Cate Blanchett Is Returning To Marvel As Hela

Cate Blanchett is returning as Hela in an episode of the second season of Marvel's What If...?

By Nathan Kamal | Published

Cate Blanchett will return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Hela, Goddess of Death, in the upcoming second season of What If…? Per Laughing Place, What If…? director Bryan Andrews revealed at the Lightbox Expo that the Thor: Ragnarok actress had recorded dialogue for an episode featuring her character, though he gave little detail other than that. Andrews did mention that the second season of the animated Marvel show will pick up immediately after the finale of the first, so it will be interesting to see how Cate Blanchett might be worked into the mix.

Of course, What If…? is pretty much the easiest way to bring a character back to Marvel, considering it inherently deals with stories of parallel realities and alternate timelines. As narrated and monitored by Uatu the Watcher (Jeffrey Wright), each episode of the series involves key moments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and how things might have gone differently. The first season already showed us what would happen if Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) had received the Super-Soldier Serum instead of Steve Rogers (Josh Keaton, taking over for Chris Evans), what happens if Ultron (Ross Marquand) had succeeded in taking over the Vision’s body, and what would happen if Thor (Chris Hemsworth) liked to party even more. 

It seems very likely that Thor will show up again when Cate Blanchett returns to Marvel as Hela, though there are several possibilities of how this could happen. For one, What If…? could go back to the events of Thor: Ragnarok, in which Cate Blanchett’s exiled daughter of Odin (Anthony Hopkins)conquered Asgard and ultimately died in its destruction. Any number of small decisions could lead to an entirely different story, like one in which Thor and Hela team up or Hela defeats Thor and Loki (Tom Hiddleston).

Or, the writers could go back even further, to the primordial time period in which Cate Blanchett helped Odin conquer the universe and tell a story back then. Perhaps Hela’s rebellion against Odin turning to a peacetime King of Valhalla succeeded, with maybe the Valkyries (who all died fighting her in mainstream Marvel continuity, except Tessa Thompson) taking her side in the battle? 

Or, maybe (bear with us here), some kind of cosmic force assembles a dark version of the group of heroes that Uatu banded together in the season one finale of What If…?, so we get Cate Blanchett brought back to take down Thor another time. That’s the nice thing about parallel universes: literally anything could happen. 

The second season of What If…? does not have a confirmed release date as of yet, but will likely streaming on the Disney+ platform sometime in the first quarter of 2023. Cate Blanchett will be showing up for at least one episode, as will a number of the voice actors from season one, including Hayley Atwell, Jeffrey Wright, Elizabeth Olsen, Taika Waititi, and Jeff Goldblum. We are also likely to see a number of surprise voices and intriguing alternate versions of faces we’ve come to know, and we’re already pretty excited for Cate Blanchett to be back.