Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige kept his word Saturday night at San Diego Comic-Con and unveiled plans for the MCU’s Phase Four. The information rollout was massive and included not only confirmation of The Eternals cast but a Blade reboot, starring Mahershala Ali as Marvel’s vampire hunter, and a few major chunks of news about the recently greenlit title previously known as Thor 4. First up, Kevin Feige confirmed that Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie will officially be the MCU’s first LGBTQ superhero. He said this after Thompson teased how, as the new ruler of New Asgard, Valkyrie’s “first order of business” will be that “[a]s new king [of Asgard], she needs to find her queen.”
The Valkyrie news might be what the Russo Brothers were referring to when they said that a current Marvel character was secretly gay. Plenty of hints have been dropped about Valkyrie already, and yes, it’s a huge development but not necessarily a surprise (a deleted scene revealed her bisexuality). What was quite shocking about the new Thor movie, though, is that Natalie Portman will not only return as Jane Foster for what’s officially titled Thor: Love And Thunder, but she’ll be the female Thor. We’ll hash out why this is confusing for a few reasons (and what it might mean) in a moment, but according to Vulture, Hall H attendees were at least a little perplexed:
But on Saturday, not a trace of antipathy was on display. Thor: Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi explained the upcoming film will borrow a plot line from the Thor graphic novel written by Jason Aaron that features a female God of Thunder. “For us, there’s only one person who could play that role and she’s here,” Waititi said.
As Portman strode across the stage, there was both glee and confusion from the 7,000 or so panel attendees in Hall H. Hemsworth handed her his signature Mjolinir. “I always had hammer envy,” Portman said with a mischievous smile.