The following contains spoilers for Thor: Ragnarok.
The villain Hela, portrayed with gusto by Cate Blanchett, is one of the highlights of Thor: Ragnarok despite her somewhat limited screen time. The goddess of death makes the most of her appearance, chomping the scenery and Asgardian defenders with ease and style. While Hela is the only real, true villain in the film, an earlier version of the script actually saw her facing off with another of Thor’s enemies. According to Thor: Ragnarok screenwriter, Eric Pearson, the destroyer armor from Thor originally made an appearance.
I always want the villain to be really … not-Disney. I want to give them moments where they’re really massacring or crushing people, and she has that great entrance where she takes everybody out. [Originally it was extended,] and they were like, ‘This is a bit repetitive, and we don’t have the days to shoot it.’ There was [also]a scene where she thought they were hiding the sword in the armory, this big fortress. She goes up, and the destroyer armor comes out to take her out, and she just rips that thing apart too, just to call back the destroyer armor. And it just felt like an extra beat that we didn’t need. We needed to get Thor pushing back to Asgard as fast as possible.
Fans will likely appreciate his desire to make Hela feel truly brutal and dangerous and not misunderstood or impotent. The film largely succeeds with this as Hela proves more than a match for Thor and Loki, and she easily lays waste to Asgard’s defenses. But as Eric Pearson told Yahoo, the extra beat of having her face off with the Destroyer, while it would have been a nice callback and barometer of her power, was ultimately unnecessary. The Destroyer proved a worthy foe for a Thor in the first film, but it is not very interesting or something fans have been calling for. The film’s tone and editing help it to move along at a good clip, so it was wise not to needlessly extend a scene at the expense of that.
While cutting the Destroyer was for the best, Hela could have probably used more screen time in the film. That is not to say more time wrecking shop, but perhaps a bit more shading to her character. Sure she is the baddest god in the nine realms, but beyond being a princess scorned, there’s not much to her. Marvel villains are often criticized for their lack of depth and personality, Loki notwithstanding. Hela succeeds without much depth and that is largely due to the magnetism and strength of Cate Blanchett’s performance. While we may or may not see her again, she is one of the standout villains due simply to Cate Blachett and the destructive effect Hela had on the MCU.