Ahead of a production start date this June in Australia, Marvel Studios is bulking up the ensemble for Thor: Ragnarok, and the studio continues to hit it out of the park in Phase Three. The second Thor sequel already has Mark Ruffalo co-starring with Chris Hemsworth in a buddy-type galactic road trip story with Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett set as the villain and Jaimie Alexander returning as Sif, and now THR reports that Tessa Thompson—who broke out in a big way in last year’s Creed—has landed a “key” role in the Marvel sequel.
Who could this character be? THR speculates that Thompson could be filling the female lead role now that Natalie Portman’s time with the Marvel Cinematic Universe is apparently at an end, despite her character being the emotional center of Thor: The Dark World. Rumors have swirled that Ragnarok will introduce the comics character of Valkyrie, an Asgardian hero who led a group of warrior goddesses, so it’s possible that Thompson could be filling this role, which would be mighty exciting.
What We Do in the Shadows co-writer/director Taika Waititi is onboard to helm Thor: Ragnarok, and having seen Waititi’s upcoming adventure comedy Hunt for the Wilderpeople, I can attest that he’s got the goods to handle a project of Thor’s scale. I’m looking forward to seeing what he brings to the MCU not just visually, but tonally and thematically as well, especially given that the Thor movies have kind of been the weak spot for the MCU thus far.
Thompson is next set to star in Ex Machina director Alex Gardland’s incredible-sounding eco-horror adaptation Annihilation, in which she’ll star opposite Portman (ironically enough), Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, and possibly Oscar Isaac. And now it appears she’ll move directly from Annihilation to Thor: Ragnarok, which is slated for release on July 28, 2017.