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Joe and Anthony Russo, directors of Avengers: Infinity War, have hinted that Jane Foster may return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Natalie Portman's character last appeared in 2013's Thor: The Dark World. The character was written out of Thor's life in last year's Thor: Ragnarok, with the God of Thunder revealing they'd broken up by mutual consent.
In truth, Portman's history with the MCU is a troubled one. Behind-the-scenes drama during the production of Thor: The Dark World left a lot of bad blood between Portman and Marvel. But the company has changed substantially since then, and is now run under Kevin Feige. The Marvel Creative Committee has been disbanded, and actors and directors seem to have a lot more freedom to practice their craft. As a result, in February of this year, Portman confirmed she was willing to return to the MCU.
Speaking to The Huffington Post, the Russo brothers fielded questions about which secondary MCU characters had survived Thanos's finger-snap. To the Post reporter's surprise, when asked about Jane Foster they refused to answer. "When we say [spoiler], we mean potential spoiler," Anthony Russo clarified. While the Russos' comments don't necessarily imply Jane will appear in Avengers 4, the comment does imply Marvel has something in the works.
It's easy to understand why Jane Foster might play into the events of Avengers 4, though. She's actually one of Earth's leading astrophysicists, a scientist skilled enough to detect the Convergence and identify weak points in the fabric of reality. She's also one of the only humans to have experience of alien civilizations. After all, Jane is no stranger to Asgard. That knowledge could make her a tremendous asset in the battle against Thanos.
In the comics, Jane Foster actually enjoyed a stint as the Mighty Thor, Goddess of Thunder. When the Odinson became unworthy to wield Mjolir, Jane picked it up instead, resolving that "There must always be a Thor." This act of heroism cost Jane dearly; she was dying of cancer, and every time she transformed, it undid the effect of her chemotherapy. Matters eventually came to a head, with Jane embracing death rather than allow Asgard to be destroyed by the Mangog. Fortunately, Odin and Thor were able to revive her.
Given the character's significance in the comics, it's hard not to conclude that she's been poorly treated in the MCU up till now. Kevin Feige has said it's more than possible that the MCU will eventually use the female Thor plot; that seems rather more unlikely given Mjolnir was destroyed in Thor: Ragnarok. For all that's the case, though, a skilled writer could still make it work, and it's generally believed Avengers 4 will feature time-travel. It's entirely possible Mjolnir's destruction could be unwritten. And if so, perhaps Jane will get to become the Goddess of Thunder in the MCU after all.