‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Director Taika Waititi On Casting Tessa Thompson As Valkyrie

Tessa Thompson Valkyrie banner

Valkyrie will be making her big screen debut in next year’s Thor: Ragnarok, which is currently filming at the Village Roadshow Studios in Australia. The character will be played by Creed star Tessa Thompson, who recently arrived on the set of the movie to start filming her scenes alongside Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston and Mark Ruffalo, who have all been there for about two weeks now.

In a recent interview with Comic Book Resources to promote his latest movie, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, director Taika Waititi discussed why he chose Thompson for the role:

“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. 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 director then went on to talk about how he managed to get the likes of Cate Blanchett, Karl Urban and the internet’s favorite actor, Jeff Goldblum, on board:

“I think a lot of them having seen how good the other Marvel films are, they want to be part of that. Superhero movies are seen like really ridiculous, cartoony things anymore. There’s a time and a point where you really wouldn’t want to touch superhero movies, especially in the mid to late ’90s and definitely in the ’80s. There were a lot of very ridiculous and possibly career-ending move to make if you were an actor. But I think that the reputation of Marvel is very high. The things that they do is very high quality and they tell good stories. That’s the main thing. That’s why I got involved with them as well. At the heart of it they want to tell good stories, and that’s what I’m about as well. I’m not about explosions and the like. I like that stuff. I think it’s fun to do, but it’s not why I became a filmmaker. The thing I love is character and story.”

Starring Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Idris Elba as Heimdall, Sir Anthony Hopkins as Odin, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/Hulk, Cate Blanchett as Hela, Jeff Goldblum as the Grandmaster, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie and Karl Urban as Skurge, Thor: Ragnarok opens in theaters on November 3, 2017. Are you excited?

Source: CBR (via ComicBookMovie)

Michael Bezanidis

Michael Bezanidis

Michael is the Managing Editor of Heroic Hollywood. When he's not playing video games, he's usually writing about film and television.

  • Marquis de Sade

    Ladyboo Tessa be FIIIINNNNEEE!

  • SAMURAI36

    This has the fail of Elba as Heimdall written all over it.

    • So you have terrible opinions about most things and you’re racist. Awesome.

      • SAMURAI36

        Yeah, except I’m BLACK, &$$-jack. So, I’m “racist” against who, exactly?

        Go head, reply with something dumb, I dare you.

        • Steve Steve

          Wow… So you’re like… a SUPER racist?

          • SAMURAI36

            Wow, & to think, I used to be amused by you simple-
            minded f&ckers. Now, I’m amazed by the number of idiots I have on my ignore list.

            And guess what, genius…. You just got added to the list. All praise due to the Disqus gods, for adding the ” block” feature.

            Buh-bye now.

          • Chris Schroeder

            Is that a thing now?? Disqus stepped their game up lol

          • SAMURAI36

            Indeed they did.

          • The block feature is awesome. This was the last time I had to read anything dumb from Sammy.

    • Darthmanwe

      Elba as Heimdall failed because Elba, rightfully so, hated the characterization and his role with it.

      For all we know, Tessa loves this role and will nail it beyond doubt.

      • SAMURAI36

        Did you really just say Heimdal failed because of Elba??? Like, with a straight face?

      • Blurberry

        I guess it will depend on writing. I’m worried of rumors of her being Thor’s love interest myself. That would be disservice to character in my books.

  • unpaidpundit

    Will Tessa Thompson be wearing the metal breast cups?

  • Axxell

    I would’ve much rather him cast her as a non-white goddess to establish the existence of other deities, before giving her the role of a nordic character…hell, he’s from NZ; maori mythology has a female thunder goddess…why not go with that if he wanted to “diversify”?

    • Darthmanwe

      I think I know the answer to that, complexity overload. In your version, using a different deity from something other than Norse mythology suddenly expands you into a whole different nest of origin where you need to explain and on and on…

      Make her Valkyrie, you keep it in Asgard AND in Marvel canon(I suspect that’s the most important part). Really, going into other fonts of mythology? That’s jumping the shark at its finest.

      • Axxell

        Marvel Comics have done it themselves; ever heard of Hercules?

