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Plus confirmation for Odin’s return.

Man, I just got significantly more excited for Thor: Ragnarok. The Thor franchise has always been Marvel’s weakest link, but Marvel seems intent on changing that with its latest installment. In a surprise press release, Marvel announced the full cast list for the upcoming super hero film, which includes none other than Jeff freaking Goldblum.

Via Marvel:

Two-time Oscar®-winner Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine,” “Carol, “Cinderella”) joins Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok” as the mysterious and powerful new villain Hela, along with Jeff Goldblum (the upcoming “Independence Day: Resurgence,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Jurassic Park”) who joins the cast as the eccentric Grandmaster, Tessa Thompson (“Creed,” “Selma”) who will bring the classic hero Valkyrie to life on the big screen, and Karl Urban (“Star Trek” trilogy, “The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King”) who will add his might to the fray as Skurge.

Rounding out the cast for the film is three-time Oscar®-nominee Mark Ruffalo (“Spotlight,” “The Kids Are All Right,” “Foxcatcher”), reprising his role of Bruce Banner/the Hulk from “Marvel’s The Avengers” and Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”

Thor’s new cast members join returning stars Chris Hemsworth (“Rush,” “In the Heart of the Sea,” “Ghostbusters”) in the title role for the fifth time; Tom Hiddleston (“Crimson Peak,” “The Night Manager,” “Kong: Skull Island”) as Thor’s adversarial, adopted brother, Loki; Golden Globe® and Screen Actors Guild Award winner Idris Elba (“The Dark Tower,” “Luther,” “Beasts of No Nation”) as the Asgardian sentry, Heimdall; and Academy Award®-winner Sir Anthony Hopkins (“Silence of the Lambs,” “Nixon,” “Hitchcock”) again portraying Odin, Ruler of Asgard.

In case you wondering who the hell Grandmaster is, here’s a picture:

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Now I’m going to be honest, I know absolutely nothing about this character other than he is an Elder One, similar to the Collector, but imagining Jeff Goldblum playing a character that absurd looking is pretty great, and I hope that the page-to-screen translation of the character remains faithful to the comics, if only to see Goldblum in that costume. Here’s hoping he laughs as ridiculously as his past characters.

We got a few other confirmations in this list as well. Cate Blanchett has been known to be attached to the film for a while, but we now have 100% confirmation that she is playing Hela, the film’s villain. This article’s header image is official concept art from Marvel, giving us our first look at her and her ridiculous hat. I’m glad Marvel is staying relatively faithful to her design (seen below), and I believe  Blanchett is going to knock it out of the park.

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One casting choice announced that seemingly came out of nowhere is Karl Urban’s casting as the villain Skurge, also known as the executioner. Now Skurge is usually found protecting the villain the Enchantress, who was one of the characters rumored for Blanchett to be playing. I’m assuming Skurge will instead be protecting Hela, but who knows. I’m always happy to see Urban cast in another major roles. From Lord of the Rings, to Dredd, to Star Trek, Urban is often the unsung hero of mega movie franchises.

Tessa Thompson was officially confirmed for her rumored part as Valkyrie, and will replace Natalie Portman as Thor’s love interest. I’m not very familiar with Thompson’s work, but I always dug the character, and replacing Jane Foster will always get a thumbs up from me.

The talent for Ragnarok is seriously stacked, as well as the talent behind the camera in director Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows). I didn’t think it was possible for me to get excited about the Thor franchise again, but here I am. Don’t let me down Marvel.

Thor: Ragnarok hits theaters November 3, 2017.

 

 

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