Well ahead of its actual release date later this year, Thor: Ragnarok has Marvel fans whipped into a frenzy over the film’s lighter tone, new characters, and vivid sets and costumes. This third film in the Thor franchise looks like a wild (and welcomed) departure from previous films as it takes on a Guardians of the Galaxy-esque look and feel. The cosmic branch of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is expanding exponentially as things move toward a massive ensemble cast in Avengers: Infinity War.
However, for all the color that Thor: Ragnarok brings to the MCU, one major difference between the comics and the film is that Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster is not blue. Brother to an equally old, equally eccentric character called the Collector (Benicio del Toro) that we’ve met in previous Marvel films. Blue or not, the Grandmaster’s arena is certainly full of colorful characters pitted against each other — including a scene that was arguably one of the most talked about clips from the first teaser trailer.
There were previous mentions of character improvisation, but in an EW interview, Goldblum recalls his first meeting with Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi. On speaking about how Waititi approached Goldblum for the role, the actor had this to say:
“When we first talked, [Waititi] said, “I want you to do your particular version of this character without being comic-y or grandiloquent. I think you should do something that’s in your creative family tree. And also improvise.” He was very interested in improvisation. We came to all those scenes and riffed enjoyably for the time we had. I don’t know what’s gonna come out in the mix because we gave him a whole bunch of different choices, I’ll tell you that. He’s great. Taika Waititi gets 10 Goldblums out of a possible 10 Goldblums.”
Even after first being cast, Goldblum identified with the Grandmaster, calling the character an “enjoyer of life and tastes and smells.” He even threw fans a bone when teasing his “research” for his role. The Grandmaster is one of the oldest and most intelligent beings in the Universe. A veteran actor like Goldblum is sure to bring some gravitas to the role where a natural sense of humor and biting wit could easily be something the character picked up over his lifetime.
No doubt a testament to Goldblum’s unique quirks as an actor, Waititi seemingly hand-picked him to be himself. Goldblum continues to sing Waititi’s praises as he also mentions that he’s a big fan of the director’s previous films including Flight of the Conchords and What We Do in the Shadows. With Waititi’s eye for comedy and Goldblum natural talent, everything about Thor: Ragnarok is sure to breathe new life into the these characters and this particular franchise.