The hype was strong this past week as rapid-fire announcements were made about Black Panther‘s expanding cast. Unfortunately, we have to wait two years to see Lupita Nyong’o and Michael B. Jordan accompany Chadwick Boseman on the big screen. To keep the hype train going, Marvel confirmed the actors and characters for a closer MCU installment, 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok.
Welcome Cate Blanchett, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, and Karl Urban to the Marvel Cinematic Universe!
Depending on how close they are to their comics counterparts, these characters will really shake up Asgard. In general, most fans seem to be excited over Goldblum as The Grandmaster, but personally I’m more intrigued by Blanchett’s Hela and Thompson’s Valkyrie. Let’s break it down.
Cate Blanchett as Hela
Blanchett’s practically a goddess on Earth, so playing this Asgardian goddess of Death shouldn’t be much of a stretch. Hela’s a force to be reckoned with: her abilities range from superhuman strength and telepathy to black magic and reincarnation. She also has a lethal touch and is a key player in Loki’s plot to bring about Ragnarok.
She’s also Loki’s daughter.
Technically an alternate Loki but let’s not get bogged down in details right now. So it should be interesting if the MCU adapts that relationship.
Karl Urban as Skurge the Executioner
Previously, I only knew Skurge through Marvel: Avengers Alliance. I thought he was just a generic axe-wielding brute, the brawn to Amora the Enchantress’ brains. But apparently he’s an antagonist with actual feelings. “Everybody laughs at Skurge…Whenever they laugh, I hurt inside.”
Damn. This dude just wants to be loved. His final stand at Gjallerbru is a truly iconic moment in the comics, and if you don’t mind spoilers you can see read some scans here. I really hope Urban gets to portray some version of this. For a flick juggling so many villains, including fan favorite Loki, I’d hate to see him get shafted.
Tessa Thompson as the Valkyrie
YAAASS QUEEN. Brunnhilde was selected by Odin to lead the mighty female warriors known as the Valkyior, who guide slain spirits to Valhalla. Valkyrie was also a love interest for Thor for a time, but in recent years she’s been a mainstay on Earth as part of The Defenders – here’s hoping this means Thompson will join the Marvel Netflix series down the line. I’m most excited by this casting choice, because they’ve chosen NOT to go with a comics-lookalike. #AsgardSoWhite
Jeff Goldblum as The Grandmaster
Goldblum playing an eccentric genius – typecast much? In comics, The Grandmaster is kindred to The Collector (remember Benicio Del Toro in Guardians of the Galaxy?): both are Elders of the Universe, ancient beings who briefly possessed the Infinity Gems. At the end of The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Thor heads back to Asgard to investigate the gems that have been resurfacing around the galaxy. It makes sense that his investigation will lead him to Goldblum’s Grandmaster, but I doubt Thor will take kindly to the man’s penchant for games of chance.