Idris Elba is a familiar face in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but he does wish his role was much bigger. Elba was one of many stars to join the MCU in Phase 1, but instead of signing up for a starring role, he joined in a supporting one as Heimdall. This role has kept Elba in the loop of the MCU, appearing in both Thor films that have already been released, having a cameo in Avengers: Age of Ultron, and now set to appear once more in Thor: Ragnarok.
In each of his appearances, Elba makes a lasting impression and his continued rise in popularity has seen him routinely be at the top of lists for other big roles in Hollywood. Whether that puts him as The Gunslinger in a once hopeful franchise in The Dark Tower or as a fan-favorite to play John Stewart in the DC universe, he is still awaiting his turn in the spotlight. As it turns out, he wishes that could come in the MCU.
EW spoke with Elba about his Marvel role, where he revealed this to be his true desire. He mentioned that unlike many others in the movie industry, he is not tired of franchises and superhero films, and is actually interested in doing even more. Since he is already in the MCU, he went on to praise the universe and the direction Ragnarok takes, but also opened up about his true desires:
I like that I have a little part in Thor. I’m neither movie star or day player. It allows me to do other things I love. The last one [Ragnarok] was fun. The others weren’t fun. They’re work. But on this one, Taika [Waititi, the director] was great. I wish I was more present in the Marvel family. I like what I have, but I also wish that I had a bigger character in the Marvel universe... It’s been great, but I kinda think I need a bit more. I want to be a superhero. I like the idea of that.
Since he has only been a supporting character thus far, there is no doubt that Elba has not had the amount of screen time that many have wanted him to get. However, based on what we know in Ragnarok, he could have his biggest role yet. With the Soul Stone all-but-confirmed to be revealed in Ragnarok, fans may finally learn if Elba has secretly been a key figure this entire time. Also, as shown in the new photo above, Heimdall is also off on his own adventure, sporting a new look. Potentially spoilery rumors have pointed to what may have put him on this path, but Ragnarok could be his time to shine.
That all said, there is no doubt that Elba could be the superhero he desires, it just may not happen in the MCU. Barring Heimdall's death or a complete reset of the MCU canon, Elba is locked into this role and Marvel Studios has never used someone of Elba's stature to play two different roles.
If Elba is serious about getting into the superhero game in a larger form, it may require him to jump ship and join up with Warner Bros., Fox, Sony, or one of the other smaller comic book cinematic universes. How likely that is to happen is up to Elba and his schedule, but he certainly sounds like someone ready to lead his own superhero franchise. Should it happen, there is little reason to believe Elba couldn't handle it, but for now we'll have to see what his future holds in the MCU as Heimdall.
- Thor: Ragnarok (2017) release date: Nov 03, 2017
- Black Panther (2018) release date: Feb 16, 2018
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019