Taika Waititi ‘didn’t have to do much’ to convince Natalie Portman to return to Thor

Taika Waititi “didn’t have to do much” to convince Natalie Portman to return for the fourth Thor movie.Back in July, it was announced that the Oscar-winning actress was reprising her role as Dr. Jane Foster in Thor: Love and Thunder, which will be co-w…

Taika Waititi “didn’t have to do much” to convince Natalie Portman to return for the fourth Thor movie.

Back in July, it was announced that the Oscar-winning actress was reprising her role as Dr. Jane Foster in Thor: Love and Thunder, which will be co-written and directed by the New Zealand filmmaker.

It was later confirmed that Portman would become The Mighty Thor in the upcoming instalment of the hugely successful Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise, which is led by Chris Hemsworth, who plays the eponymous God of Thunder.

And Waititi explained that he had an easy job persuading the 38-year-old to come back to Thor, after her character was notably missing from 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok.

“I mean, I didn’t have to do much. And, I think for her it was about making the character interesting. And I think especially when you’re playing ‘an Earthling who’s just into science’ in one of these big movies, it kind of gets a bit sort of, you know…” he told Uproxx. “After doing that for two movies, you want to do something different.”

Waititi also suggested that Portman wanted to revisit her character in Thor: Love and Thunder as she finally gets to wield the powerful hammer Mjolnir.

“I think for her, the thing that might’ve been attractive about this is being able to step it up and be a superhero. And I’d rather her do that than play a scientist. And it’s also from the comics as well. So it’s not something we made up,” he added.

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Idris Elba keen to reprise Thor role

Idris Elba is keen to return to the Thor franchise as Heimdall – despite the fact his character died in Avengers: Infinity War. The 46-year-old played Heimdall, the all-seeing and all-knowing gatekeeper of the rainbow Bifrost bridge and Thor’s good fr…

Idris Elba is keen to return to the Thor franchise as Heimdall – despite the fact his character died in Avengers: Infinity War.

 The 46-year-old played Heimdall, the all-seeing and all-knowing gatekeeper of the rainbow Bifrost bridge and Thor’s good friend, from the first Thor movie in 2011 until he was killed at the hands of Thanos in the 2018 film.  

 However, during an interview with ABC Radio on Tuesday, the star explained that he’s hopeful the Marvel Comics character could be brought back to life.  

 When asked if he’d return to the franchise, he insisted: “Of course! … Listen, Heimdall is essentially part of the god family. So, you know, he essentially could be alive. I’m just saying! I’m just putting it out there. The Heimdall character goes way back into, you know, the Thor mythology. And I’m sure there will be an interesting way to bring that alive. Of course, I would. Yes.”  

 A return for a deceased Thor franchise character wouldn’t be unusual, as Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, who was also killed off in the same movie, is set to come back in a new series for Disney’s streaming service Disney+, which is expected to drop in 2021. The show is rumoured to have elements of time travel, which could provide an opening for Elba’s return.  

 There are also two feature films in which Heimdall could potentially appear – the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder and possibly even Guardians of the Galaxy 3.  

 Elba is currently promoting Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw and will next be seen onscreen as Macavity in the live-action adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stage musical Cats later this year. 

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Natalie Portman preparing to get ‘jacked’ to play first-ever female Thor

Natalie Portman has joked she’ll be getting “jacked” as she prepares to play the first-ever female Thor.During Marvel’s epic presentation on Saturday at San Diego Comic-Con, fans were stunned when not only was it revealed that her character, astrophysi…

Natalie Portman has joked she’ll be getting “jacked” as she prepares to play the first-ever female Thor.

During Marvel’s epic presentation on Saturday at San Diego Comic-Con, fans were stunned when not only was it revealed that her character, astrophysicist Dr. Jane Foster, would be returning for director Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder, but she would take on the mantle of the Norse God of Thunder.

Portman later shared snaps on Instagram of herself wearing a strapless dress and wielding Thor’s powerful hammer Mjolnir as she appeared onstage besides Waititi and her co-stars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson during the announcement.

In a cheeky nod to her former onscreen love interest, she joked that she would be transforming her lithe figure into that of a bulked-up superhero, just like Australian hunk Hemsworth.

“So thrilled to share the news with you today at #sdcc2019 that I’ll be returning to the @marvel #mcu as female Thor with legends @taikawaititi @tessamaethompson and @chrishemsworth. (Remember this as the before picture for when I get jacked),” the 38-year-old wrote.

