Natalie Portman's last in-person appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was 2013's Thor: The Dark World, which means she missed out on the fun when Cate Blanchett's Goddess of Death swept through Asgard in the threequel, Thor: Ragnarok. But now, Portman is returning to the franchise for Thor: Love and Thunder, which writer-director Taika Waititi revealed will be inspired by The Mighty Thor, a comic run that saw Jane Foster wielding the hammer as the first-ever female Thor.
"I'm so, so excited," Blanchett told ET while promoting her new film, Where'd You Go, Bernadette. "I'm so looking forward to seeing it, because I absolutely loved seeing them all with my kids. But I really, really loved Captain Marvel. No offense, Taika, but it was probably my favorite."
There's a bit of irony in the MCU's first female villain stanning the MCU's first female title hero. But if Scarlett Johansson is to be believed, the future of the MCU may, in fact, be female. Blanchett credits that to producer and Marvel Studios executive Victoria Alonso. "She has been an incredible advocate for feminizing that universe. It's right and true that those franchises should be actually cutting-edge, because that's traditionally what [comics] have done," she said. "To know that Natalie is going to have such a pivotal role is really exciting."
Blachett's Hela met her demise at the end of Surtur's fiery sword in Ragnarok, but should Waititi think up a way to resurrect her for Love and Thunder, Blanchett is more than willing to suit back up. "That's probably a Marvel question," she demurred of returning to the MCU. "I'm here..."
— Reporting by Desiree Murphy