Cate Blanchett’s Hela is one of the highlights of Thor: Ragnarok—but apparently, the character could’ve had quite a different entry to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, because Hela was originally being considered for the second Thor film.
Speaking to /Film, Kevin Feige revealed that at first, Hela was going to be the villain for the god of Thunder’s ultimately middling sophomore movie:
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. It didn’t happen for various reasons. And thank God it didn’t because now we have Cate Blanchett and Taika doing it.
The Dark World got Christopher Eccleston in instead, for a drab turn as Malekith, the sinister leader of the Dark Elves in the comics. But man, I think it’s safe to say that if Hela had been introduced in Dark World instead, it would’ve been a very different, and probably very grimmer, take on the character.
Thankfully it turned out for the best, because it’s hard to imagine a more perfect bit of casting for Ragnarok than Blanchett. But when you go to see the movie, spare a thought for the alternate Earth out there that got a Thor movie where Cate Blanchett wasn’t vamping it up and having a whale of a time as the Asgardian Goddess of Death.