May 24, 2016 04:47 AM EDT

New 'Thor: Ragnarok' Cast Revealed; Natalie Portman's Absence Explained

The new, star-studded "Thor: Ragnarok" cast has been revealed. The film is slated for release next year.

According to BuzzFeed, Marvel has announced the new stars for the "Thor: Ragnarok" cast. They will join Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston who will reprise their roles as Thor and Loki, respectively.

Cate Blanchett, who recently played the stepmother in "Cinderella," will be joining the "Thor: Ragnarok" cast as Hela. The new character is the Asgardian Goddess of Death, as per THR report.

Jeff Goldblum and Karl Urban will be in the sequel as The Grandmaster and Skurge, respectively. It is believed that the addition of The Grandmaster in "Thor: Ragnarok" is a sign that the film will lead into 2018's "Avengers: Infinity War."

Tessa Thompson is set to portray Valkyrie. She initially appeared as a disguise created by the Enchantress to incite gender-based rebellion in "The Avengers" No. 83.

"The continuation of the epic 'Thor' franchise will be powerful and unique, and with the additions of Cate, Jeff, Tessa, Karl, and Mark to the cast we have the makings of his most dangerous and heroic adventure yet," Kevin Feige said in the Marvel announcement. "The sheer, raw talent each of these actors brings to the screen can't be quantified. Having any one of them join the Marvel Cinematic Universe would be an honor, and having all of them is incredible."

Meanwhile, Natalie Portman will not be a part of the "Thor: Ragnarok" cast. /FILM reported that Feige explained her absence from the sequel in the Empire podcast.
Apparently, the "Black Swan" actress is not part of the "Thor: Ragnarok" cast for "many reasons." One of which is the setting of the sequel.

"There are only a couple of scenes on Earth in this movie; 80 to 90 percent takes place in the cosmos," he said. Stellan Skarsgård, who portrayed Erik Selvig, is also not a part of the "Thor: Ragnarok" cast.

There are speculations that Thor will develop a romantic interest in Lady Sif. The character is portrayed by Jaimie Alexander and has been confirmed for the sequel.

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