Thor: Ragnarok is the best-reviewed film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Everything clicks; it’s weird, funny, and the cast — especially Cate Blanchett’s villain, Hela — are a joy to watch. It’s a really good thing, then, that Marvel didn’t waste Hela by making her the villain of one of the MCU’s most forgettable flicks, Thor: The Dark World, as originally planned.
In an interview with Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige, /Film asked about how the original vision for Ragnarok evolved. For his answer, Feige went farther back, explaining that the studio almost wasted their shot.
“Blue sky ideas always started on this film with Hela. We wanted to make Hela the villain. Hela was almost the villain in Thor 2,” Feige revealed. “It didn’t happen for various reasons. And thank God it didn’t because now we have Cate Blanchett and [director Taika Waititi] doing it.”
If you forgot who the villain of The Dark World ended up being, it’s okay, because the movie is a snoozefest. Thor’s sophomore solo outing saw him throw-down with Malekith, the Dark Elf who wanted to use an Infinity Stone to plunge everything into darkness. It’s not actor Christopher Eccleston’s fault, but Malekith is a nothingburger of a character.
Had Hela been the villain of The Dark World, there’s no guarantee that she would have been played by Blanchett (who really seemed like she was having fun hamming it up in the role). In any case, though, The Dark World almost certainly wouldn’t have been an overt comedy, like Waititi’s Ragnarok is. The new movie — and Hela’s over-the-top villainy within it — work because Ragnarok doesn’t take itself that seriously. The Dark World is painfully self-serious, so that version of Hela would’ve been no fun at all.
Feige is right: thank God.