If you’ve been itching to see Jeff Goldblum bring his immense talent to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, itch no more. Marvel Studios today announced the full cast for the upcoming sequel Thor: Ragnarok, revealing the characters that will be played by previously announced Cate Blanchett and Tessa Thompson, and adding Goldblum and Karl Urban to the ensemble. And hoo-boy does this sound exciting. They are as follows:
- Cate Blanchett as Hela
- Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie
- Jeff Goldblum as Grandmaster
- Karl Urban as Skurge
Blanchett is indeed playing the Thor sequel’s villain, and she’ll be bringing to life the comics character Hela, a powerful villainess who was appointed goddess and ruler of the northernmost realms of the dead, where she oversaw the souls of all who did not die in battle. As Odin’s focus grew more broad, Hela attempted to annex the realm of Valhalla, which houses the souls of those who did die in battle, leading to a pretty epic tet-a-tet in which Odin’s band of Valykrior, the custodians of Valhalla, lost their physical forms.
This leads directly to Thompson’s character, Valkyrie. The Creed actress will bring to life the idealistic feminist leader of the Valkyrior, marking a mighty exciting addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Goldblum, meanwhile, will be playing “the eccentric” Grandmaster, one of the oldest living beings in the universe and one of its Elders, who is capable of traversing space, time, and the dimensions, which could serve as a strong connection to the upcoming Doctor Strange. Grandmaster also has close ties to Thanos, as in the comics its his losing of one of the Infinity Gems that leads to Thanos gaining the ultimate power of the Infinity Gauntlet. And finally we have Urban as Skurge, a somewhat minor villain in the comics universe who will likely serve as a more physical antagonist to the film’s heroes, Chris Hemsworth’s Thor and Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk.
Keep in mind that Marvel Studios has yet to adapt a comics story arc or character beat-for-beat, so some of the film interpretations of these characters may be markedly different. But still, this is a pretty insane lineup of talent and promising characters. Here’s what Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige had to say about the casting additions:
“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.”
What We Do in the Shadows filmmaker Taika Waititi is directing the picture, and the Marvel press release also adds that yes, Tom Hiddleston reprises his role as Loki alongside the return of Idris Elba as Heimdall and Sir Anthony Hopkins as Odin—who, as we last saw in Thor: The Dark World, may or may not have been killed by Loki who assumed the physical form of Odin. Noticeably absent from the cast list is Jaimie Alexander, who plays Sif in the franchise, and the Earthbound cast members Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Dennings. It was recently revealed that Natalie Portman would not be returning.
So yeah, this is incredibly exciting. We know that Thor: Ragnarok will take place mostly in space, and with the addition of Hela it sounds like we’ll be delving heavily into mythological territory, with Goldblum’s Grandmaster potentially serving as a bridge to the massive Avengers: Infinity War epic. The Thor franchise has been something of the black sheep of the MCU, but Rangarok certainly has the makings of the best Thor film yet. Here’s hoping.
Production begins this summer ahead of the film’s July 28, 2017. Check out the first piece of concept art below.
And here are some of the comics iterations of the characters mentioned above: