Natalie Portman's surprise return as Jane Foster in Thor: Love & Thunder - which will make Jane Foster worthy of Mjolnir and transform her into Thor, as in comic books - follows her absence from the preceding Thor film, Ragnarok. And now, Portman has addressed Foster's absence from that movie directly, offering an explanation of why she didn't pop in for a cameo.
"Obviously, I wasn't written into [Thor: Ragnarok] because of where it took place," Portman told Entertainment Tonight. "It wasn't really on Earth, and my character is on Earth."
Thor: Ragnarok takes place primarily on Asgard and the remote planet Sakaar, with brief bookends on Earth.
Portman's explanation that her absence was simply a matter of narrative details for one film strikes what could be interpered as a different, less final tone than previous comments.
In 2016 when asked if she would appear in any future films from Marvel, the actor told the Wall Street Journal "As far as I know, I'm done. I don't know if maybe one day they'll ask for Avengers 7 or whatever. I have no idea."
"As far as I know, I'm done, but it was a great thing to be a part of," she said at the time.
Avengers: Endgame also established that Thor and Jane Foster had ended their relationship.
As for how Waititi and Marvel Studios got Portman back in the fold, the answer is simple - they promised her a hammer.
"They came to me with the idea and said, 'We have this idea for you that was a storyline in some of the comics where Jane becomes Lady Thor,' and I was like, 'This is very exciting!'" Portman explained. "I'm very excited to wield the hammer."
Thor: Love & Thunder is scheduled for a November 5, 2021 theatrical release.