When Marvel officially announced the cast of Thor: Ragnarok , the studio released concept art showing a back-view of Hela — receiving an unwelcome greeting in Asgard. Three months later, in the midst of filming, a set video offered us our first glimpse at the two-time Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine, Carol) on set, but it was from faraway and she wasn't wearing her complete costume.
Now, thanks to the "Marvel Studios Phase 3" special feature, which is included in the Digital HD/Blu-ray release of Doctor Strange, we have our best look yet at the mysterious and powerful villain. In this piece of concept art, Hela — who has Blanchett's likeness and is donning the character's signature ornate headdress — looms over Thor and Loki in a New York alley. Based on what I know from set videos and the first Doctor Strange after-credits scene, I'll assume Hela appears before them while they are in search of Odin.
Hela was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, based loosely on the Norse goddess Hel, and first appeared in Journey into Mystery #102 in 1964. She was born in Jotunheim, the home of the Frost Giants, and is the daughter of Angrboda and Loki — a different incarnation of the character who died during a previous Ragnarok. Odin named her the Goddess of the Dead once she became an adult, granting her dominion over two realms: Hel, the home of the dead that are neither honored nor dishonored, and Niflheim, the realm of the dishonored dead. Unsatisfied with her domain, Hela is always interested in expanding her empire, especially wanting dominion over Valhalla — the land of the honored dead.
Thor (Hemsworth) is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok – the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization – at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela (Blanchett). But first he must survive a deadly gladatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger – The Incredible Hulk!”
Thor: Ragnarok is directed by Taika Waititi, written by Craig Kyle, and returns Chris Hemsworth starring as Thor and Tom Hiddleston reprising his role as Loki. They are joined by Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson and Karl Urban, with Mark Ruffalo and Anthony Hopkins.