With the first look at Thor: Ragnarok being unveiled just this past week, many are increasingly curious at how the Marvel Cinematic Universe film will come together, and how the film's new characters will factor into it.
This is certainly true with Valkyrie, who is being played in the film by Westworld actress Tessa Thompson. While some naysayers questioned the initial casting of Thompson in the role, as Valkyrie is traditionally white and blonde in the comics, her upcoming performance in the film has already been embraced by many.
Thompson recently spoke with Entertainment Weekly, and explained that she's not only aware of the significance her performance has in terms of diversity, but she's embracing it.
"Yeah, it’s really great. We have so many conversations particularly now about representation in film. I think the unfortunate thing about a lot of these fantasy movies is when they’re based on source material a lot of these comics were written in a time when that wasn’t a part of the conversation as far as having representation. Not just having characters that reflect the world we live in, but how we represent the characters."
Thompson also pointed out that superhero films have often strayed from the source material in terms of costuming, and that it was a priority for her and those involved with the film to dress Valkyrie in a more sensible way.
"If we were also dedicated to the source material," Thompson explains, "Valkyrie would potentially be a female Thor but she’s fighting in basically a bathing suit, which is also absurd. So we had a conversation of, what is a strong look? Like, she should probably be in pants. That probably makes more sense for the kind of work she’s doing. And we had conversations about her sort of feeling like a tomboy and having a certain masculinity about her while still being very much a woman."
Ultimately, Thompson reiterates the significance of her character appearing in Ragnarok, especially when combined with other diverse projects in Marvel's slate. "It’s such an exciting time to be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, like you look at a cast like Black Panther. I think it’s really important for little boys and little girls to go to these movies and see themselves reflected on screen. I’m really excited about this generation of young women that can look at a screen and see some brown people in space. I’m happy to join Idris Elba [who plays Heimdall in the Thor films], so he doesn’t have to be the only one. He’s lonely!"
Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok – the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization – at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first he must survive a deadly gladatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger – The Incredible Hulk!”
The cast features Chris Hemsworth in the title role for the fifth time; Tom Hiddleston as Thor’s adversarial, adopted brother, Loki; Idris Elba as the Asgardian sentry, Heimdall; Sir Anthony Hopkins again portraying Odin, Ruler of Asgard; Mark Ruffalo reprising his role of Bruce Banner/the Hulk; Cate Blanchett as the mysterious and powerful new villain Hela; Jeff Goldblum as the eccentric Grandmaster; Tessa Thompson bring the classic hero Valkyrie to life on the big screen; and Karl Urban will add his might to the fray as Skurge.
Thor: Ragnarok is directed by Taika Waititi, written by Craig Kyle.
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