Waititi’s fan favorite motion-capture character Korg.
Disney and Marvel have already announced “Thor: Love and Thunder” will open in theaters nationwide November 5, 2021. Waititi is currently promoting his latest directional effort, “Jojo Rabbit,” and he will film Fox Searchlight’s soccer comedy “Next Goal Wins” before starting production on “Thor 4” in 2020.