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Thor: Ragnarok Director On Casting Tessa Thompson As Valkyrie

Jay Jayson

07/17/2016

In the comics, the Asgardian warrior goddess Brunnhilde the Valkyrie is depicted with blonde hair and blue eyes, but Thor: Ragnorak director, Taika Waititi, wasn't going to let those physical attributes limit which actresses could play the part. In the end, he believed Creed and Westworld star Tessa Thompson was the best choice to bring the longest-serving member of the Defenders to life on the big screen.

"Right from the start we wanted to diversify the cast, and it’s hard when you’re working with Vikings. [Laughs.] You want to be more inclusive and provide a broader representation," Waititi told CBR. "And at that point, you have to look at the source material as a very loose inspiration. And then take it from there and go with your gut. Say, “You know what? None of that stuff matters. Just because the character was blonde and white in the comic book. That doesn’t matter. That’s not what [that character] is about.

"People forget that. Die-hard fans will say, 'That’s not really authentic to the comics,' but as soon as they watch the movie, and they’re involved in the story, and actually what’s happening, everybody forgets. The fact that we even have to keep having this conversation is ridiculous, because we keep forgetting. Unless it’s the topic of the film, it just shouldn’t even be — what do we even care?

"I think the story is king, and you want the best person for the job. And Tessa tested against — we cast a very broad net, and Tess was the best person."

The cast of Thor: Ragnarok features returning stars Chris Hemsworth (Rush) in the title role for the fifth time; Tom Hiddleston (Kong: Skull Island) as Thor’s adversarial, adopted brother, Loki; Idris Elba (The Dark Tower) as the Asgardian sentry, Heimdall; and Sir Anthony Hopkins (Silence of the Lambs) again portraying Odin, Ruler of Asgard. Newcomers to the franchise include Cate Blanchett (Cinderella) as the mysterious and powerful new villain Hela, Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park) as the eccentric Grandmaster, Tessa Thompson (Creed) as the classic hero Valkyrie, Karl Urban (Star Trek) as Skurge, and Mark Ruffalo (The Avengers) reprising his role of Bruce Banner/The Hulk.

Thor: Ragnarok, the third installment of Marvel’s popular Norse Super Hero, is directed by filmmaker Taika Waititi. Kevin Feige will produce the film, joined by executive producers Louis D’Esposito, Brad Winderbaum, Victoria Alonso, Thomas M. Hammel and Stan Lee.

Thor: Ragnarok will be released on November 3, 2017.

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