Idris Elba Confirms His ‘Thor 2′ Return

Published 3 years ago by

Idris Elba Thor 2 Heimdall Idris Elba Confirms His Thor 2 Return

As Marvel Studios enters into its bold new post-Avengers era, there will be a lot of moving parts to keep track of. In the coming years we’ll be getting new rounds of superhero solo films (starting next summer with Iron Man 3), and there are still some unconfirmed  (but rumored) projects like Guardians of the Galaxy, which could introduce new heroes and villains into the mix – all leading up to another big showdown in Avengers 2.

Today we have a bit of casting news for Thor 2: Idris Elba, star of The Wire and upcoming projects like Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim, will be back for his supporting role as Heimdall.

Despite a lot of controversy over casting a black actor in the role of what is ostensibly a Norse god (i.e., a white character), Elba’s performance as Heimdall – the gatekeeper of Thor’s home realm of Asgard – was one of the highlights of the first Thor. While I’m personally bummed that the Prometheus star is tied to such a minor character in the Marvel cinematic universe – as opposed to playing, say, Luke Cage – he is one of my favorite actors working today, having proven his talent in projects like The Wire and the BBC series Luther.

Check out what Elba had to say to Collider about coming back to play Heimdall in Thor 2:

“I’d just like to get to know him a bit more. Who is Heimdall? He guards the gate. Okay. Is there anything else? I don’t know what is in the script because I haven’t read it yet. But, the audience has responded to Asgard and wants to know more about who lives there and what it’s about. I’m sure, if they do that, Heimdall will be featured more.”



Thor 2 to hit theaters in Summer 2013 Idris Elba Confirms His Thor 2 Return

Loki (Tom Hiddelston) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth)

Thor 2 will begin production later this year, in order to make its November 2013 release date.  We’ve already heard from franchise stars like Tom Hiddleston that the sequel will deal with the aftermath of The Avengers - specifically the ramifications of Loki’s actions (possibly in regards to failing his tyrannical ally, Thanos?).

That makes Thor 2 a potentially pivotal film in the second phase of the Marvel movie saga, and things like Heimdall’s role will be interesting to see take shape. If Loki’s machinations have put Asgard in danger (possibly under siege by some cosmic threat?), Heimdall will have to do more than just observe – he’ll have to kick a little ass as well. That would be pretty sweet, no?

Thor 2 is being directed by Game of Thrones producer/director Alan Taylor. It will be in theaters on November 15, 2013.

Source: Collider

TAGS: Thor, Thor 2
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  1. He didnt impress me in Thor, then again, his character didnt do much… Hopefully he has a larger role and is better then some big guy who can see far and has weird eyes… Not that it would be hard to do that is.

    • His part was small in “Thor,” but the way he played it is much more impressive if you know the comics & mythology of the character. He fit the role perfectly. I look forward to some more screen time from him as the god.

      • Agree @Ken…Heimdall is only a guardian sentry of Asgard who stands on the rainbow bridge Bifrost to watch for any attacks to Asgard. I think Elba did a good job as Heimdall.

        • I think he did great too, I do know the history in the comics, Im just saying that it wouldn’t be hard to make his character have a bigger role…

          Mostly because his role in Thor was tiny…

          • You think he “did great” too, yet you said “he didn’t impress me” …. okay?

  2. I thought he had an epic voice

  3. Elba having a bigger role in Thor 2 is a no brainer, Marvel is smart enough to cater to it’s mega fan base so they know what’s up. Can’t wait, bring on the Infinity Gauntlet!

  4. Out of the next batch of sequels Marvel Studios has planned for the next couple of years, I’m most excited for Thor 2.

  5. Erm….

    It was a miscast all together. He’s talented so he should’ve been given another role that would benefit more from it. His comments were questions he should’ve asked when he first got the role…

    I’m not sure if most people know but that really is all Heimdall does, Watch the bifrost. That’s…pretty much it. I wonder what they’ll come up with…

    • That is correct but he also does more. Being the ultimate guardian he can also see ALL that goes on around him, helping him to pinpoint potential dangers. So while he might not be an action oriented character, he has an important job.

      • Yup, He is gifted with sight beyond sight and hearing. They Could use this to the characters advantage but his post is supposed to be on the bifrost which is what kinda restricts his use….

        …Then again there are always ways around things….

    • All it takes is an excellent writer to make any character shine.
      If THOR 2′s writers do a good job, then I’m sure Heimdal will be even greater than he was in the first one.

