A brutally obsessive ballerina in Black Swan. A strong and nuanced leader in Star Wars. A freedom fighter in V for Vendetta. A mourning president’s wife in Jackie Kennedy.
Natalie Portman has had no shortage of playing strong female characters throughout her impressive career. And it appears this is not stopping anytime soon.
Over the weekend, the makers of Thor: Love and Thunder announced that Natalie Portman will take on the mythical hammer and god-like powers herself in the latest Thor franchise.
On her Instagram account, Portman wrote underneath a photo of her next to co-stars Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth “Remember this as the before picture for when I get jacked.”
It will be the first time a Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) character has received a fourth instalment to their respective franchise, marking a significant direction big-shot movie makers are taking on female-lead narratives. The film will also feature Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, who will officially be the first LGBTQ superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
In the previous Thor films, Thor (2011) and Thor: The Dark World (2013) Portman played Chris Hemsworth’s love interest, but more interestingly, she was an astrophysicist. Finally, in 2019, we have her wielding the hammer as the Goddess of Thunder.
Wonder Woman jacked up $821.74 million in box office sales, making it the Highest-Grossing Superhero Origin Film of all time. Captain Marvel earned $1 billion world-wide, becoming the biggest female superhero movie to date.
Huge blockbuster films centering on women are growing in popularity, since Wonder Woman, and Captain Marvel and it’s time we see this normalised.
We need more women at the centre of stories – women taking on their own adventures and not being sidelined or flanked around according to the terms set by the men in films.
There is growing hunger from people of all ages to see women take the lead. Our publisher, Tarla Lambert reported last year on the need to have valuable role models for young girls and boys.
“Surely, the sweeping popularity of Wonder Woman should be proof enough for Comic juggernauts – Marvel and DC – to anchor more films with female characters?”
It appears they are listening, and responding accordingly. The film is due for release in November 2021.