Marvel’s blockbuster “Avengers: Endgame” brought the decade-long Infinity Saga to a close, leaving some fans wondering, “What’s next?” Well, the studio answered: A female Thor — played by Natalie Portman.
President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige revealed the upcoming slate of films in “phase four” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) at a San Diego Comic-Con panel Saturday, reports CNET. One of the films is the fourth installment of the Thor series, titled “Thor: Love and Thunder,” directed by Taika Waititi. The flick is set to be released on November 5, 2021.
While addressing the audience alongside stars Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie), Waititi explained the movie is inspired by his recent readings of “The Mighty Thor” series — and female Mighty Thor.
He then announced Portman would be making a comeback to the franchise, after appearing as astrophysicist and Thor’s love interest Jane Foster, in 2011’s “Thor” and 2013’s “Thor: The Dark World.”
Portman took the stage and was fittingly handed Thor’s famous hammer by Waititi.
The star commented on the casting announcement on Instagram Saturday. “So thrilled to share the news with you today at #sdcc2019 that I’ll be returning to the @marvel #mcu as female Thor,” she wrote alongside a photo of her accepting the hammer. “(Remember this as the before picture for when I get jacked),” she added.
In addition to a female Thor, Marvel introduced a range of diverse heroes who will take center stage in its upcoming films.
Scarlett Johansson‘s Black Widow will finally have her own movie — kicking off phase four in 2020. “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” starring Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, is scheduled for February 2021. The film marks Marvel’s first with an Asian lead.
Thompson, who had previously alluded to her character identifying as LGBTQ, said Valkyrie “needs to find her queen” in the upcoming “Thor” installment during the panel. Feige confirmed the character would “explicitly” be a part of the LGBTQ community, according to Collider.
“Yes that’s the case and will be the case not just with [Valkyrie] but with other characters in some of the movies we talked about today,” Feige told the outlet. Valkyrie will be the first LGBTQ superhero in the MCU.
The full phase four schedule, according to CNET, is below:
- May 1, 2020: Black Widow
- Fall, 2020: Untitled
- Nov. 6, 2020: The Eternals movie
- Feb. 12, 2021: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
- Spring, 2021: WandaVision Disney Plus series
- May 7, 2021: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
- Spring, 2021: Loki Disney Plus series
- Summer, 2021: Untitled
- Fall, 2021: The Falcon and Winter Soldier Disney Plus series
- Nov. 5, 2021: Thor 4: Love and Thunder