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It's Time To Talk About Jane's Fate In Thor: Love And Thunder

Contains spoilers for "Thor: Love and Thunder."

The Marvel Cinematic Universe adds another hero to its ranks in "Thor: Love and Thunder," as Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) transforms into the Mighty Thor while battling stage four cancer. The world-renowned astrophysicist hasn't been seen in the present-day MCU — aside from a quick cameo in "Avengers: Endgame" — since "Thor: The Dark World," and she's back with a thunderous bang. Her new Asgardian powers are a shock to Thor (Chris Hemsworth) himself, who tries to look at his own place in the cosmos in something of a mid-life crisis.

When speaking to Fandango, director Taika Waititi revealed how he convinced Portman to return, noting that he wanted to reinvent the role for the star. "Her character in those first few films is probably not the most exciting version of the female character we want from these films," Waititi said. He added, "I had to just talk to her about the fact that I wanted to change that character just like we'd changed Thor's character for 'Ragnarok' and give her more license to be adventurous and fun and funny, 'cause Natalie's a really funny person."

Foster handles herself well in the fight against Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale), who's determined to slaughter all the gods in the universe, but she also has to deal with the fact that using her powers is effectively stopping her chemotherapy from doing its job. It puts Jane in an incredibly difficult position because although she wants to be there in the fight, she has to slow down because of her health.

Ultimately, this leads to an incredibly emotional finale for Jane and Thor — one that could lead to something more.

Jane gets resurrected in the comics

Jane, unfortunately, succumbs to her cancer in the final battle because the energy she uses to help Thor fight Gorr drains her strength. Thankfully, her soul is taken up to Valhalla in the post-credits scene because she died on the field of battle — a sign that she's a true hero. Obviously, it's a shame that she dies only one film into her superhero career, but it is a worthy evolution for the talented scientist.

But is it actually the end? In the Jason Aaron comics from which parts of Jane's story in "Thor: Love and Thunder" were adapted, the focus is on Jane's new identity, but she does eventually die from her cancer after saving Asgardia in "Mighty Thor" #706. As she stands at the gates, though, Odin decides that her sacrifice is a feat of true heroism and channels a cosmic thunderstorm to resurrect her.

A superhero resurrected from death? In comics? Surely not! Except that a costumed crusader coming back from the dead is nothing new. It has been done for decades with the likes of Superman, Batman, Iron Man, Captain America, Spider-Man, Bucky Barnes, and more having all returned from the pearly gates to fight another day. So yes, it's entirely possible that Jane might return to the MCU from Valhalla in a future film. Whether she should come back from the dead is another question entirely because as mentioned earlier, this wraps up her storyline nicely while honoring what makes Jane great as a person.

But Marvel always lays the groundwork for the future, and the Valhalla post-credits scene isn't there for nothing. Where could Jane's story in the MCU go next, though, and what are the chances that Portman returns to the role?

There are more Jane Foster stories to tell -- if Natalie Portman wants to return

You might think that after dealing with stage four cancer, taking on the powers of a Norse god, and dying valiantly in battle, only to be revived again by Odin himself, Jane Foster might be ready to call it quits on her superhero career. However, in the world of Marvel Comics, the character continues to play a noteworthy role in the action. She pops up throughout the "War of the Realms" arc and even assumes the mantle of a Valkyrie in the aftermath of the bloody interdimensional battle (per Marvel Database). 

Although the MCU has obviously been forging its own path through the Marvel canon, using the comics as inspiration, rather than doctrine, Jane's robust and continuing story on the page certainly leaves the door wide open for her return down the road. The character's buddy-buddy friendship with King Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) in "Thor: Love and Thunder" could be one such conduit for a return, especially considering Jane's transformation into one of the Norse ferrywomen in her comics arc. Of course, she only becomes a Valkyrie after the others are killed, so if the relationship between the two characters does bring Jane back to the MCU, it could end in tragedy.

But we're getting ahead of ourselves. As far as any future live-action appearances from Jane are concerned, the real deciding factor will most likely be whether Natalie Portman is interested in doing another MCU film. After stepping away from the franchise following 2013's "Thor: The Dark World," director Taika Waititi helped convince Portman to return for "Love and Thunder" by breathing new life into the character of Jane Foster. Perhaps with another juicy storyline, Portman could be convinced to return again.