Cate Blanchett joins cast of Marvel’s ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ as main villain

Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson and Karl Urban have also joined the 2017 movie's cast

Cate Blanchett has joined the cast of the next Thor film, titled Thor: Ragnarok.

The Australian actress, a two-time Oscar winner for The Aviator and Blue Jasmine, will play a “powerful new villain” called Hela, described in the Marvel comics as the Asgardian goddess of death.

The news of Blanchett’s casting in the role of a lead villain comes just days after Iron Man 3 screenwriter Shane Black claimed that Marvel barred him and co-writer Drew Pearce from making the film’s villain female, in a bid to sell more action figures. Black told Uproxx: “We had a female character who was the villain in the draft. We had finished the script and we were given a no-holds-barred memo saying that cannot stand and we’ve changed our minds because, after consulting, we’ve decided that toy won’t sell as well if it’s a female.”

Jurassic Park and Independence Day star Jeff Goldblum has also joined the cast as the “eccentric” Grandmaster, an ancient and supernatural character with mysterious powers.

Other new cast members are Tessa Thompson (Creed, Selma), who will play Valkyrie, and Karl Urban (Lord of the Rings, Star Trek) who plays Skurge.

They join a cast that includes Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Mark Ruffalo as Hulk and Sir Anthony Hopkins as Odin.

The film is set for release on November 3, 2017. It follows on from 2011’s Thor and 2013’s Thor: The Dark World, both of which also starred Hemsworth and Hiddleston.