While Guardians of the Galaxy wasn’t the first Marvel film to explore the cosmic side of the MCU, it did give us our best look at the various planets and factions that exist out in deep space. Meanwhile, the Thor franchise has also teased various worlds and realms, each housing races and cultures different from our own. With the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok being billed as a cosmic roadtrip, it’s likely to flesh out the Marvel Cinematic Universe even more. We’ve already seen some colorful alien people teased in some behind-the-scenes images, and know the movie will partially adapt the Planet Hulk storyline that sent Bruce Banner’s alter-ego to space.
That last bit will see Hulk all geared up as a gladiator, fighting on the alien world of Sakaar. We’ve known for sometime that this would eventually put him into contact with Thor, and a fight between the two behemoths has been teased by star Chris Hemsworth. At some point, they’ll make amends, which is good considering there are more threats out there to face. Cate Blanchett will be playing the movie’s main villain, Hela, the Goddess of Death. The ruler of Hel, we’ve had hints that Thor and his friends would somehow run afoul of the Queen of the Underworld during the course of the film.
Now, thanks to a new EW cover story, Blanchett has teased just what Hela’s journey in the film will be all about:
“She’s been locked away for millennia getting more and more cross, and then, with a mistake, she gets unleashed and she ain’t getting back in that box.”
The interesting thing to note is that Hela is imprisoned in Ragnarok. In the comics, she’s appointed by Odin and relishes her position of power. It’ll be interesting to see how the film alters this, and whether Hela is trapped in Hel or rather kept away from it. Meanwhile, it looks as if her accidental freedom arrives early in the film, as Hela’s battle with Thor will be what sends him to Sakaar. Hemsworth talked a bit about the planet to EW, affirming that he too will be a gladiator in the arenas:
“[Sakaar is] basically where every wormhole across the universe dumps out its trash, so you get people from all walks of life with all sorts of incredible abilities and powers. No one cares what prince or king Thor may have been in another world. Also, his strength is pretty easily matched with those he finds himself amongst.”
That last bit is likely alluding to Hulk, and the earlier part might be where those alien images we saw come from. During all of this madness, we know Loki will also be popping up in the film. Last we saw, he was impersonating Odin on the throne, so it’ll be fascinating to see how’s he’s forced to team up with Thor once again as they battle Hela. Of course, in the comics, a version of Loki pre-Ragnarok (essentially the Norse/Asgardian cycle of rebirth) fathered Hela with a frost giant in Jotunheim. We doubt the movie will go that deep into comic lore, but expect a slight nod or Easter egg.
Ragnarok‘s idiosyncratic director Taika Waititi has already teased plenty of laughs and spectacle from the new film, so expect a different tone from the last Thor movie. Instead, the film looks to be much more in line with Guardians and Waititi’s work on things like What We Do in the Shadows. From everything we’ve seen so far, it’s going to be an exciting cosmic romp and another hit for Marvel.