Rumors That Natalie Portman had to be ‘Forced’ Back for Thor 2 Not Really Surprising
Fact From the Vapor of Nuance
With the news that Hugo Weaving isn’t particularly attached to his role as Red Skull, or superhero movies in general, and is not angling to get let back into the Captain America franchise, comes an offhand reference by TGDaily that Natalie Portman was recently ‘forced’ to adhere to her multi-movie contract as the titular god’s love interest for Thor 2. It’s a bit of a flimsy piece of evidence of strain between the actor and the movie studio, but it wouldn’t surprise me in the least.
It’s been almost a year since we visited this story, but Portman was known to not really be enthusiastic about filming Thor 2, and especially not after the studio fired her recommended choice for director, Patty Jenkins, who would have been the first woman to direct a film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
There were some indications that Jenkins’ removal from the movie was not as smooth as the official statements would have made it seem. The Hollywood Reporter‘s sources said that Marvel was worried by the director’s “lack of overall clarity in her choices,” which seemed an odd thing to say while the movie was still in the script stages. Other statements made by actors in the production, like Tom Hiddleston, indicated that they’d already begun talking specifics of characterization with Jenkins. “Overall clarity in choices” looked a lot like a cover story for “choices we didn’t like.”
Portman was said to have been lukewarm on the project due to a desire to take a break from acting and spend time with her young son. Pushing the studio to hire Patty Jenkins as a gender-barrier-breaking first in its careful cultivation of the Marvel Universe on screen “reengaged” her. At the time, THR indicated that Marvel was working hard to smooth over their relationship with Portman, post firing, which is notable if only because the studio has shown very little qualms about dropping the actors of such major characters as the Hulk and James “Rhodey” Rhodes if their actors proved difficult.
Forced or simply placated, Portman is definitely on for Thor 2, with director Alan Taylor at the helm.
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