        • Darthmanwe

          They’ve tried to retcon that misstep at least 5 times, all in failure. Hercules was Stan Lee’s weak attempt to go into Greek mythology, an area where DC has staken a big claim in, so he tried to undermine the “distinguished competition”, but of course, it was never gonna work due to Marvel not preparing any sort of dynamic backstory for that version, especially in a universe where Asgardians pretty much rule supreme in terms of mythology.

          Not everything comics does is good. In fact, both big companies’ past is filled with ideas that are just too dumb and stupid to work.

          • SAMURAI36

            Very true. Marvel has Herc & Ares, but nothing of value to show from either. If I were Marvel, I wouldn’t so much as touch those characters, even though they are eminent domain, merely because DC has the Greek pantheon on lockdown. Kinda like how DC doesn’t touch Thor, even though that’s eminent domain as well.

          • Axxell

            I don’t see where Marvel has tried to “retcon” the introduction of Hercules…in fact, he’s getting his own comic series as we speak. Makes no sense to publish a book about a character you’re trying to get rid of, but maybe that’s just me…

          • Darthmanwe

            Retcon as in fix his abrupt entrance. Tried to give him a proper backstory, twice almost, both failures since that immediately requires going into further than just zeus’ son stuff, once tried to erase him even before first civil war, and if I’m not mistaken, he has been transported into secret war as well.

            My point is, Stan Lee made a huge mistake in bringing a single character without his pantheon behind him, and Marvel has been trying to smooth that out-of-place characterization since.

          • Axxell

            It seems they’re doing just fine with him considering they’re giving him a monthly title; again, I see no evidence of there ever being a problem with him being in the Marvel Universe, other than you claiming it was a mistake for, reasons.

      • SAMURAI36

        I think part of the problem is that Marvel knows it has a diversity problem, & they are desperate to fix it, even though they don’t know how. Marvel’s answer to everything seems to be “more, more, more”.

        So now they’re like: “oh I know… Let’s throw a black chick in the mix. Never mind the fact that it doesn’t make sense historically. The fans will never notice (btw, the CEO of Marvel–the same one that donated to Trump–TWICE–actually said that last statement about Black actors)”

        So, welcome to Marvel. Hope you stay awhile, even though they probably don’t want you, depending upon what you look like.

        • Axxell

          I know you can’t waste an opportunity, however irrelevant it might be, to take a shot at Marvel, but really…bringing up Perlmutter’s political donations? This is coming off as obsessive.

  • unpaidpundit

    Isn’t Valkyrie bisexual? Will we be seeing that aspect of her personality? If I had to bet on it , I would say, “Nope.”

    • Darthmanwe

      Valkyrie being bisexual has ZERO affect on her character, but then again, I’m not a super fan of Thor comics, so maybe she had a side story that makes that aspect super important. Going by what I know, you don’t need to reference her sexuality at all. Or romantic attachment, or anything.

  • Darthmanwe

    Forget the skin color and the diversity issues and all that…

    One thing I’m wondering is, will Tessa Thompson be ripped for the role?

    Coz Valkyries are immortal battle maidens, and a, pardon my expression, stick figure Valkyrie will make me angry for story reasons more than anything else.

    • SAMURAI36

      Hollywood is never gonna use overly muscular actresses for movies like this. You’ve never seen it thus far, and you’re likely never going to.

      • Darthmanwe

        I don’t need bodybuilders, or comic book versions which are super muscular.

        I’m fine with the actress herself, all I’m wondering is that if she is training heavily to gain at least some muscle definition. The Tessa Thompson we saw in Creed had none.

      • As sad as this is, you’re 100% right. Which is just wrong, because I know so many women who are very much into buff ladies. But that doesn’t matter, since Hollywood is all about the straight male gaze.

    • SAMURAI36

      Okay, I’m getting your point now. And it’s true, she was more of just a cutie pie in Creed. This is like casting Jesse Eisenberg as Superman.
      All the more reason that this just appears to be a “diversity” grab, more than anything else. I know I’m not a Marvel fan in the slightest, but I wouldn’t have high hopes for this film, if I were.

  • Blurberry

    I’m not too into race-bending roles. I’m familiar with this character from comics, one of my favs really so there will be just big disparity in looks. Also Marvel does have character of all races already and there is option of creating original characters as well so I don’t really get why there is need to race-bend.