Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Natalie Portman Gives Marvel Fans Awesome Update On Thor: Love And Thunder

The times as they are may have slowed down our lives, but that doesn't mean everything has stopped entirely. Many productions (including all Disney-backed projects) were naturally halted back in March 2020 as the world reassessed how to work in close contact due to COVID-19. Marvel Studios, a Disney subsidiary, reshuffled its entire Phase 4 Marvel Cinematic Universe slate the following month — pushing back Black Widow (originally supposed to debut in May 2020) first and then every subsequent film all the way down to Thor: Love and Thunder (meant to hit theaters on November 5, 2021 but now scheduled for February 18, 2022). 

Now, we're beginning to see signs of the gigantic cogs of the entertainment industry grinding back to life again. One such sign came from Thor: Love and Thunder actress Natalie Portman, who will reprise her once-thought-abandoned role as Jane Foster in the forthcoming Taika Waititi-directed flick. 

Surprisingly enough, the news doesn't come from a place you expect. In giving Zoom talk with tennis star Serena Williams about the future U.S. Women's Soccer expansion team for Los Angeles, Portman (who's an investor in the new team) also tossed in a Thor: Love and Thunder update for free after a little hopeful prompting from Williams. 

Apparently, filming for Thor: Love and Thunder is — for the time being — on track to begin at the beginning of 2021 in Australia, according to Portman. She's glad for the extra time to "get jacked" in preparation for the movie, which will find Jane Foster taking on the mantle of Mighty Thor. Still, Portman admitted with a laugh that she's doubtful as to how much muscle her tiny frame can put on to become the Mjolnir-wielding badass.

A smidgen of news though it may be, this production timeline update is an encouraging morsel to remember that even if we may not be hearing much, our MCU faves are still out there working towards their upcoming releases.

Sharing time and space

That said, everybody's plans are more than a bit of a mess thanks to the new paradigm, and the context of all movies — not just Love and Thunder — will have to contend with it. The particular challenge for the MCU is the original schedule that the studio publicly committed itself to in the Before Times, during San Diego Comic-Con 2019. As mentioned, nothing stated on that slate holds true now; it's all been wiped away and reset. 

If what Portman describes for an early 2021 filming start date holds up, Thor: Love and Thunder should just miss the end of filming for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which had begun filming in Australia when the one-two punch of the massive wildfires there at the beginning of 2020 gave way to pandemic, shutting the entire production down before the rest of the world's entertainment production did. Shang-Chi is on track to begin production again sometime in late July or early August and should hopefully wrap up before the end of the year. Assuming all goes well with Shang-Chi in the late months of 2020, Thor: Love and Thunder should have similar luck in the Land Down Under.

All production timelines will be deeply affected by new social distancing and health protocols, however, so the two movies' schedules could end up overlapping as the time needed to complete filming increases to accommodate those new protocols. The filming gap and rearranged release schedule is certainly a frustration for fans, but Thor: Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi has pointed out a small silver lining to all of it: extra time to flesh out the story (he noted that the script for Thor 4 is "insane" and "romantic") and challenge himself in writing and re-writing it. Waiting is a small price to pay if it gives us more when it all pays off later.

Thor: Love and Thunder is set for a February 18, 2022 release date.