Hela was originally expected to be the villain of Thor: The Dark World before Marvel Entertainment overrode the decision in favor of Malekith. Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok are considered in totally different terms, with the former often regarded as one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s weakest motion pictures and the latter as one of the best in the franchise. One of the greatest marks in Thor: Ragnarok’s favor is its villain, Hela, played by Cate Blanchett.
Malekith was not the original villain planned for the film, with Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige confirming in 2017 that it was “almost” Hela. Now, in The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe by Tara Bennett and Paul Terry, maker Craig Kyle reiterates Hela was the original villain in Don Payne’s pitches for Thor: The Dark World. In any case, Marvel Entertainment’s concerns over female action figures drove the team to utilize Malekith and the Dark Elves instead.
This is far from whenever Marvel Entertainment first utilized toy sales regarding female action figures to impact a MCU film. Rebecca Hall’s Maya Hansen was originally set to be the main villain of Iron Man 3, however the idea was dropped also because of a fear of low toy sales for female characters. The villain job instead became Aldrich Killian. This rationale is also why Black Widow and Gamora were often avoided with regard to merchandise for The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy.
The intruding in Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World, along with the difficulties in the background between Marvel Entertainment and Marvel Studios over the closure of Captain America: Civil War, brought about Marvel Studios turning into a separate division and announcing straightforwardly to Walt Disney Studios in 2015. Not long after this, Marvel Studios dismantled the creative board, and Hela was announced as the primary villain for Thor: Ragnarok in 2016. Marvel has kicked the original idea that female legends and villains don’t sell, as Captain Marvel made over $1 billion around the world, Black Widow finally got her own performance film, and the studio is hard grinding away on projects focused on Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk, and Ironheart.