Marvel Studios have a habit of leaving things out of their movie adaptations. Even when seemingly taking on huge established comic arcs - like Ragnarok, Civil War, Age Of Ultron and many more they don't explicitly name in their titles - they tend to be liberal with what story elements they actually reuse. It helps set the film universe apart from the comics, but it also means they can throw in surprises for comics fans, so it's not all bad.
But it can go too far and that may be the case with Thor 4, if what Taika Waititi is saying is to be believed.
The Oscar winning writer/director of JoJo Rabbit has said he's unsure whether Jane Foster's cancer storyline will be in Thor: Love And Thunder.
When it was confirmed that Natalie Portman would be returning to play Jane Foster again and would also be playing the female Thor, it looked like we'd be getting an adaptation of the same comic book storyline. That would mean that her Asgardian powers would be linked to her fatal cancer, which added a tragic undertone to the character's surprising arc. To be honest, it also made it incredibly interesting and to leave that out would be to the film's detriment.
Particularly because Foster's battle with cancer, which was actually made worse by her transforming into the God Of Thunder would fit in with the comic book movie trend of great power and great responsibility and the wider issue of superheroes weighing up the cost of their heroism. That in particular has been a big thing in the MCU.
Waititi spoke with Variety about writing the upcoming Phase 4 movie and was asked whether we'll see that storyline, which you'd think would be pretty key:
“We don’t know. That comics run was a big inspiration and was an influence on the first few drafts. But at Marvel, we always change everything. I could say one thing right now, and in two years, it will be the complete opposite — or that thing won’t exist. We continue writing even in post-production.”
Let's hope he's just being coy, because that storyline is very important and it would be great to see Waititi turn his hand to the necessary pathos. And not only that, it would give Portman something to really get her teeth into after her character has been so badly sidelined in the MCU to date.
What do you think?