Natalie Portman to play the female Thor in superhero sequel

Director Taika Waititi hands the Thor hammer to Natalie Portman during the
Director Taika Waititi hands the Thor hammer to Natalie Portman during the "Thor Love And Thunder" portion of the Marvel Studios panel on day three of Comic-Con International on Saturday, July 20, 2019, in San Diego. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Natalie Portman will play the female Thor in the fourth movie focused on the Norse god.

The actress played Jane Foster in the first two Thor films and the character’s arc from the comic books will be mimicked on screen in Thor: Love and Thunder.

Portman ran onto the stage to thunderous applause during Marvel Studios’ Comic-Con panel and in a symbolic gesture accepted Thor’s hammer from director Taika Waititi.

2019 Comic-Con – Marvel Studios
Natalie Portman will star in Thor Love And Thunder (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Looking at the prop, Portman said: “Feels pretty good. I’ve always had a little hammer in me.”

Chris Hemsworth, who plays Thor, and Tessa Thompson, who stars as Valkyrie, will return for the fourth film, which is set to be released in November 2021.

The announcement was made during a lengthy panel inside Hall H of the San Diego Convention Centre on Saturday, where Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige laid out the fourth phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

An estimated 8,000 fans packed into the hall for the most high-profile and anticipated event of this year’s Comic-Con, the annual pop culture convention.

Marvel returned to downtown San Diego after a one-year break and continued its tradition of using the event to unveil its biggest projects.

Nine years ago stars of the Avengers – including Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans and Hemsworth – appeared on stage for the first time together.

It is also where the studio introduced Brie Larson as Captain Marvel three years ago and showed off the first look at Black Panther.

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