The list of world-class talents who have joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe might be about to add one of the finest actresses of her generation.
Variety reports that Australian star and two-time Oscar winner Cate Blanchett is in talks to take on the female lead in Thor: Ragnarok. The trade cited multiple sources for the info, although Marvel itself has yet to comment and probably won't until Blanchett officially signs the deal.
The role itself is unknown, although it was reported last month that it could be the movie's main villain -- a first for Marvel, whose only significant female villain so far has been Nebula in Guardians of the Galaxy. Blanchett's name was floating around at the time as well, along with contenders like Alice Eve, Jessica Chastain and Emily Blunt.
There are several major female baddies that Blanchett could be playing, including Amora the Enchantress, Hela the Asgardian goddess of death, frequent Loki ally Lorelei, and Karnilla, a sorceress who rules her own separatist region of Asgard. The betting money is on the Enchantress, a major player in Thor's comic-book adventures.
Whoever she ends up playing, if Blanchett accepts the part she will join a roster of actors that includes other Oscar winners like Robert Redford, Tilda Swinton, Anthony Hopkins, Jeff Bridges, Tommy Lee Jones and Michael Douglas.
Blanchett, who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 2005 for The Aviator and a Best Actress Oscar in 2014 for Blue Jasmine, is a shoo-in for another Best Actress nomination this year for Carol (she was just nominated for a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild award for that film). But she's no genre slouch either, appearing as Galadriel in both of Peter Jackson's trilogies, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, and as the sinister KGB agent Irina Spalko in Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
And now she might land a plum role in her first comic-book movie. Thor: Ragnarok is being directed by Taika Waiti (What We Do in the Shadows) and will star Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Tom Hiddleston as Loki and Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/The Hulk. It's due out on Nov. 3, 2017.