The most interesting thing about Natalie Portman's casting in Thor isn't just her chance to redeem herself from the Star Wars prequels — it's what her role tells us about the Thunder God's surprising status in the movie. Spoilers ahead!
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Portman will play Jane Foster, the human nurse from the early Thor comics who becomes Thor's first love. Not surprisingly, the 1960s character will be "updated" for the new movie. But more importantly, this probably means we'll be seeing a lot of Thor's human alter ego, Dr. Donald Blake. Up till now, all reports have suggested that Thor would only be in Asgardian thee-saying mode throughout the entire film.
Instead, it sounds like we'll be getting the early comics storyline where Thor's father decides the Thunder God needs to learn some humility, and sends him to Earth to live as a disabled human. Says the Hollywood Reporter:
The story centers on Thor, a powerful but arrogant warrior whose reckless actions reignite an ancient war. As punishment, Thor is cast down to Earth and forced to live among humans but once here, he learns what it takes to be a true hero when the most dangerous villain of his world sends the darkest forces of Asgard to invade Earth.
Portman joins Chris Hemsworth, who played Daddy George Kirk in the recent Star Trek reboot, as Thor, and Tom Hiddleston as Loki, the god of mischief.
Thor is scheduled to begin filming early next year in time for a May 2011 release date.