The next Thor film – which stars Natalie Portman as a female embodiment of the Marvel superhero – will be filmed in Sydney after a multimillion dollar grant from the Australian government.
Director Taika Waititi and actors Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson are also set to return for the follow-up film to 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok, which was filmed in Queensland.
Thor: Love and Thunder – the fourth in the franchise – will now move south to Fox Studios in Sydney, with production to start in March 2020.
Last week, Waititi explained that the new film will be based on an existing comic book storyline where Portman’s character of Dr Jane Foster takes up the powers and hammer of Thor after he is stripped of his abilities.
The New Zealand director clarified that the character’s superhero moniker would be Mighty Thor.
On Friday it was confirmed the franchise would build on Waititi and Hemsworth’s antipodean links by returning to Australia. Thor: Ragnarok, which was Waititi’s Marvel debut and also starred Cate Blanchett alongside compatriot Hemsworth, was the first in the series to film in Australia.
It comes after another newly unveiled Marvel film, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, was also booked to film in Sydney. The two will now be filmed back to back.
Australia’s federal arts minister, Paul Fletcher, and his New South Wales counterpart, Don Harwin, said they had lured Marvel to Sydney with a $24m grant, and the project would create 2,500 jobs and invest $178m into the Australian economy.
“Australia has an ongoing relationship with Marvel Studios and I’m very pleased they will return to our shores again next year,” Fletcher said.
“This announcement means Marvel Studios will be producing films in Sydney for the next few years,” added Harwin.
Marvel would also offer a trainee program for Australian actors and crew as part of the deal.
Speaking to reporters in Sydney, Hemsworth said it “fantastic” to make another film in Australia with Waititi, Thompson and Portman.
“It’s an interesting feeling after [Avengers] Endgame because it was like where do you go from there? It’s just about making great films, and to be a part of the Marvel/Disney family, and to be able to make another film is pretty fantastic.”