After a break from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Natalie Portman is back and more powerful than ever in the first teaser for “Thor: Love and Thunder.”
The fourth film in the “Thor” series is directed by Taika Waititi, who helmed the well-received “Thor: Ragnarok.” The movie follows on the heels of “Avengers: Endgame,” which ended with Thor Odinson (Chris Hemsworth), adrift after the fall of his kingdom Asgard, leaving Earth with the Guardians of the Galaxy. The teaser begins with him as a member of the group, with Chris Pratt, Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel set to reprise their roles. Previous MCU stars Tessa Thompson and Waititi himself — as the rock gladiator Korg — will also return for the film, but the biggest moment of the teaser comes in the final seconds, when Portman’s Jane Foster is revealed as the new Mighty Thor.
Set to Guns ‘N Roses’ “Sweet Child ‘O Mine,” the trailer begins with Thor on a quest of self-discovery. “These hands were once used for battle, now they’re but humble tools for peace,” he says as he puts aside his new hammer Stormbreaker and watches an intergalactic sunset. “Now I need to figure out exactly who I am.”
After a weight-loss training montage and a new outfit, Thor leaves the Guardians of the Galaxy behind to find his own path. He claims his superhero days are over and sets off with Korg across the galaxy. The teaser shows brief glimpses of Thompson’s Valkyrie ruling over New Asgard as its king, a lightning-bolt wielding man who’s likely Russell Crowe as the Greek god Zeus, and Thor on a pirate ship kissing an unknown woman. Capping off the teaser, Portman calls down Thor’s hammer Mjolnir, which is now magically pieced back together, and debuts her comic-accurate Mighty Thor costume.
There’s no sign of Christian Bale’s villain, Gorr the God Butcher, but the plot description describes him as a killer seeking the extinction of the gods. Thor, Valkyrie, Korg and Jane will have to team up on “a harrowing cosmic adventure to uncover the mystery of the God Butcher’s vengeance and stop him before it’s too late.”
The story of “Love and Thunder” is based on Jason Aaron’s critically acclaimed run on the comic book “The Mighty Thor,” which saw Jane Foster, who dated and broke up with Thor, take up the superhero’s mantle after the sacred hammer Mjolnir deemed the Odinson unworthy and stripped him of his powers. In the comics, however, Foster’s newfound power-up comes at a heavy cost: Every time she uses the hammer, her breast cancer becomes worse and worse. It’s unclear whether the movie will follow the same storyline, though.
Portman reprises the role of Jane after last appearing in 2013’s “Thor: the Dark World.” She reportedly left the series due to being unhappy with the film, and particularly the replacement of the original director Patty Jenkins with Alan Taylor. However, Waititi reportedly directly convinced Portman to return to the MCU for the project.
In addition to old faces, “Love and Thunder” will also introduce new cast members to the franchise. Bale’s Gorr the God Butcher is a more recent addition to the Marvel canon, having been created by Aaron and Esad Ribic in 2013. Melissa McCarthy and her husband Ben Falcone are also expected to make cameo appearances. Jenny Morris and Simon Russell Beale have been cast in undisclosed roles for the film. Jaimie Alexander, Sean Gunn and Jeff Goldblum are also set to reprise their MCU roles.
Waititi wrote the script for the film with Jennifer Kaytin Robinson. The film is produced by Kevin Feige and Brad Winderbaum. Marvel Studios produces. The movie filmed in Sydney, Australia, last year, after being delayed repeatedly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Thor: Love and Thunder” premieres in theater July 8.