      • i am reminded of the conversation he has with loki. Loki asks him if odin was ever threatened by him, he replies he didnt need to be because he was his king. Totally loyal, but the convo suggest hes an extremely powerful being in his own right if he can rival odin ( movieverse). Or maybe I didnt understand properly the subtext.

  6. Sweet thor 2 is gonna be awesome

  7. “Despite a lot of controversy over casting a black actor in the role of what is ostensibly a Norse god (i.e., a white character)”

    Thanks for including that. I think he IS a great actor but not every actor is suited for every role.

    And playing Luke Cage is a great match up!

    • I think he’d be better as Black Panther, I want to see an unknown for Luke Cage.

      • He’s too old for Panther. In his origins (when he becomes the king/panther) he is very young but calculating with a little bit of hubris.

  8. I want to see more Asgardians all around. Bring on Baldur and Valkyries. Or how about Hela, with all that’s going on with Loki I’d wonder what her reaction would be.

    • I agree plus I would LOVE to see Sif in an expanded role! She is a great character! Also, she could lead the Valkyries.

    • Baldur the Brave huh? Well, remember it would depend if Ragnarok already took place since he is absent. But yes, More Asgardians…

    • I really think Balder is a great option. They could explain that he was away on some adventure or mission during the events of “Thor.”

  9. Speaking of Avengers and super powers…

  10. I’ve always found the debate about Elba’s skin color very interesting in regards to the role of Heimdall.

    Think about the world of the Marvel Studios films: the Asgardians aren’t actually “gods” in the supernatural sense of the word, they’re advanced aliens with their own culture & history that humans once worshiped. The Asgardians came to Midgard & saved the human’s hineys a few times, the humans were influenced by Asgardian culture & ideas.

    If you accept all of the above (you should accept it…this is the premise of the Marvel Cinematic Universe) that means that the Asgardians don’t have to be all-white, just because the Norse people were all white. The Asgardians weren’t invented by white people, they exist on their own regardless of whether humans knew about them or not.

    People often said “Heimdall should be white because they are Norse gods” but the logic doesn’t pan out. The Asgardians weren’t invented by humans, so what those humans look like has no bearing.

    • Except for the little thing about skin color being earth specific. We have skin color diversity for a number of very specific reasons, none of them would necessarily apply to an alien race.

      You said it yourself…..”what humans look like has no bearing” So why on Asgard do they have to conform to earth’s ethnic diversity?

      • Color is earth specific? ROFL okay. Think about that for a second. Why are there people with differing melatonin levels? Because of different radiation exposures at different parts of a planet over thousands of years. Why would that be specific to one place in all the universe, when there are other planets and other masses orbiting other stars?

        Granted Asgard isn’t the size of a whole planet, so the exposure variations aren’t as…well..varied, and it doesn’t orbit a star so there’s that problem. But saying various skin colors would be Earth specific? No. No no no.

        • I never said “specific to one place in all the universe”. We are dealing with Earth so I limited the scope of the discussion, sorry if I didn’t make that clear.

          But just for you…..It is an adaption and mutation of HUMANS to our yellow sun and also based on geographical location. Why would an alien race form the same mutation or even be susceptible to OUR sun’s radiation? The answer is, the most likely wouldn’t.

          So an alien race could have different skin coloration (within their own race) but it would most likely be for different reasons and thus not be the same as Earth’s races.

          You also pointed out that that the Asgardian realm has no sun, no changing climate, etc. This further strengthens the argument against there being an earth type ethnic diversity.

          You might be able to get away with using the Æsir and Vanir being of two different races (they weren’t in myth however) but regardless Heimdall is Æsir just like Thor, Balder, Odin, Tyr etc. Of course Loki in Marvel’s universe is basically a stunted frost giant. So the Marvel version DOES have diversity but it’s more extreme. You have blue skinned frost giants, red skinned fire giants, and even black skinned elves.

          • Why would they be anything like us at all if they evolved separately from Earth? Wow, I really think the whole “advanced alien” explanation is lame. I’d rather it be some magical reflection of Norse mythology, some connection to Earth, like elves or something. And I don’t see any problem with there being a black man in a northern mythology. Mongel’s certainly got around and even explain Kyron the centaur who is mentioned as Achilles teacher in the Illiad. People got around. There were trading routes and ships, and people simply walked. It’s not inconceivable that one person of African descent ended up in the North. Genetic studies reveal closer shared ancestry between Europe and Africa than one would assume by skin color.

