Natalie Portman has been confirmed as part of Kenneth Branagh’s Thor ensemble, alongside Chris Hemsworth as the Mighty one, and Tom Hiddleston as God of Mischief Loki.

Portman will play Jane Foster who, in the cast of Stan Lee and Joe Sinnott’s original comic, was a nurse who fell in love with her doctor colleague, unaware that he was secretly a Norse deity. 

Marvel’s Kevin Feige told The Hollywood Reporter that Jane “is the human lead, so to speak, who helps ground the film in reality. We spend a lot of time amongst the other realms of the Nine Worlds of the Thor mythology and she’s our human anchor to that.”

All well and good, and, by the bristling beard of Wotan, it’s always a pleasure to see Padme. But I hope beyond hope that this doesn’t indicate that the script will be using Donald Blake, Thor’s “mortal aspect”, a doctor who becomes Thor by banging his walking stick on the ground.

The script apparently sees Thor banished to Earth from Asgard by the all-father Odin as a punishment for re-starting an ancient war. A disguise would be one thing, but Blake would surely be a grave error. Practically the first thing Walt Simonson did on his classic run on the comics during the 80s was ditch the physician once and for all.

Mark Millar’s template from The Ultimates would seem a sensible direction, and one that would fit well with the other Ultimates-influenced Marvel movies (Iron Man, Hulk 2.0, Sam J’s Nick Fury). Millar paints him as a buff Nordic counter-culture guru with his own agenda and no respect for the USA or The Avengers, capable of unleashing his hammer of the gods Mjolnir to awesome effect, but equally happy to slack off and get drunk or mount a protest against the WTO. Chris Hemsworth even looks a bit like Ultimates Thor, to the right photographer.

Whatever, we’ll find out how Marvel’s trickiest prospect turned out in May 2011. Portman will start work with Sir Ken after shooting Daren Aaronofsky’s The Black Swan.

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