The cast of Marvel's upcoming Thor: Ragnarok is shaping up nicely with the inclusion of actors Cate Blanchett, Karl Urban, and Jeff Goldblum.
Academy Award winning actress Cate Blanchett has joined the cast of the Thor sequel. She will be playing the primary villain, Hela, who, in Norse mythology and in the comics, is known as the ruler of the realms of the dead. She also happens to be Loki's daughter which will make for another interesting family dynamic in the story.
Blanchett is well known to audiences for playing Elizabeth I in two films; she also portrayed the Elf Queen, Galadriel, in the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies.
Incidentally, she will be joined by a fellow Rings alumni in the upcoming superhero movie.
Karl Urban who played Eomer in the Two Towers and Return of the King, will be working closely with Blanchett. His character, Skurge, will act as the right-hand man and executioner of Hela; he will also wield a double-bladed axe as a weapon.
These two will be joined by Jeff Goldblum as a calculating Edler by the name of the Grandmaster. Another significant addition is Tessa Thompson (Selma, Creed) who will play a Valkyrie, a warrior-goddess in the realm of Asgard. This is especially important since this will be the first super-powered black female character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. (Zoe Saldana, who played Gamora in Guardians of The Galaxy, is of predominantly Latino and African descent but appears on-screen as a green alien.)
Marvel Studios also confirmed that Mark Ruffalo will be making an appearance in Ragnarok as Bruce Banner and The Hulk.
“The sheer, raw talent each of these actors brings to the screen can’t be quantified,” Kevin Feige , the President of Marvel Studios said in a statement. “Having any one of them join the Marvel Cinematic Universe would be an honor, and having all of them is incredible.”
One major female character in previous Thor films won't be coming back for the third outing, though. Natalie Portman, who plays the scientist Jane Foster, who also happens to be Thor's primary love interest, won't be reprising her role. Feige has attributed this to the fact that Ragnarok will be set in the celestial parts of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Since Foster is Earth-based, there is not much sense in pulling her to Asgard without a valid reason, especially when the realms are in danger.