The rumor mill is aflutter at Disney with birth.movies.death leaking news from “sources deep inside Disney” on the Thor: Ragnarok script. Earlier this week we heard that the Hulk will be road-tripping with Thor across the cosmos; now Valkyrie (alter-ego: Brunnhilde) may be hitching a ride.
Since Ragnarok is about the Norse apocalypse, it stands to reason the band of Valkyries will make an appearance, escorting slain gods to Valhalla. But Marvel may use this opportunity to launch another female character by writing a prominent role for Valkyrie herself, who was charged by Odin with leading the female guard. Whether her sworn enemy The Enchantress will make an appearance is not known, but perhaps this could be a jumping off point for a full Valkyrie storyline in the MCU.
BMD also reported that this script for the Thor series has been deemed too dark compared to its predecessors, which are some of the most lighthearted of all Marvel’s films. The recent of addition of Taika Waititi (Flight of the Conchords) as director was, in part, to address this, but new a new scriptwriter may be brought in to help.
Last year there was a bit of fuss about Marvel’s female heroes when the comic division announced the new Thor would be a female. While some fans accused Marvel of bowing to political correctness, others celebrated the news, debating their favorite superheroines. (By the way, according to the Guardian the female Thor comics are outselling the last Thor series by 30%.) Marvel responded to the criticism by upping the exposure on more female characters, including Captain Marvel, and Ms. Marvel.
With its gender-balanced cast and strong female roles Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has performed well on TV, alongside Agent Carter, but Marvel’s film division has continued to ooze testosterone. This summer, in response to Scarlett Johansson’s role in Age of Ultron, and comments made by Marvel’s CEO about how superheroines aren’t profitable, fans launched a campaign to get Black Widow her own starring vehicle. DC enthusiasts smugly pointed out that Wonder Woman will hit screens long before Marvel ever made a change.
But it seems now that headlining their own franchise may not, in fact, be the best move for Marvel heroes of either gender, so being written into a good ensemble plot could be the best position to be in. The Thor franchise has already been more inclusive of female characters than most films (to the point of conspicuous) with Sif, Frigga, and Jane Foster providing critical plot elements. So while it would be cool to see Valkyrie join the happy Thor family, better yet to see her incorporated fully into the larger cinematic world.
Watch for announcements on actresses meeting with Marvel and we’ll see what’s in store. Who would you hope to see in the Valkyrie role?