If you’ve seen Captain America: Civil War, then you know that a point is made of the glaring absences of Thor and Hulk. But if you’ve been paying attention to the these things – and I really hope you were because otherwise I’ve been writing these articles for nothing – then you would also know that the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok will see the two superhero powerhouses off on a cosmic road trip that could just bring about the complete Asgardian apocalypse. And now we finally officially know who else will be joining them.
Marvel officially unveiled the film’s lead cast over the weekend, and there were a few big name surprises next to Chris Hemsworth’s Thor and Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner/Hulk. First off, Jeff Goldblum is officially joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe! The fan-favourite Jurassic Park and Independence Day actor has been tapped to play the Grandmaster, who in the Marvel Comics universe was one the eternal Elders of the Universe. Like the other Elders, the Grandmaster’s origins are unknown, and his vastly powerful wielding the very primordial energies of the universe. His claim to fame though, is that he is obsessed with skill and chance and gets his cosmic jollies from fostering conflict between two parties and watching the fallout. In the comics he was once also the wielder of the Mind Gem – one of the six Infinity Stones – but lost it to Thanos. With the Infinity Stones and Thanos acting as the overarching story of the entire MCU, it’s a fairly good bet that will come into play somehow.
Also joining Goldblum in his MCU debut is Creed‘s Tessa Thompson. We had already known that she would be in the movie, but now it’s been officially confirmed that she will be playing Valkyrie, a female Asgardian warrior who is a bad-ass superhero in her own right, and has been both a warrior-in-arms and love interest for Thor. She was also chosen by Odin to lead the Valkyrior, the fabled warrior goddesses who would lead fallen warriors off the field of battle to halls of Valhalla. Seeing as the MCU’s Asgardians are just powerful aliens and not gods, I don’t expect to see much of that.
Another powerful Asgardian warrior is Skurge the Executioner, who will played in the movie by none other than Karl Urban (Dredd, Star Trek). In the comics, Skurge and his magical double-bladed axe is a frequent foe of Thor, usually at the manipulation of the villainous Enchantress – who Skurge is deeply in love with – or Loki. In one famous storyline though, he actually fought on the side of the good guys during a mission in the Asgardian Hel (which is exactly what it sounds like, despite the one missing “l”), sacrificing his axe so that Ragnarok can be stopped. And since this movie is subtitled Ragnarok…
That also brings us to the the last bit of big official casting news, as the rumours have now been confirmed that Cate Blanchett is indeed playing Hela, the magically powerful ruler of Hel. In the comics, Hela is the Asgardian goddess of death and actually the daughter of Loki. Well, at least the daughter of a different Loki from a previous timeline (because comics).
It’s uncertain how much of her comic book origins will be retained in her feature film debut, though it appears that Marvel Studios will be retaining her iconic costume if this piece of newly released concept art is anything to judge from.
All of these actors/actresses will of course be joining the previously mentioned Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo as Thor and Hulk respectively, as well Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Idris Elba as Heimdall, and Sir Anthony Hopkins as Odin. That one seriously potent cast lineup – a fact which Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige was quick to point out.
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. 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.
Thor: Ragnarok is being directed by Taika Waititi (Things We Do In the Shadows) and is scheduled for release on November 3, 2017.
Last Updated: May 23, 2016