How Thor: Ragnarok might break new ground with its main villain

Marvel Studios is finally starting to diversify the races and genders of its superheroes. But what about its villains?

According to Cinemablend, Thor: Ragnarok might feature something we have not seen before in a Marvel Cinematic Universe adventure: a main villain who happens to be female.

Marvel is reportedly looking to cast a big name in the role of its first female primary antagonist. Cate Blanchett is one name that's getting thrown around, and that would be a major coup for the studio, but the less well-known Alice Eve (Star Trek Into Darkness) has also been mentioned in earlier reports.

As for who that villain is going to be, Enchantress is the name that gets brought up the most, and her debut in the MCU has been rumored as far back as Thor: The Dark World. With the Asgardian warrior Valkyrie also rumored to appear in Thor: Ragnarok -- and with Valkyrie having something of a history with Enchantress -- the odds that Amora will surface are great indeed.

But other candidates could include Hela, ruler of Hel and Niffelheim; Death, which would make the connection to Thanos that much stronger; Lorelei, who can seduce any man into doing her will and who has partnered with Loki a lot in the comics; and Karnilla, a sorceress who rules her own separatist region of Asgard.

The important thing, however, is that whoever the villain(ess) is and whoever plays the role, it adds a fresh new wrinkle to the MCU. The only truly evil woman we've met so far is Nebula (Karen Gillan) in Guardians of the Galaxy, and she was a supporting player to Ronan the Accuser. If this report holds true, Thor: Ragnarok will mark the first time in the MCU's 10-year history that a woman has taken the role of the central nemesis.

And let's face it: Loki aside, perhaps the greatest weakness of the Marvel movies so far has been their villains. Would a female shake things up? Who would you like to see Thor face, and which actress should play her?

Thor: Ragnarok opens in theaters on July 28, 2017.

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