Natalie Portman and Tessa Thompson Show Their Godlike Arms in ‘Love and Thunder’ Photo

·2-min read
Photo credit: Marvel Studios
Photo credit: Marvel Studios

A lot has been said about the quality of the fourth phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with some critics pointing out that it lacks the cohesive continuity that made the previous Infinity Saga so rewarding. But there's one thing that is happening more consistently: male superheroes getting upstaged by female characters in their own movies.

Just a week after Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) stole the entire show in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Marvel fans were treated to a sneak peek at the upcoming sequel Thor: Love and Thunder. But it wasn't Chris Hemsworth as the titular God of Thunder that had people shook. Nope, it was a shot of Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) and Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) decked out in Asgardian armour and looking, frankly, yoked.

Love and Thunder will mark Portman's first performance in the MCU in nearly a decade: She last played Jane Foster 2013's Thor: The Dark World (she technically appeared in 2019's Endgame in the form of pre-existing footage), and was lured back to the franchise by director Taika Waititi's promise to give her character more to do. Waititi has made good on that promise, and Love and Thunder will adapt a storyline from the comics in which Jane Foster becomes worthy of holding the hammer Mjolnir, gaining the powers of the God of Thunder and taking on the title the Mighty Thor.

And in order to convincingly play the astrophysicist-turned-goddess, Portman had to get jacked. She first teased that she'd be undergoing a similar superhero transformation to her MCU peers back in 2020, shortly after her casting in the movie was announced. "I've got the carbo-loading down, but not the exercise part," Portman joked to tennis champion Serena Williams during an Instagram Live during the 2020 lockdown. "It will be exciting and I'm interested to see if I can gain muscle."

Viewers got their first glimpse of Portman's gains in the final seconds of the Love and Thunder trailer, which see her wielding Mjolnir—and a pair of jacked biceps. This latest promotional shot also shows Tessa Thompson's character Valkyrie, who started out as a warrior before being named by Thor as his successor to the thone of Asgard, looking similarly swole.

While plot details surrounding the film remain scarce, it looks like Love and Thunder will follow Thor's quest to find his purpose following the events of Endgame. With Valkyrie in charge of New Asgard and Jane Foster taking care of business as the new Thor, it looks like the next chapter of the MCU is in safe hands (and bis and tris) until he does.

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