        • Who says they jst cant change their ethnicity, or other physical attributes on a whim? They seem to have the science to do anything. Heck with gene therapy we’ll be able to do some pretty crazy stuff in a hundred years… And asgardians are what? 10000 plus year more advanced that we are and more. At the point evolution take a bak seat and a people that advanced can self-determinate.

    • if you want to go that route then there are people who say comic books are for 13 yea old males before they start to grow up mentally!

  11. “But if cattle and horses and lions had hands or could paint with their hands and create works such as men do, horses like horses and cattle like cattle also would depict gods’ shapes and make their bodies of such as the form they themselves have.”
    -Xenophanes (thought to be the first recorded philosopher)

    Just some food for thought…I have no problem with Heimdall being whatever color or creed they like as long as it is a good actor portraying the character.

  12. I am really enjoying how they are tying all of the films together. I wasn’t a big fan of Thor 1 but after the avengers I think they can make Thor 2 much more interesting.

  13. I’ve always liked him as Heimdahl, so this is good news. I just want Thor to finally say, “For Odin…for Asgard!”; he should have said it when he destroyed the Bifrost.

    • “For Odin…for Asgard!”

      Yes Damn it! Yes!!

      That would’ve been epic…

  14. I don’t like them taking that kind of creative liberty with someone’s race. It’s just pure political correctness. Everyone is avoiding the fact that there are plenty of actors, actors who probably need more work than him who are every bit as talented, if not more-so, who happen to be white that would be ten times better suited for the role. I would be EQUALLY upset at someone casting Blade as a white man, or Cyborg as an asian man.

    • That’s really bizarre, that you’d be upset.

      Also, your entire argument could be used for the opposing viewpoint…they should use whatever actor best fits the role, regardless of skin color. You seem to be placing importance on something that has no importance.

      • well, “Ken” if it has no importance why are you reading it and replying to it? Why did the author admit it was controvertial? It was disappointing that they cast “Kingpin” as a black guy. He’s not black, in the Marvel Universe. Nor is Nick Fury. I’m upset at political correctness governing creative liberty. It’s silly. You also completely ignore my absolutely valid point that if they cast a black superhero, or an asian or latino superhero as another race that is not of the actual depicted cannonical race of the superhero in question, that it’s too much creative freedom away from the original creators of the character. If they had cast Banshee as a blond, it would have been quite disappointing. Rather than just ARGUE to argue, see someone else’s point for a change.

        • I’m reading and replying because it’s a film discussion site. News to you? Well, we’re all here on earth to learn so no shame there.

          By the way, it’s perfectly okay for someone to point out that some people think a thing is controversial, and then have a person come along and say “well, it’s not really important though.” If a thing is controversial for some people, that means they’re putting emphasis in their own minds when in fact, from a more objective sense, it’s not a huge factor.

          I don’t care if they want to feel that way about it, I just think it’s important for people to distinguish between “this is how I feel/what I think,” and “this is what is important or big in the scheme of things.” Often times they’re two different things. I can feel strongly about something, bu also realize it’s not important in the larger picture. Some people have a lot of trouble with the concept, but again life is about learning & growing.

          I didn’t ignore your point, I felt like you had made a point, I made other points, and I didn’t have to address every little thing you said because I agreed with what you were saying. Look, if you need attention that bad, where you have to pounce on people because they didn’t have a retort for each of your bullet points, I can’t help you. That’s a thing YOU have to deal with. I’m just here to talk about ideas behind films, not play Freebie Online Therapist.

          I like you. You seem like a nice lady. Just cut back on the hostility a little.

          • Ugh…..

        • Just FYI: Nick Fury is black in the comics. In the Ultimate Comics (which the movie-version is based on) Fury has always been an African American.
          And in the current, mainstream Marvel Comics, Nick Fury’s (the white, WW2 soldier) son (Nick Fury Jr – who is an African American military man) has replaced his dad as head of SHIELD.
          I.e. Nick Fury is black in the movies, in the Marvel 616 and in the Ultimate Marvel.

          • To the point where they actually modeled the Ultimate Universe Fury on Jackson, they asked permission to use his likeness.

            • Yup.
              Sam Jackson has pretty much been the guy to play Nick Fury ever since they (re)created the character back in 2001.

