Annlyel addresses the casting of Natalie Portman in Thor: Love and Thunder
San Diego Comic-Con was quite eventful this year with a slew of new books to look forward to leading to The Rise of Skywalker and a bunch of news announced for Phase 4 of the MCU. We learned Mahershala Ali would take up the role as Blade (which is perfect,) grownup Monica Rambeau would make an appearance in the destined-to-be-weird WandaVision series, Zemo’s official return, and so much more! but one of the biggest surprises was learning that Natalie Portman was back to reprise her place in the MCU but not as before. This time around she will play the female version of Thor.
At the moment the news was announced last Saturday night I was elated, as is obvious from this tweet I wrote in response to the shocking reveal.
— Annlyel James (@annlyeljames) July 21, 2019
But days later, as this announcement begins to sink in, I’m starting to wonder if Marvel has made its first bad casting choice in years.
Natalie Portman is an Oscar-winning actress, we all know that but she had her chance to be a character that we would fall in love with inside the MCU and that didn’t happen. In fact, it was very much the opposite. She was a blight to the first films, and not only because she didn’t fit in, but because she didn’t convince me as the super-smart scientist that she was supposed to be. Now she’s supposed to be a superhero?!
Why, Marvel? What’s the reason for bringing her back? Is there a specific reason why she had to play this role instead of a new actress that probably would’ve been much better as the fierce heroine? The other day a reader of mine noted that Kristanna Loken (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines) maybe should’ve been cast as female Thor and I definitely wasn’t opposed to the idea.
To be honest, the only thing giving me hope that Natalie Portman can become a great Thor is Taika Waititi‘s genius. I’m sure, with an undoubtedly brilliant script that he’s sure to concoct for this film, he can make Natalie Portman shine with her co-stars Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth.
Only this time, if she doesn’t appeal to the masses, it’ll be harder to conveniently write her out of the story next time around. Marvel Studios, I hope you know what you’re doing.
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Annlyel James is a prolific Staff Writer for Future of the Force. She is passionate about Star Wars and Marvel but loves a wide variety of movie genres. Follow her on Twitter @annlyeljames where she channels the Force frequently!