Last April, we reported two interesting pieces of news regarding Thor: Ragnarok, revealing that the superhero sequel had both gained and lost female characters simultaneously. That report revealed that Tessa Thompson had come aboard in an unspecified role, which was eventually confirmed as Valkyrie, while Natalie Portman, who played the Earth-bound character Jane Foster in 2011’s Thor and the 2013 follow-up Thor: The Dark World, will not be back for this sequel. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige had revealed in the past that most of the movie doesn’t take place on Earth, which many fans assumed was the reason that Jane Foster wasn’t going to be featured, but it turns out there is another reason as well.
It was also confirmed in February 2016 that another Earth-bound character, Stellen Skarsgard‘s Dr. Erik Selvig will not be back for Thor: Ragnarok, although he does still have one more movie left on his Marvel contract, which could mean he’s returning for Avengers: Infinity War. It is also believed that Kat Dennings will not return as Jane’s friend Darcy as well. Entertainment Weekly caught up with Kevin Feige, who confirmed that Thor and Jane are officially not a couple anymore, while revealing another reason why Jane Foster wasn’t included in this story.
“We wanted Thor to encounter somebody that was near his equal and that his relationship with Jane may have evolved in unexpected ways in between The Dark World and Ragnarok and we wanted to pit him against a character who was much more his equal and in many ways his superior. Valkyrie is trying to not embrace any sort of Asgardian heritage that she has. Thor thinks maybe that will create a bond between them and, on the contrary, she wants to forget it all entirely.”
Ironically, this news comes just a few years after Marvel Comics announced that Jane Foster will take over as the new female Thor in the comic books, as part of Marvel’s All New All Different reboot. In this sequel, Thor will end up on the planet of Sakaar, which comic book fans will recognize from the iconic Planet Hulk story line. After stealing a Quinjet and disappearing at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Hulk ended up on the planet of Sakaar, where he has become their gladiator champion, forcing Thor to fight him in battle when he arrives on the planet, after being exiled from Asgard by his brother Loki and his villainous new partner Hela (Cate Blanchett). As far as being single is concerned, Chris Hemsworth reveals that Thor is enjoying his new unattached lifestyle.
“(Thor)’s certainly enjoying being a drifter, being a solo cowboy out there.”
While most of the story is set off Earth, we learned during the post-credit scene of Doctor Strange that Thor has come to New York to seek Stephen Strange’s help in finding his father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins), who had gone missing in Thor: The Dark World, after Loki had taken the crown and disguised himself as his father. There had been a report that Odin had fled to Midgard, a.k.a. Earth, where he had disguised himself as a homeless person, warning others about the apocalypse to come. This report was essentially confirmed with set photos from the Australia set that surfaced in August, which also explained previous set photos that showed Thor and Loki in New York, with Thor holding a card that featured the address of Stephen Strange from the comics. Marvel still hasn’t announced when the first trailer for Thor: Ragnarok will surface, but hopefully we’ll find out soon.