            • Ahhh…
              Thanks for clearing that up for me!
              I only just recently started reading the Ultimates and actually wondered how the hell could Nick Fury look so much like Samuel Jackson since the Marvel movies started coming out after the first of these comics…

        • You need to get ur facts straight before you post things.. Nick fury is black in the ultimate universe.

        • very silly Nick Fury been black in the comics for years

      • Well Ken, I disagree with you. There are times when the actors race IS important.

        When we had our little, “who should play Black Panther” discussion in another thread, some thought it HAD to be played by an African actor and thought a black American wouldn’t be right. Talk about splitting hairs.

        I do agree with Martimus though that people seem unphased by making Heimdall a black guy (when he has been Caucasian in both myth AND Marvel comics) but the moment someone suggests having a non-black actor play Blade, Luke Cage, Black Panther, etc. they get all hot and bothered. How many would balk at making Black Panther say female?

        Personally I don’t want to see traditionally black roles go to anyone else but by that same token I don’t want the reverse happen. If it’s a race (or gender) neutral role then great, but if there is some prescient they should keep it that way.

        • I don’t think it NEVER matters what race you use. It’s perfectly okay to say “well I think it’s better for them to stick with canon in this instance, but it doesn’t matter as much in that instance.” It’s much easier to say “they should always use the same ethnicity as the comics” or “they should never pay attention to that” but I think there’s more nuance to it than that.

          I get your point, I see where you’re coming from… I just don’t think it’s as simple as “well if people want an African guy to play an African guy, then that means an alien the Norse worshiped should be white.” Variation is okay, variation is good. That doesn’t mean we should just bone all precedence and throw it to the wind. It’s okay to go both ways… “we should stick with a rule in some cases, deviate from it in other cases.”

          *shrug* opening to new things, exploration, adventure. That’s all I really want out of these films.

        • I remember when Black Panther was female, they were good stories but I don’t think there were very many.

        • By the way, here’s a counter-point: Many of the most famous comic book characters we know and love today were created at a time when society was not so accepting of non-white minorities (maybe not so openly racist per se, but they didn’t really go for non-whites in starring roles). There were some minority characters, they didn’t enjoy nearly as much success as the white ones and didn’t become very established.

          Fast forward to today, and our media is much more accepting of non-white entertainers – even having one of the biggest and most bankable names (Will Smith) be non-white. So now that we’re cool with a more colourful cast, should the movies of today have their hands tied by character gender choices that were made way back when? What’s the harm in mixing it up a bit, when the story of a character isn’t necessarily hinging on his/her skin colour?

          I’m not saying to go and make an iconic character a different gender just for the sake of doing so. A black Superman might be cool, but that would just seem odd given his status in the minds of many, and how much his image is engrained in pop culture. Besides, that’s what Hancock was for ;-).
          What I am saying that for more minor characters whose image isn’t so engrained in the psyches of society, it can’t hurt too much to make them a little less vanilla.

          • Like you said when many of these comics were originally done, it was a different time and the characters reflect the backgrounds of the people that created them for the most part. Thing is now they are making these films in 2012 and want them to sell to an international audience, so they make some tweaks here and there.

            Aside from Idris playing Heimdall, they had an Asian guys playing Hogun. They also made it a point to show various minorities in Asgard, which I did find funny in a very self-conscience sort of way.

            • Hogun was based on Mongolian archetypes in the comics, his race was slaughtered by a powerful sorcerer. It’s not really specified (to my knowledge) where his people were from, if they were gods of a different pantheon or what. It’s only specified that he’s not an Aesir. I like to think he was one of the Mongolian gods but that’s a personal choice on my part.

        • u do realise it Marvel version of Thor they never follow Norse Thor properly. also Black Panther was a female also his sister took on the mantle of the Black Panther

    • I can see where you’re coming from.
      I guess they think they can get away with it for lesser known characters, based on the popularity of the actor.

  15. He was the best thing in the first film.

    He needs to be the next James Bond!

  16. I am honestly shocked at a few of these comments, seriously. It does’t matter if he is black or not, it matters which actor is best for the part, and Elba was a great choice for this part. I’m not saying Superman or Batman should be played by a black actor, but I wouldn’t be against it at all if it was the right actor for the part.

    The fact that there is so much discussion about Elba playing Bond, from fans and the actor himself, should prove that MOST people have moved forward. It is 2012 people.