The New Zealand-born filmmaker, who previously directed 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok, explained on Saturday that Thor 4 would be based on a 2014 comic book storyline where Thor loses his abilities, with Dr. Foster wielding his power – and hammer – instead. He also clarified that her name would be Mighty Thor.

In Avengers: Endgame, it was revealed that Thor had become a depressed and overweight alcoholic, and concluded with him passing on the mantle of ruling New Asgard to Valkyrie, played by Thompson.

Thor: Love and Thunder will be released in November 2021.

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Tom Hiddleston landed Loki role in Marvel movies ‘almost by accident’

Tom Hiddleston landed his “life-changing” role as Loki in the Marvel movies “quite organically”.The British actor started out his career with appearances in West End theatre productions but came to wider attention when he landed the role of the villain…

Tom Hiddleston landed his “life-changing” role as Loki in the Marvel movies “quite organically”.

The British actor started out his career with appearances in West End theatre productions but came to wider attention when he landed the role of the villain in 2011’s Thor.

Tom has gone on to reprise Loki for a string of other movies, including The Avengers and Thor: Ragnarok, and in a new interview for The Hollywood Reporter, reflected on how it was his connection with Thor director Kenneth Branagh that secured him the gig.

“(Playing Loki) had a life-changing effect on me. It happened quite organically, almost by accident,” he explained, before going on to reveal that he was actually spotted by the 58-year-old while performing in the theatre in London, and the pair embarked upon a working relationship together on a variety of projects before the Marvel film came about.

“(Kenneth) saw me in a Shakespeare production in a theatre in London, he then asked me to perform with him in the television series Wallander for the BBC,” the 38-year-old continued. “We then did a Chekhov play in the West End, and then he cast me as Loki in the first Thor film.”

It was confirmed back in November that Tom would be starring in a Loki series for Disney’s upcoming streaming service Disney Plus.

And while fans had speculated about the star’s appearance in the show following his character’s death in Avengers: Infinity War, the actor refused to reveal any further details.

“I feel very fortunate that this character has connected with people,” he stated, before teasing, “All I can tell you is that it is called Loki. It is a new departure … but I can’t explain why.”

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Chris Hemsworth forced to exercise in private after fans mob him at the gym

Chris Hemsworth exercises in hotel rooms because he gets interrupted by fans too often when training at the gym. The Avengers: Endgame star’s trainer Luke Zocchi has discussed the actor’s workout routine with Courier Mail and revealed the hunky Aussie…

Chris Hemsworth exercises in hotel rooms because he gets interrupted by fans too often when training at the gym.

The Avengers: Endgame star’s trainer Luke Zocchi has discussed the actor’s workout routine with Courier Mail and revealed the hunky Aussie now completes his fitness routine behind closed doors.

“It’s easier to just go train in the hotel rooms,” he shared. “You can go to a gym, but it gets a bit annoying doing selfies every two seconds.”

Zocchi also has to be careful what types of exercise his celebrity client partakes in while he’s in production on a film in order to avoid potential injuries. He notes exercises such as boxing and surfing are off-limits.

“I’ve punched him in the face when we were boxing for sure. The stuff we do, (we) have to be careful about. He’s not even allowed to surf when we do films,” the exercise guru commented.

Zocchi has also learned to tailor fitness routines based on which Marvel franchise Hemsworth is working on at the time.

“Whenever he’s training for the role of Thor, we lift much heavier weights, do a lot more isolation work and take longer rest periods between sets,” he noted. “Workouts for Endgame were generally no longer than an hour, targeting two muscle groups per session.”

Hemsworth’s dedication to wellness led him to develop fitness app Centr earlier this year – which he teamed with Zocchi for.

“My workouts on the app are HIIT HIRT (high-intensity interval training and high-intensity resistance training) strength sessions, similar to the normal training Chris does,” he added.

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Kenneth Branagh proud of his Marvel Cinematic Universe contribution

Kenneth Branagh is “very proud” of the part he played in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.Back in 2011, the five-time Oscar nominee directed Thor, and introduced Chris Hemsworth as the God of Thunder, alongside Tom Hiddleston as Loki and Anthony Hopkins a…

Kenneth Branagh is “very proud” of the part he played in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Back in 2011, the five-time Oscar nominee directed Thor, and introduced Chris Hemsworth as the God of Thunder, alongside Tom Hiddleston as Loki and Anthony Hopkins as Odin.

