Natalie Portman is back as Jane Foster, and in Thor: Love and Thunder, she'll also be picking up the hammer and becoming the Goddess of Thunder. Yes, Jane is taking up the role of Thor in director Taika Waititi's highly anticipated sequel!
Marvel revealed the surprise in its big Hall H panel at SDCC 2019. The movie, coming on 5 November 2021, picks up where Avengers: Endgame left off - with Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie on the throne of Asgard and Thor off presumably adventuring somewhere. And like in Jason Aaron's comic run (cited by Waititi as a big influence on the fourth movie), Jane takes over the job of manning Mjolnir in Thor's absence.
In the comics, Jane became Thor after Original Sin, when Nick Fury whispered something in Odinson's ear, causing him to become unworthy of wielding the hammer. Jane stepped in to defend Asgard, even though she was in treatment for breast cancer, and every time she became Thor, she cancelled out her chemotherapy. She fought as Thor to protect the Ten Realms from Malekith and Roxxon before eventually dying in battle against the Mangog, saving the Asgardians in the process. She was returned to life (but also still with cancer) by Odin in gratitude for her service. She is currently a Valkyrie, having regained powers to help defend against Malekith's war in the War of the Realms crossover that just wrapped.
Aaron's run on Thor is easily one of the two greatest of all time. It is entirely about what responsibility gods have to inspire in their followers. The point of making Jane Thor (which is made explicit in the ASTOUNDINGLY GOOD Asgard-Shi'ar war) is that a proper god should earn worship, rather than taking it for granted. It's basically Spider-Man's power/responsibility riff writ deity-sized.
Portman was absent for Thor: Ragnarok, but was a key player in the first two Thor films. We're glad to see her back!