Natalie Portman’s played Jane Foster in two Thor films so far, but while her astrophysicist character’s career has certainly taken off—remember Thor’s humble brag in Age Of Ultron?—production on the third film in the series seems to be proceeding without her. For a while, there was no official word on whether Portman and her character would return, but things haven’t looked good. Thor: Ragnarok is, after all, going to be more of a superhero-buddy road trip movie—at least, according to Mark Ruffalo it is. Then we learned that Tessa Thompson had been cast as an Asgardian love interest, and we thought things might truly be done between Jane and Thor, as well as Portman and the Thor franchise.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige recently addressed the speculation on the Empire Film Podcast, revealing that most of Thor: Ragnarok takes place “in the cosmos,” with just a handful of scenes on Earth. Since Jane is still busy with her research on the Einstein-Rosen bridge, which presumably has to be conducted on Earth, she can’t just run off to Asgard to hang out with Thor and Volstagg. This is also why Stellan Skargård’s Dr. Erik Selvig isn’t expected to return either. So Jane’s just going to sit this one out, and we get it—we wouldn’t want to compete with Tessa Thompson either.