Natalie Portman Joins Thor Cast
By Hugh Hart July 13, 2009
Natalie Portman returns to the sci-fi fold to star as Jane Foster in the new Thor movie. Marvel Studios announced Tuesday that the Academy Award-nominated actress will play the earthling love interest to superheroic exile Thor (Chris Hemsworth). Producers describe the character as an “updated” take on the sweet Nurse Foster character featured in early issues of the comic book series.
Portman is slated to begin work on the film early next year, when director Kenneth Branagh begins principal photography. Thor opens May 20, 2011.
Portman of course starred as Queen Padme Amidala in the Star Wars trilogy. Since then, she’s played a stripper (Closer), a revolutionary (V For Vendetta) and a Las Vegas card shark (Blueberry Nights). In the can: Brothers, which features Portman opposite Jake Gyllenhaal and Tobey Maguire.
Portman brings substantial dramatic chops to the comic book adaptation. The bet here is that “update” translates into a toughened up role that exploits Portman’s feisty qualities.
Another facet of the ‘all fantasy’ version of Thor has been cast aside as the Thor movie moves closer to a faithful adaptation of the Stan Lee/Jack Kirby 1960′s comic. Jane Foster was an integral part of the Thor monthly comic as the Thunder God was kept in constant turmoil between his father Odin’s wishes to embrace his Godhood and his love for the human race. As Doctor Donald Blake, Thor had many responsibilities (another conceit of Lee’s writing at the time- the burning love that must never speak its name) which made the series into a partial medical drama in addition to a superhero comic. His constant pining for Foster was undercut by his frail physique and lame leg. Blake’s love burned silently in solitude as Thor’s open defiance to his father’s will echoed to the four corners of Midgard.
But isn’t it always the way?
The addition of Portman to the cast will certainly add another angle of celebrity to the cast similar in ways to casing Jennifer Connolly in the Ang Lee Hulk film and Jennifer Garner in Daredevil. Good thing that Stan Lee though to litter his comic books with love interests, isn’t it?