Cate Blanchett will play Hela in the character’s live-action debut in Thor: Ragnarok, but the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Hela isn’t exactly the same Hela that has appeared in the Marvel Comics universe.
Instead, the Hela of Thor: Ragnarok is a kind of composite of the classic Hela and a much more modern Thor villain.
“A lot of the design of Hela is a combination of the early Jack Kirby stuff but also...especially his power set, the villain Gorr, who has a very specific power set of being able to manifest an infinite number of weapons,” executive producer Brad Winderbaum said during a press visit to the set of Thor: Ragnarok in Australia.
Gorr the God-Butcher is a character created by Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic in the pages of Thor: God of Thunder. Gorr was a mortal alien who came into possession of a powerful weapon called All-Black the Necrosword.
As Winderbaum mentions, All-Black is capable of manifesting itself into various shapes which Gorr then uses to commit serial deicide across the universe. The weapon even allows Gorr to spawn his own minions.
By grafting Gorr’s powers onto Hela, the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of the character remains incredibly powerful, but her powers become somewhat more defined.
“We are doing a version of that, not exactly, but a version of that for Hela in our movie,” Winderbaum explains, “because in the books Hela can kind of touch people and they die and sometimes she can do all sorts of different things and we really tried to specify and narrow it into very specific skill sets.”
That sounds like the kind of power it would take to challenge Thor and his new band of allies.
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Thor: Ragnarok opens in theaters on November 3, 2017.