Captain America: Civil War kicks off Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe next summer by bringing together almost all of the heroes introduced in the franchise so far, along with several new big ones. In fact, the ensemble is so big that there are only two Avengers missing from the feature, but the following summer will see those two adventure off together in Thor: Ragnarok.
The third Thor - opening in theaters fall 2017 - brings back Chris Hemsworth as the Asgardian Avenger but unexpectedly teams him up with Mark Ruffalo's Bruce Banner a.k.a. Hulk. Reports claim that the film may also introduce Valkyrie, an important female character from Marvel Comics lore who often serves as an Earth hero, but she might not be the only new lead female character joining Thor 3.
Lainey Gossip claims that Thor: Ragnarok is set to introduce the "first major female villain" but have no details beyond that. Female antagonists in the Marvel Cinematic Universe are nothing new, but like their more heroic counterparts, female characters haven't been headliners. No female character has served as the main hero or main villain of any Marvel Studios feature film. Phase 3 aims to fix that by following the lead of their comics division in pushing diversity. Thankfully, 2018's Ant-Man and the Wasp finally headlines a female superhero, and the year following, Captain Marvel leads her own solo origin film.
But on the villain side, Marvel isn't currently developing any villain-focused projects. Agent Carter, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Daredevil, and Guardians of the Galaxy all featured female antagonists, most notably being Nebula (Karen Gillan) who returns for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. (which begins production in February) but none of these characters were the "main" villain of their respective stories.
Thor: Ragnarok may change that which is a bit of a surprise given the speculation that Surtur, the devilish leader of the Fire Demons of Muspelheim, seemed to be the obvious next big bad from the Asgardian mythos. If the report is indeed accurate and if the "dark" script by Christopher Yost and Craig Kyle - which will reportedly be made lighter by writer-director Taika Waititi - is adapting characters faithfully from Marvel Comics, here are some likely candidates:
- Knorda - super strong Asgardian warrior queen of the Mountain Giants.
- Enchantress - not to be confused with Cara Delevingne's Enchantress in DC's Suicide Squad movie, Marvel's Enchantress (real name: Amora) is one of Thor's most dangerous and magical villains. Amora's sister, Lorelei, actually appeared in an episode of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..
- Hela - Loki's child and the Asgardian goddess of Death. Could be altered to not be Loki's daughter and could also serve as a connection to MCU big bad Thanos who's in love with "Death"
- Karnilla - The queen of the Norns, overseers of the destinies of Asgardians. Karnilla actually helped teach magic to Enchantress and the Norns played a crucial role in Avengers: Age of Ultron (albeit mostly in a deleted scene) to share with him information on how to defeat Ultron and what would happen next to Asgard.
Of the four, Enchantress seems a good bet and was subject of many rumors and reports for the first Thor movie when it was unclear who the villains of the film would be. She's tied to many important Thor stories and characters and usually works with her right hand, the Executioner.
Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige promises official news in the near future and with production gearing up in the summer, the next few months should see several casting announcements. The film represents Marvel Studios' first feature to be shot in Australia, where Disney also recently made Pirates of the Caribbean 5.
Who do you want to see introduce in Thor 3?
Captain America: Civil War will release on May 6, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange - November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 - May 5, 2017; Spider-Man - July 28, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok - November 3, 2017; Black Panther - February 16, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 - May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp - July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel - March 8, 2019; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on May 1, July 10 and November 6, 2020.
Source: Lainey Gossip
Enchantress art by Javi García.