While the movie has received mixed reviews, it was noted that Branagh had paved the way for a different kind of Marvel movie, introducing audiences to the Nine Realms and Norse mythology, and set the bar for the movie’s two sequels – Thor: The Dark World helmed by Alan Taylor, and Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok.

“I’m very proud of my part of it,” Branagh told Den of Geek. “Which was providing a sort of backbone that they could comically riff off, but at least it originally contained some of the high stakes Nine Realms import that that larger mythology has to have as well.”

Thor was just the fourth movie in what became a huge 22-movie Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Avengers: Endgame bringing the saga to a sweeping, poignant conclusion.

“I think it’s an amazing thing to be a part of,” Branagh shared. “And especially to know that back then, plans though they might have had, they had no idea that it could become what it’s become.”

However, the 58-year-old Brit confessed he still hasn’t had chance to watch the final Avengers movie, despite having such a personal attachment to the film.

“But I’m looking forward to that enormously, on quite a personal level,” he explained. “I think anybody, of the many, many people who were involved in that whole thing, does have sort of a personal (attachment).

“It’s a moving thing for me because I know the massive effort it has been for them, and that they’ve never assumed anything (and) they’ve always stayed honest, I think, in their love for the characters and love for comic books, so I can’t wait to see what they’ve done with the characters.”

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Marvel bosses preparing special Stan Lee cameo video

Marvel Studios officials will honour Stan Lee by putting together a special behind-the-scenes video of every single one of the late comic book legend’s movie cameos. The co-creator of superhero characters including Spider-Man, Thor, Iron Man, and Blac…

Marvel Studios officials will honour Stan Lee by putting together a special behind-the-scenes video of every single one of the late comic book legend’s movie cameos.

The co-creator of superhero characters including Spider-Man, Thor, Iron Man, and Black Panther passed away in November (18) at the age of 95, and his final film appearance is featured in the highly-anticipated Avengers: Endgame blockbuster.

However, fans will get to revisit each of his typically humorous cameos – and view previously unseen footage of Lee on set – as part of an upcoming tribute package.

“We’ve put a video together,” Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige tells Entertainment Weekly.

“We’ve never done this before, a behind-the-scenes of every cameo. All the B-roll that was shot and his stand-ups there. His passing was very emotional for all of us, but it suddenly all came back to me just when I watched it.”

The short film will also include an unused Lee cameo from a previous Avengers movie.

It’s not known when the clip is planned to be released, but the news emerges days after Avengers: Endgame co-director Anthony Russo, who, together with his brother Joe, also shot three other Marvel blockbusters, recalled how all the cast and crewmembers would always be in awe of Lee whenever he visited.

“We have all these movie stars on that (Endgame) set, and when Stan came to set, everybody would be like kids again,” he told Mashable.

“It was always a lot of fun shooting these cameos because he was very charming, and he would maybe get the crew going, and everybody would be laughing and having a good time.”

Avengers: Endgame, starring Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, and Scarlett Johansson, among many others, opens in theatres this week (ends26Apr19).

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Chris Hemsworth: ‘There’s more of me in Thor now than ever’

Chris Hemsworth has been playing Thor for so long that he’s gradually been able to bring more of his personality to the Marvel character.The Australian actor first played the Asgardian superhero in 2011’s Thor and has reprised the role multiple times, …

Chris Hemsworth has been playing Thor for so long that he’s gradually been able to bring more of his personality to the Marvel character.

The Australian actor first played the Asgardian superhero in 2011’s Thor and has reprised the role multiple times, most recently in Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War and the upcoming Avengers: Endgame, which could be his last outing.

During a group interview with Entertainment Weekly, Chris admitted that he’s played Thor so many times the lines have blurred between him and the hammer-wielding figure.

“There was a much clearer (sense of) who the character was the first time I played it, and then…it slowly just became me screwing around and having fun,” he explained. “There’s more of me in the character now than ever. It’s the most honest place you can operate from as an actor.”

He added that because the cast has become so close over the years that friendships onscreen are similar to the ones in real life, such as the bond between Iron Man’s Robert Downey Jr. and Captain America’s Chris Evans.

“Knowing everybody, I feel like the personal relationships start to echo through,” the 35-year-old continued. “What you see, the authenticity of Iron Man and Captain America when we’re onscreen, there is a real friendship with Chris and Robert. Then it starts to just come through whether we like it or not.”