    • Ah, back to the Bond gambit are we? The problem with that is, Bond has never been just one person. If the current 007 is “retired” another takes his place. This is what I consider a race neutral role.

      All I have to say is, I believe in sticking to the source material as it was written and that I have been reading for years if not decades.

      • But sticking to the source material can be a curse as well as a blessing, some of these sorts of stories are 50-70 years old. Times have changed, some are still relevant but others change. Nick Fury wasn’t always black in the comics but that changed and now that is how the character will be remembered.

        As for Bond, there is source material, there is zero precedent for him being anything other than white. But if anything, Elba would make the role better than its been for years. Discounting an actor based on the colour of their skin because it doesn’t strictly adhere to the source material is limiting.

    • I have to agree dude.

  17. Awesome I love Elba.

    I’m sort of wondering why it’s taken so long to get a really good “universe” series of films going. I mean Star Wars was the first kind of take on the continuing story idea but we’ve had comics for a loooooong time. It seems that if done right they could continue the stories in this Marvel-verse infinitely, exploring various characters and perspectives while all, CAREFULLY, tying them together for great continuity. X-men tried. Sort of. :/

  18. Elba was great as Heimdal – his screen-presence was immense IMO and he stole very scene he was in.
    I don’t think it’s a big surprise that he’s reprising his role and I’m hoping they do give him some more screen-time and a greater importance in Thor 2.

    That said, I also hope they give Sif some more screen time and a greater importance as well. Oh, I also hope they introduce Balder the Brave and The Enchantress and her Executioner.

    Make it so Marvel! Make it so…

  19. But and this is a big BUT;

    What have the Romans ever given us?

  20. u cann make some thing extra pocket mooooooooooooooney here (((((lazycash23))))

  21. Excelsior!

  22. I find the way Nick Fury has been portrayed in comics as highly amusing.
    When I began reading Marvel comics Nick Fury was recruited to head shield and he was white as he was when he headed The Howling Commandos! I remember the comic issue where is accepted the command of shield and Hydra tried to eliminate him by detonating a bomb on the shield helicarrier which of course he thwarted and it hardened his resolve to take down Hydra!
    Later he is portrayed as black??? Is this his son from the War?,Alternate universe?,Different Dimension?,Robot?.Andriod? What???

    I am interested in the reason for the change. Can someone explain?

    • Since Marvel released their “Ultimate Comics” (an alternate universe) back in 2001, Nick Fury was re-imagined as an African American — read ‘The Ultimates Vol.1′

      And in the mainstream 616 Marvel Universe, the old, white Nick Fury has retired as head of SHIELD and has been replaced by his son (Nick Fury Jr – who happens to be an African American) — read the ‘Battle Scars’ mini series.

      Reason for the change? Diversity. Why shouldn’t they change the character a bit?
      I loved the white Nick Fury that fought along side Cap in the comics, but I also have great respect for Ultimate Nick Fury (and his portrayal by Sam Jackson in the movies).

      • Aha,
        Thanks for that explanation!

  23. I’ve listened to everyone on this issue. Pedram made some valid points, so did Ken and Martimus. I admire the fact that we can discuss this with little rancour. I concede with Pedram that there are very few black comic characters worth bringing to the movies (probably why Hancock was created) and thus necessitating a race switch for certain characters. However, I am also a strong supporter of sticking to source material especially where there’s little ambiguity over the character’s traits or popularity in the comic universe. Hence, I was not too tickled to see Mr. Fisk being played by Duncan in Daredevil but really loved Elba as Heimdall (like The Avenger said- he stole the show in every scene he was in). This perhaps points to one of two things for me (1) the ‘size’ of the character (i.e. if less iconic) determines whether I’m bothered or not- Heimdall is not iconic- or (2) the quality of the performance may make the race change a non-issue (e.g. Elba and SLJ were stellar while Michael Clarke Duncan wasn’t IMO). Whatever the reason, it’s an argument that could go on and on because it’s quite personal.

    On the argument that there would be a backlash if Panther and Cage were made white just as Heimdall was made black, I think it doesn’t really fly because the definition/origin of both of these heroes are Afro-centric or race-based in a way unlike Heimdall. Panther is tied to Wakanda while Cage (who IMO lacks originality but is an icon no less) derives his identity from his street/(hiphop?)/’Shaft-like’ personality. At one time, his traditionally puffy yellow shirt, headband, side-burns and neck-chain were considered as racial profiling. Dunno how Cage looks now. I bet he’s not wearing them any more. So their analogy with Heimdall was flawed. Compared to them, Heimdall is racially neutral.

