It turns out there’s a reason why Jeff Goldblum’s The Grandmaster isn’t blue in Thor: Ragnarok, like his comic book counterpart. Guardians of the Galaxy properly introduced the first Elder of the Universe to the MCU with the Collector, following his appearance during the credits of Thor: The Dark World. The Grandmaster is also an Elder of the Universe and in the world of Marvel Comics, he’s a genius with cosmic power who loves playing various games with living beings. He and the Collector often join together in these schemes, in fact, and it’s rumored that the Elders will play a larger role in the MCU in the future.
In Ragnarok, The Grandmaster will be running the gladiator arena on Sakaar. where Thor and Hulk do battle. Thanks to some images and the Thor: Ragnarok teaser trailer, we now know Goldblum will look as the character. While his appearances differs slightly from the comics, it matches the more over-the-top appearance of the Elders. It also pairs nicely with Benecio del Toro’s take on the Collector. Still, some fans have wondered why Goldblum isn’t blue-skinned, like in the comics.
IGN spoke with Ragnarok director Taika Waititi about this very thing, and he had a rather amusing answer:
“Because he [Jeff Goldblum] did another movie where he was blue.”
You’re undoubtedly raking your brain right now, trying to imagine Goldblum as a blue alien. For all but a few, however, that task will be difficult as Waititi is referring to the cult film Earth Girls Are Easy from 1988. Mostly shown on cable late at night, it’s the type of thing Waititi would be all too aware of and a funny excuse for altering the Grandmaster from the source material. The director went on to add that Goldblum’s unique style encouraged him to not obscure the actor too much, so that he could shine on his own. Considering Goldblum’s idiosyncratic presence as a performer, it’s certainly a smart move.
Luckily, the lack of blue skin won’t hinder the schemes of the Grandmaster. His arena, though colorful, will likely spell trouble for our heroes. That said, it will get fans as close to Planet Hulk as they’re ever likely to get in the MCU. We’ve also learned that gladiators such as Korg and Miek appear in Ragnarok, furthering strengthening the movie’s ties to the fan-favorite Planet Hulk comic arc. The next full trailer for Thor: Raganarok – a preview that could debut at Marvel’s Comic-Con panel this summer – may provide a better idea of how both these elements and the Grandmaster figure into the film’s storyline.