The Captain America actor, who also made his MCU debut in 2011, said that it’s impossible not to take on part of the character after playing it so many times, but it has got the stage now where it’s like reuniting with a friend.

“The same way that these are all friends, the character becomes a friend too. You’re visiting an old friend,” he gushed.

Avengers: Endgame hits cinemas later this month (Apr19).

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Chris Hemsworth happy to continue playing Thor after Avengers: Endgame

Chris Hemsworth would be “more than happy” to continue playing superhero Thor if the character survives Avengers: Endgame. The current phase of Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) phase concludes with Endgame, which is thought to be the final film for a n…

Chris Hemsworth would be “more than happy” to continue playing superhero Thor if the character survives Avengers: Endgame.

The current phase of Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) phase concludes with Endgame, which is thought to be the final film for a number of original Avengers such as Chris, Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, and Mark Ruffalo.

The cast is yet to see the film and have no idea how it ends, but Australian actor Chris would be happy to keep playing the God of Thunder if the character makes it out of Endgame alive.

“This is Marvel’s phase three wrapping up, a culmination of all this journey, whether or not they go off and then shoot other things or do prequels or sequels and whatever they can do,” he says in a clip from The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Tuesday (09Apr19). “I mean Loki, my brother, has come back nine times, and every time he dies he just keeps reappearing, so who knows what’s in store for anyone? Me personally, it’s the best fun I’ve ever had, and I’d be happy to do more if they wanted me. More than happy.”

When Ellen states that he must have some idea of the ending because he shot the scenes, Chris reasons that it got quite confusing filming Endgame at the same time as 2018’s Infinity War.

“I have a rough idea of what happens,” he explains. “We shot Infinity War and this over eight months, back and forth (between) both films, overlapping, and in the end, it was like (confused face) and it was being written while we were shooting and the other one was being edited and so on.”

The cast and crew have been unable to really talk about the film during the press tour out of fear of spoilers. On Sunday, Karen Gillan, who plays Nebula in the franchise, was left red-faced when she thought she’d revealed a plot point at the Los Angeles press conference, where she appeared to reveal she would face her father Thanos, the main villain.

“I don’t know if she will. Maybe she won’t. I just got really nervous I gave something away, so I’m going to stop,” she quickly added.

Marvel boss Kevin Feige also revealed to IGN that the company has a five-year plan but will not be announcing any more projects until after the release of Spider-Man: Far From Home in July.

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Marvel release Avengers: Endgame teaser as fans countdown film’s release

Marvel marked the one-month countdown until Avengers: Endgame hits cinemas by releasing 32 new character posters and a featurette.The next instalment of the super hero franchise begins showing in theatres around the world on 24 April (19), opening in t…

Marvel marked the one-month countdown until Avengers: Endgame hits cinemas by releasing 32 new character posters and a featurette.

The next instalment of the super hero franchise begins showing in theatres around the world on 24 April (19), opening in the U.K. the following day, and in the U.S. on 26 April.

With the fate of some of Marvel’s most loved characters unknown following Thanos’ (Josh Brolin) destruction at the end of 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War, fans have been given an early glimpse at what’s to come in the new video.

“The fans’ reaction to the end of Infinity War, when half their favourite characters turned to dust, really was indicative of how emotionally connected the world has gotten to these characters,” Marvel president Kevin Feige says in the video.

While Chris Hemsworth, who plays Thor, comments that people are still “coming to grips” with what’s happened, and Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow star Scarlett Johansson says her character has become hardened after the fallout from the last film.

Captain America Chris Evans adds that the characters are all doing their best to keep their head above water.

“But it’s kind of a losing battle – we lost and we’re not used to losing,” he said.

“They’ve truly levelled us, not just literally but morally and emotionally…. The good thing is that it’s always easier to build people back up after they’ve been broken down. That’s what Marvel’s great at doing. It’s that shred of hope that everyone is looking for.”

Some of the cast also shared their character posters on social media with the hashtag #AvengersEndgame and the one-month countdown, including Evans and Don Cheadle, aka War Machine.

Samuel L. Jackson, who stars as Nick Fury in Marvel’s flicks but isn’t credited as being in the new film, shared the featurette, telling fans: “We’re in the endgame now. Watch this brand-new featurette from Marvel Studios’ #AvengersEndgame, in theaters in one month.”

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