    For me, blacks, hispanics, asians could be used for lesser known traditionally white roles like Pedram said. Kingpin (Mr. Fisk) on the other hand was a strong, well-known (and loved?) villain so it was a serious gamble. Some however take it to the extreme though. I recall some fans threw a hissy fit when Jessica Alba was cast as Sue Storm and Ruffalo as Banner. Please…let’s learn to grow. If undecided, it’s always safer to be in middle of both extremes :).

    • Duncan sucked as Kingpin, then again the whole movie sucked anyway ;) However with Kingpin it seems like they picked Duncan because his body shape fit with the character and he was a well known actor. I don’t think they were trying to be politically correct.

      I suppose Heimdall should have been white but Elba did such a fantastic job it is hard to even care lol

    • Well Asgard is a Scandinavian creation so I’m not seeing your Afro-centric point. I’m sure we could dream up some story that put a white guy in the role of Wakandian prince (found as a baby and raised?) An we can’t find a white guy with a street attitude?

      I don’t consider Heimdall to be a minor character. I have loved Norse myth all my life and Heimdall, the ever vigilant guardian was one of my favorites (ok, they all were). He has been that way for a millennia and was written as Caucasian in Marvel’s comics (just like all the Aesir) for FIFTY years. Oh and Odin is his Father, explain that one ;)……So for me it’s about the characters history. The longer they have been written a certain way, the more ingrained in the canon they become for me.

      • in Marvel comics Odin aint Heimdall father at all only in Norse.

        • afaik that is never specified in the Marvel version so, considering about 80+% is the same from Norse Myth, it is guilt by association unless it specifically states otherwise.

  24. He could still totally play Luke, it is not like Idris is recognizable through all that armor, just his awesome voice.

  25. @mongoose, True. Asgard is a Scandinavian creation. But not in the Marvel Movie Universe. It was made clear that they were an alien race worshipped by the Scandinavians so it’s safe to say that Heimdall doesnt have to be Odin’s son in this universe. And even if he was, what’s stops Odin from having a black goddess for a mistress. Anywho, just putting that out we don’t over-analyze the issue. I’m a lover and casual researcher of anything myth: Greek/Roman, Norse, Egyptian, Aztec…so I feel you on myth distortions. But with Idris and Marvel Movie-verse’s Asgard I’d gladly make an exception.

    I’m sure you know your Panther and Cage suggestions are, with due respect, rather lame and wouldn’t get off the ground so let’s not dwell on that. What we should keep in mind however is that for yeaaarss caucasians have played roles traditionally meant for Asians, Arabs, oceanic races etc without much of a fuss (it was/is(?) more commercially viable)even when it made no sense. We may well see Ben Kingsley play Mandarin (he’s an excellent actor so I don’t really care btw). Even non-Western cartoon characters like Aladdin had a Western accent. Many don’t fret those details if the acting is stellar or if it doesn’t quite affect the story. If they told me Tom Cruise was a Japanese samurai and not a white guy who became one- now that would be silly. The Thor Movie-verse doesn’t give much detail on who Heimdall is (his mystery adds to his character) but it is clear on the cultural diversity of Asgard. Okay, another case in point: how many people are irked that a black man was cast as Oenomaus (Doctore) in Spartacus? It bends history yes but the man had such a stellar performance that few bother.

    Like I said its an argument that could drag forever because it has more to do with personal bias to a subject – not necessary on race but how far we want things to stick to source.

    • Yes but they are the actual gods in the Marvel universe and match very closely with the Norse myth they were taken from (not exact mind you but close). But if they are aliens why would aliens NOT from Earth share the same ethnic divergence with it? The fact is they in all likelihood wouldn’t. Hogun is an interesting deviation from that but we know he is not of Asgard while we know Heimdall IS an Aesir.

      As to his parentage……we know that He was born of 9 Jötunn maidens (all sisters) of the sea. Unfortunately this is where Marvel deviated and started making color coating their giants (although I believe all the mountain, rime and storm giants were fair skinned). Marvel never specifies who Heimdall’s parents are so at this point all we can do is reference the material Marvel did to create their version.

      And yes, my examples were intentionally lame on purpose. I did that to show just about anything can be circumvented if you try hard enough but the point is why try in the first place and not just go with canon? A black Heimdall made no sense to me in that context (no matter how un-iconic he is) and felt it was unnecessary and forced just to be ethnically diverse in our “modern” culture. It was not, imho, a race neutral role.

