Most of the present interest on the Marvel Cinematic Universe is, understandably, focused on the impending Phase 3, which kicks off in earnest next year with the Star-Spangled Captain America: Civil War. While that the God of Thunder, Thor, will be noticeably absent from that film, he will be back for a solo adventure in 2017 with Thor: Ragnarok, and the development just took a big step forward by hiring writer Stephany Folsom to pen the script.
What We Do in the Shadows and Flight of the Conchords vet Taika Waititi was tapped to direct Thor’s third solo film back in October, and now THR reports that Folsom has joined the party, marking the first major move since.
Though Marvel has come under fire in the past for basically only hiring men in key behind the scenes roles like writer and director, they’ve started to rectify that situation. Folsom is the latest female writer the comic book giant has hired to work on high-profile upcoming projects. Nicole Perlman contributed to Guardians of the Galaxy and she is teaming up with Inside Out’s Meg LeFauve for Captain Marvel, which will also mark the first time a female superhero will take center state in a Marvel movie. There’s still a long way to go, but they are moving in a more equitable direction.
The Thor sequel, 2013’s Thor: The Dark World, was the first Marvel movie to hire a female director, Patty Jenkins. Though she was ultimately fired from the movie, and replaced by Alan Taylor (Terminator: Genisys), Jenkins will helm the first major female-fronted superhero movie, DC’s Wonder Woman.
As you probably noticed, Stephany Folsom is not exactly a household name. She did, however, land on the 2013 Black List—an annual compendium of the best, as-yet unproduced scripts floating around Hollywood—with her 1969: A Space Odyssey or How Kubrick Stopped Worrying and Learned to Land on the Moon. The story is an alternate history about how Stanley Kubrick and NASA teamed up to fake the Moon Landing. Folsom also wrote something called The Princess of North Sudan for Disney, about a man who claimed an area of Africa and declared himself the ruler, which is apparently based on a real story and something I totally want to watch now.
We don’t know a ton about Thor: Ragnarok, though in addition to Chris Hemsworth’s Asgardian, Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk will also show up in some capacity. Though we have no idea how this comes to pass, we hope that the two burly heroes embark on some type of buddy adventure while they attempt to stave off the destruction of Thor’s home world.
Thor: Ragnarok hits theaters July 28, 2017.