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

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.