      So if Marvel ever used their African gods in a movie, should they start mixing and matching races to also make them more “diverse” or should they stick with an all dark skinned group?

      I’m also not seeing the correlation between bringing up the bigotry of Hollywood’s sorted past with today. It was a different era and we have all grown up and come to our senses (well, most of us I would hope) but that doesn’t mean we now have to force ethnic diversity where it doesn’t belong. We don’t need affirmative action anymore and I think we are all grown up enough to accept that.

      As I said, Heimdall has been a white guy for over 1000 years so turning him into a black guy (alien or not) I thought was wrong, I bear no ill will towards Ilba and thought he did a fine job (I actually like the actor) but the decision on the casting choice was misguided. They could have found a white guy to fill the role and do JUST as good a job.

      I’ve never seen Spartacus so I can’t comment on that.

  26. Its funny, in norse mythology Heimdall is called “the whitest of the gods”…And they got this black guy playing him. They do this just so no1 can say “Hey, u don’t have enough black ppl, ur a racist!” or “why can’t there be a black god? ur a racist”**cough- SPIKE LEE **COUGH!
    Look I can care less if the actor is black, I like that actor. but ppl (kanye) look for any excuse to pull a “ur a racist” card
    o its ok to make the white character black. But when the hell have we seen a black character turned white? if this happened, there would be a riot! like, If Blade had a white actor portray him then, “ur a racist he’s soposed to be black” N shyt like that. We just can’t do that. ooh ooh but its ok to turn the white guys black all the time, just to shut ppl up who wanna say “white boy studios is racist”! hey I hear Perry White is being played be a black man now….Fishburne is it? God forbid they bring Luke Cage on the big screen and have him played by a white man. white ppl live in Harlem to ya know!

    • Sometimes people take the “whitest of the gods” phrasing from the poetic Edda, and use that as evidence that casting Idris Elba as Heimdall is ever more ridiculous because of it. It’s important to note that some translations of the same phrase come out as “brightest of the gods,” and whether it’s “brightest” or “whitest,” given the poetic style and allegorical structure, you can be sure it has nothing to do with his skin color. Brightest/whitest refers to his intelligence and foresight, his knowledge of the unknown, considered in some of mythology to be greater than even Odin himself.

      • I agree with you on this one as direct translations of any language depends on the integrity and skill of the translators as just placing the punctuation in the wrong changes the meaning and emphasis of a sentence! Few people understand how complex a task it is and the skills required to produce the correct translation faithful to what the author intended centenaries ago!

        If you are interested in how complex and difficult the job is check this link Its about the history of how the bible was translated into English (I included it here because it demonstrates the extreme difficulty and hard work of accurate translation and not for any religious purposes)

  27. Yes, what u said is VERY true. but still, he was called “whitest of the gods” because in some legends it said he had ivory skin ( and gold teeth and nails lol) Heimdall is a white person in norse mythology and the comics. thats a fact.

    • It sounds like you’re making a leap in logic that I’m not making. When I explain what “whitest of the gods” means, it doesn’t mean I’m saying he wasn’t represented as white skinned like all the other norse gods. They said he had ivory skin as an allegory about his purity & dedication to his purpose (guarding Asgard & watching out for the beginning of Ragnarok).

      Yes, all the norse gods were white skinned, because they were invented by white skinned people. The description of Heimdall has “ivory skinned” was both a visual and an allegorical reference to more than his appearance. It’s common for higher concepts to be represented as tangible objects or visible markings.

      “Heimdall is a white person in norse mythology and the comics. thats a fact.” Yeah no kidding. No one claimed otherwise.

      • Just for the record….you are correct about why he was called “whitest of gods”. White is a metaphor/symbol for him being pure of heart/purpose and absolutely uncorruptable. If he speaks he will tell the truth.

  28. Yes I see what ur saying.I don’t have a problem with this Elba guy though. I really liked him in The RocknRolla and afew other movies.

    • If you enjoy his work, check out a great series he’s doing called Luther. I think the first season is on Netflix. It’s very good.

      • Agreed!
        Excellent series head by a fine lead actor in Idris Elba!
        It shows how good this man is and what range he is capable of
        when given a good script to work with.
        Do yourself a big favor and check his work out!

      • Will do.

