Going all the way back to the first X-Men film, Marvel fans have been trained to spot any and all Easter eggs and cameos that reference other elements of the larger Marvel universe. Despite the fervent fandom discovering a variety of cameos and Easter eggs in Thor: Ragnarok before the film had even been released, one surprising cameo managed to stay secret until it hit theaters this past weekend.
***WARNING: Slight spoilers below for Thor: Ragnarok***
Early on in the film, Thor battles Surtur and takes his crown back to Asgard to place in Odin's trophy room. When Thor arrives, he sees "Odin," who is actually Loki in disguise, enjoying a play that reenacts the ending of Thor: The Dark World. In the scene, Odin is played by Sam Neill, Thor is played by Chris Hemsworth's brother Luke and Loki is played by Matt Damon.
This scene not only allowed an opportunity to include some surprising cameos from well-known actors, but director Taikia Waititi knew this sequence would be integral to move the plot forward.
"I wanted to have an interesting way of returning to see Loki as Odin. Because I don’t know if people would remember him from the end of Thor: Dark World as sitting on the throne," Waititi told The Hollywood Reporter.
The secrecy around Matt Damon's cameo was so strong that even one of the film's screenwriters, Eric Pearson, didn't know about it until this year's San Diego Comic-Con.
"It was one of those, 'Don't tell your wife. You cannot tell anyone,' " Pearson shared. "[Marvel Studios executive] Brad [Winderbaum] took me over to the
"That stunt casting was even
Most fans instantly recognized Damon in the surprise cameo, but Waititi shared that, even if the moment took you out of the movie, it only adds to the scene's irreverence.
"It’s not a scene that is so important that cameos are going to be distracting. It was just a little bit of flavor. It was acknowledging the other films and kissing them goodbye in a fun way, with fun people," Waititi admitted.
And while they didn't share any scenes together, this film marks the first time that Neill and Jeff Goldblum appeared in a movie together since Jurassic Park.
Thor: Ragnarok is in theaters now.
[H/T The Hollywood Reporter]