There's been a lot of buzz about Marvel's three films coming this year. While Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has the benefit of the first film being a huge hit and Spider-Man: Homecoming has fans excited to see the ever-popular Spidey brought into the MCU, no one's been quite sure about Thor: Ragnarok. The first Thor was well-received, but its sequel left fans and critics less impressed. The addition of Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows) as director on Ragnarok has certainly made some ears perk up - as the idiosyncratic filmmaker is promising to bring Thor back to his comical roots from the first film.
Ragnarok has also benefited from its stellar supporting cast, which we finally have our first looks at thanks to yesterday's EW cover story. We now know how Jeff Goldblum looks as Grandmaster, who will add some much-needed color to the MCU. We also got our first look at Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, Cate Blanchett as Hela, and Thor's new hairdo. Blanchett also revealed a little bit of Hela's backstory, which will be key to Thor arriving on Sakaar and meeting gladiator Hulk.
As EW continue to roll out their interviews, we now know a lot more about Blanchett's character thanks to a sit-down with the Oscar-winner. For fans wondering how accurate the concept art of Hela was that showed her rocking her ornate headdress from the comics (see below), never fear. Blanchett will not only wear it, but it's more than just an accessory:
"Yeah. She’s able to manifest weapons. Her headdress can be weapons. She can manifest weapons out of different parts of her body. I won’t tell you which — I’ll leave that hanging."
Given the look of the headdress, it's not surprising it can be used as a weapon. The reveal that Hela can generate weapons from her body is an exciting one, and will prove to be quite troublesome for Thor and his friends. Blanchett said she and Waititi talked in-depth about when it would be appropriate for Hela to wear the piece and when she'd be unmasked, and the actor revealed she's now well-versed in her character's comic book backstory. Naturally, the conversation also touched on Hela not only being Thor's first female villain, but the first female big bad in the film side of the Marvel universe:
"Can you believe it? Can you believe we’re having this conversation and it’s 2017 and we’re talking about the first female villain? It’s ridiculous. There’s so much untapped potential villainy in women. It’s really exciting. I think finally it’s beginning to be acknowledged that women and men want to see a diverse array of characters, and that’s race, gender across the sexual spectrum."
While the TV arm of the MCU has featured a number of lead female villains, they've been mostly backup in the movies. Nebula, for instance, is more of a general of sorts in Guardians, whereas Dr. Maya Hansen, once set to be the main villain of Iron Man 3, was relegated to Aldrich Killian's assistant. Blanchett spoke about the lack of opportunities in genre and action films for women, and how Marvel are helping to change that:
"Well let’s face it: as a woman, these opportunities have not in the past come up very frequently and I think there’s a revolution happening from within Marvel. I’ve seen so many of the Marvel franchises, particularly being the mother of four. They tend to be the only type of film particularly having young boys. But for me as an actor, this is separate is my desire to work with [director] Taika Waititi."
On working with Waititi, Blanchett said she watched his previous films and grew quite curious as to how the director would mix his sensibilities with those of the Thor franchise. It's certainly something we're all wondering, and has left some fans excited and other trepidatious. We'll now before too long if it works, however, as a trailer is bound to be right around the corner and Thor: Ragnarok will be in theaters before we know it.
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