Asgardian god of thunder Thor will be getting a new haircut and a familiar sidekick, in the form of Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk, in this fall’s Thor: Ragnarok, the third stand-alone adventure for the Avenger.
He’ll also be meeting a new woman, Tessa Thompson’s formidable warrior, Valkyrie. Which raises the question, what happened to Thor’s girlfriend, Dr. Jane Foster, played in the first two Thor films by Academy Award winner Natalie Portman? The answer, apparently, is that the couple chose to part ways.
As reported by Entertainment Weekly, Marvel president Kevin Feige explained that, for Ragnarok, the studio wanted Thor to be on his own for a little while and then to meet a new woman who wasn’t daunted by his superhuman stature. (Marvel isn’t saying whether or not Valkyrie and Thor’s relationship will get romantic.)
“We wanted Thor to encounter somebody that was near his equal,” said Feige. “His relationship with Jane may have evolved in unexpected ways in between The Dark World and Ragnarok, and we wanted to pit him against a character who was much more his equal and, in many ways, his superior.”
The implication of that statement is that Jane — a renowned astrophysicist — somehow isn’t Thor’s equal because she isn’t as physically strong as he is. That’s sure to rankle some, especially in light of Marvel’s long, less-than-stellar history of casting great actresses in thinly sketched love-interest roles.
Although, maybe starting fresh with a new character and actress is the best way forward. For her part, Portman seemed well past the Marvel phase of her career last year, frankly telling the Wall Street Journal, “as far as I know, I’m done.”
While Marvel doesn’t seem to have handled the character of Jane very well, we can hope that Thompson’s Valkyrie is a more fleshed-out female part than those found in many prior MCU movies. To read more about Thor and Jane’s breakup, head over to Entertainment Weekly.
Thor: Ragnarok, starring Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo, and Anthony Hopkins, lands in theatres on Nov. 3.