Thor: Ragnarok: Natalie Portman’s Absence Finally Explained

Chris Hemsworth and Kevin Feige explain why Natalie Portman's Jane Foster isn't appearing in Thor: Ragnarok. (hint: he's single again!)

While we haven’t had a trailer yet for Thor: Ragnarok, the movie has plenty going for it in promotional material. For starters, Taika Waititi just directed one of 2016’s most charming films, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, and he looks to be bringing his own off-center sensibility to the project with a cleanly sheared Chris Hemsworth. The film also features two new leading ladies with Cate Blanchett and Tessa Thompson. Yet, some still wonder… where is Natalie Portman as Jane Foster? After all, the last solo Thor movie ended with the God of Thunder choosing to live on Earth with her, as opposed to ruling on high in Asgard.

Well… the short answer is they broke up. And more precisely, Thor: Ragnarok could also be described as “Thor: Forgetting Jane Foster.” Marvel finally confirmed as much while chatting with EW. First Hemsworth himself basically described Thor in this film as enjoying his new swinging single. “He’s certainly enjoying being a drifter, being a solo cowboy out there.”

But Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige took it further, saying that with Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie, he’ll meet an equal who is more on his wavelength than some eggheaded human with a finite lifespan. “We wanted Thor to encounter somebody that was near his equal and that his relationship with Jane may have evolved in unexpected ways in between The Dark Worldand Ragnarok, and we wanted to pit him against a character who was much more his equal and in many ways his superior,” Feige said.

This news is not exactly Asgard-shattering since Natalie Portman made it pretty clear last year that she was done with Marvel Studios movies. More precisely she said, “As far as I know, I’m done. I don’t know if maybe one day they’ll ask for an Avengers 7 or whatever, I have no idea. But as far as I know, I’m done.”

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Not that Portman seems to be suffering from the Thor breakup. Instead of shooting Ragnarok, she earned an Oscar nomination for haunting work in 2016’s Jackie and just gave birth to a daughter last month. She also is circling Ridley Scott’s next movie.

Still, it is curious that all the love interests from Phase One of Marvel are not so ceremoniously being shown the door in Phase Three… off-screen. And who thought MCU movies only ever had happy endings?

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