MOVIE URBAN LEGEND: Jane Foster became a scientist based on a suggestion by a scientist advising on the film.
It is always interesting to see how characters evolve from the beginning of a screenplay until they end up on the silver screen. We’ve seen in the past how just a re-written song took Elsa from the villain of Frozen to one of its heroes and we’ve also seen how Disney’s Beauty and the Beast was almost completely re-written to make Belle more of a feminist. This was also the case with Jane Foster in the 2011 hit Marvel film, Thor.
Natalie Portman starred as Foster, who is an astrophysicist in the film, forced to deal with the contrast between her belief in science and Thor’s seeming proof of the existence of magic. Of course, astrophysicist is a good deal different than Jane Foster’s career in the Thor comic books, where she was a nurse for decades before eventually becoming a medical doctor, as well. As the story goes (as suggested to me by my pal, Travis Pelkie), Marvel got the idea to make Jane a scientist from one of the scientists who helped Marvel as part of the Science and Entertainment Exchange, a project of the Naional Academy of Sciences that helps advise filmmakers about the science in their films.