Avengers: Age Of Ultron star Mark Ruffalo sent existing rumours spinning in early January that Cate Blanchett was going to play a villain in Marvel's upcoming film Thor: Ragnarok. There was a lot of excitement about the prospect, with such a high-profile (and talented) actress signing on for a comic book movie. But which villain could she be in talks to play?

According to reports, one villain Blanchett could play is Hela, the Asgardian Goddess of Death –one of Thor's classic comic book rivals. With her magical, strength-enhancing cloak, an army of the dead behind her, and the ability to destroy human foes and claim their souls with a single touch, she would make a pretty compelling adversary.

Hela Marvel Comics
Hela in the comics is a formidable foe, with her strength-enhancing cloak and superpower abilities Marvel

And Hela might even play a larger part in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the character popping up again in further movies. "There has been speculation that the character of Hela could replace the physical embodiment of Death that Mad Titan Thanos falls in love with when he obtains the Infinity Gauntlet in the comic books on which the Avengers: Infinity War movies are loosely based," according to Geek.com.

"The general thought is that having a character representing Death suddenly appear in a big Avengers movie would be more confusing to audiences than a character they already know represents Death from a previous movie.

"[And] now that Cate Blanchett is likely Hela, who wouldn't want this to be true just to see Blanchett and Josh Brolin [who will be playing Thanos] repel dozens of Avengers?"

This could be an exciting prospect and considering all of the buzz surrounding Blanchett given her role in Todd Haynes's 1950s-set romance Carol, getting her onboard would be great for Marvel. Her involvement would be on the same level as it managing to sign Michael Douglas (Ant-Man), Robert Redford (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and Tilda Swinton (Doctor Strange). Blanchett is no stranger to blockbuster franchises, having played elf ruler Galadriel in both The Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit films.

Described as a buddy road-movie between Thor and Hulk/Bruce Banner, Thor: Ragnarok is scheduled to reach UK cinemas on 27 October 2017 and US cinemas on 3 November. What We Do In The Shadows director Taika Waititi is on board to helm, while Stephany Folsom penned the last script. Marvel veteran Kevin Feige will be producing. Doctor Strange is set for release on 28 October 2016 in the UK and in the US a few days later on 4 November.

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