The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) continues to rake in money for Walt Disney even as it bids goodbye to its first three phases: The Infinity Saga.
With Spider-Man: Far from Home officially out in cinemas, we can now look forward to the start of Phase Four. It starts with Black Window in 2020 and ends with Thor: Love and Thunder the following year.
But isn’t it strange that we’re going to have Natalie Portman as the female Thor? She previously stated she’ll no longer be in the Marvel films as Jane Foster.
So what changed her mind?
Jane Foster Wasn’t Doing Anything Good for the MCU
Let’s admit it: Natalie Portman’s character in Thor and Thor: The Dark World weren’t exciting or memorable. She was a scientist, sure, but the movies made her look more like just a love interest.
The MCU should be glad that Portman accepted the role in the first place. She’s proven her acting prowess many times from 1994’s Leon: The Professional to 2005’s beloved V for Vendetta.
Yet what we got was a mundane character that didn’t add in anything substantial to the films. Many fans expressed that they weren’t bothered Foster wasn’t returning.
Thor: Ragnarok and The Power of Taika Waititi
The first two Thor movies were fun but also quite bland. It needed a push — to a new, more exciting direction. Luckily, Taika Waititi took over for Thor: Ragnarok.
Ragnarok was refreshing. It made the world of the God of Thunder look vibrant. It was less serious and gave everyone more character.
In the end, the movie earned a little over $850 million at the global box office. This time, people wanted to see more of the Asgardian’s life.
Waititi gave the characters more appeal. This helped Portman reconsider the role of Jane Foster. Perhaps this time, she won’t just be a mundane romantic interest?
Not to mention, the next Thor would introduce the female counterpart. If there was an opportunity for Portman to redeem Jane Foster, it would be in Love and Thunder.
Perlmutter is Also Out of Marvel
One more thing was crucial to Portman’s return: The exit of Ike Perlmutter. Here was a guy who would have ruined the MCU if he stayed.
Perlmutter was the former CEO of Marvel Entertainment. Until 2015, the stellar Kevin Feige had to report to him rather than to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn.
The 76-year-old businessman made terrible decisions. Joss Whedon even said that Age of Ultron would have been better if it weren’t for Perlmutter’s decision-making.
Worse, Perlmutter refused to believe that women could have the lead role in Marvel movies. He didn’t even want the main villain in Iron Man 3 to be a woman.
For him, leading women in the MCU won’t help Marvel sell more toys. If you’re Portman, wouldn’t this dissuade you from continuing?
Perlmutter is out of the picture now — and that’s a good thing for good, talented people like Natalie Portman who could enrich the MCU as it moves forward.