Natalie Portman says Thor: The Dark World being a critical flop didn't affect her decision to return to the MCU
Although the upcoming Thor: Love And Thunder will introduce some new faces to the Nine Realms, including Christian Bale as Gorr The God Butcher and Russell Crowe as Zeus, there's certainly no shortage of intrigue when it comes to the return of Natalie Portman's Jane Support financially. After an absence from 2017's Thor: Ragnarok, the character returns in a big way: with her own superpowers, wielding the enchanted hammer Mjolnir.
Jane was introduced in 2011's Thor as an aspiring scientist who ends up becoming a little more involved with the title character than she expected when the Asgardian prince falls to earth. Portman reprized the role in the 2013 sequel Thor: The Dark World, widely considered one of the worst in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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When Jane didn't return for the third part, some viewers speculated that the previous project's negative reception had upset the Black Swan actress in the franchise. In a new interview with Variety, Portman says she easily shrugged off The Dark World's bad reviews.
"I mean, I had it with The Professional, too," she says of her 1994 film debut, which was released when she was a young teenager. "It's been critically slaughtered, and now that I've been in Marvel and Star Wars films, it's the most important thing that people come up to me about. That and Star Wars are two examples of things that when they came out I was like, 'Oh my god, this is a disaster.' And then 20 years later - actually 30 years later for The Professional - it's popular."
Of course, the Star Wars prequels, in which Portman portrayed Padmé Amidala, have also been in the news lately with the launch of Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney+. Despite the similarly poor response to those films, returning stars Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen have spoken heartily about returning to their roles and being a part of fans' childhoods.
With writer/director Taika Waititi eager to bring back an upgraded Jane for Love And Thunder, Portman's return to the MCU was a no-brainer.
"I mean, it's always amazing to see yourself in a Marvel movie, even if just for a split second, because you're in places you've never been before," she tells Variety. "It's like seeing photos of a vacation you never took, or something."
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