  29. You make very valid points, mongoose, and I’m inclined to agree with you on most of them. However, I am of the opinion that most commentators should refrain from referring to the true Norse mythology as case for their arguments as Marvel’s Thor (created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Kirby) is ADAPTED from the myth and never promised to follow it verbatim. After all, there’s no lame alter ego called Donald Blake or an Eric Mastersons in the myth and I believe Ragnarok has occurred in the comics and Thor is still alive. On that premise, we should focus on Marvel’s Thor to complain about distortions and not the myth. Other references just seem like an attempt to celebrate our knowledge of the myth. We are referring to the Marvel character here.

    On that basis and on creative license, (granted in the comics Heimdall is white too)I believe Marvel can decide to change the race of a minor character in their cast if they deem fit. It is a Marvel movie after all and not Sony or Paramount. So it has Marvel’s/Stan’s full endorsement. We can grumble about it but hey that’s they way it is. Someone else can do a movie of Thor following the real Norse mythology (I know I’d watch) and cast everyone as white or Scandinavian with real ox-hide and all but this is Marvel movie-verse’s adaptation. Let’s deal with it

    • If you re-read my post you would note that I KNOW it’s an adaption. The thing is however it’s a fairly faithful one. As I said it’s about 80+% correct and Marvel embellished more than they actually outright changed. Can’t fault them for that since there really isn’t a ton of material to work with to build a deep Marvel mythos like Thor and Asgard.

      And I never said Marvel couldn’t change things. It’s their franchise and as such they can do whatever they want with it. Doesn’t mean I have to like or agree with every decision though.

      Truth be told they made a number of deviations (even from their own adaption) I didn’t like:

      - Heimdall being black
      - Allowing Laufey to live
      - Turning Asguard into aliens
      - Having the bifrost bridge “gate” be a high tech device.
      - Odin losing his eye in the war instead of to Mimir.
      - Heimdall having no horn at his side.
      - Hogun being Japanese and not Mongolian (there is a big difference)

      I could go on but you get the idea and Heimdall was just one of many issues for me. The Heimdall being black thing is the one that comes up most often is all. I admit many points are small and it didn’t stop me from enjoying the movie but they are personally irritating none the less for me.

      • In response to your points,

        I didn’t care about the “Heimdall being black” thing at all, because some deviation from the comics is normal and expected, and I knew that in the world of the Marvel films, it makes sense. People from other worlds are going to have the same variation in pigments that humans do, if they have sunlight and atmosphere and live in different parts of their world. Consider the physiological reasons for skin color and it makes sense.

        Laufey was killed in the film.

        Asgard being aliens makes sense if you think about the context of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They were trying to go for a more science-based setting, given that IM, TIH, etc. were based on science. Magic and the supernatural doesn’t fit that well if your whole premise is about realism and science. Personally, I would’ve loved it if they had introduced magic/supernatural elements but that’s not what happened.

        Bifrost being turned into a tech device…again, if they were aliens it makes sense, but this is another place where the supernatural would’ve been great.

        Odin losing his eye in the battle, yeah, if they had gone supernatural with this, the “losing an eye to the well” would’ve been way cooler. Sadly that’s not how it played out. I wish they’d just said outfront “these are gods, spirits of the earth, they had to escape to a home dimension for _______ reason.”

        Hogun & his horn, I think they’re dispensing with the whole idea of “Ragnarok is destined to happen,” because they don’t have destiny or prophecy in a science based culture.

        They didn’t say Hogun was japanese in the film, only the actor was japanese. My theory about Hogun (comics version) is that he was a member of the race that the Asiatic peoples worshiped as gods, it would be great if they incorporated something about his origins in the next Thor film.

        • No one will probably read this but…..

          - Since the Asguardians a NOT human and were not raised on a plant like ours there is absolutely not logical reason to have the same ethnic diversity we mere humans have. (I explained this in much more detail in an a response above.)

          - Yes but Laufey was supposed to have died in the initial battle.

          - So they can wield primitive “looking” weapons and archaic armor but when it comes to the bridge they have to go with a high-tech look? This was unnecessary flash imho.

          - Heimdall has the horn and it’s not just to announce the coming of Ragnarok but also to warn Asgard of any impending danger.

          - The thing about Hogun is, Mongols and Japanese don’t even look similar and don’t share even the same mythos. So to just lump them all into some generic “Asiatic” mythos is kind of insulting.