Thor: Ragnarok, Marvel Studios’ upcoming third installment in the superhero series that features our favorite hammer-wielding Norse god, boasts an impressive cast that includes Chris Hemsworth as the eponymous son of Odin, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Thor’s brooding brother, and Idris Elba back as Heimdall, the Asgardian sentry. Joining the veteran cast is Mark Ruffalo, who returns to play his Avengers alter-ego, Bruce Banner/Hulk, along with the Marvel Cinematic Universe newbies Cate Blanchett as the villainous Hela, Jeff Goldblum as the eccentric Grandmaster, and Karl Urban as the mighty Skurge the Executioner.
Already, Ruffalo has offered fans some hints about what they can expect of the Hulk in Ragnarok, which will provide his don’t-make-him-angry character the chance to finally let loose in a non-Avengers, Earth-based setting. Excitingly, Urban, who is reeling off the debut of a new Star Trek Beyond trailer (in which he reprises the role of Doctor McCoy), has also opened up about his upcoming Asgardian debut.
In an interview (via IGN), Urban discussed why (from the Starship Enterprise to Asgard), he’s jumping universes—citing, as one of his reasons, Marvel’s decision to bring indie New Zealand filmmaker Taika Waititi (What We Do In the Shadows) onboard to direct.
“I read a fantastic script that was action-packed and full of great characters. When I heard who was involved—and the cast list dropped yesterday—and [saw] the opportunity to work with Taika Waititi, who I think is one of the most brilliant directors coming through, I made the decision it was something that I wanted to be a part of.”
Urban also admitted how much he is drawn to Skurge, whose “great arc” has inspired the Australian actor to brush up on his Thor comics in preparation for the role:
"The character is fantastic. He’s got a great arc to him. Obviously I can't say too much about it, but I’m really thrilled to be a part of the Marvel universe and to be working on Thor: Ragnarok.”
So what could Urban mean by Skurge’s “great arc?” The character has typically been depicted as a supervillain - specifically, a double bladed battle axe-wielding adversary of the thunder gods, in both comic book form and most of his previous Marvel cartoon series appearances (see, for example, his role as Enchantress' servant on The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes). In Walt Simonson’s classic Thor comics in the 1980s, however, the Executioner teamed up with the good guys to stave off the destruction of Asgard - going so far as to even sacrifice himself for Thor and his friends. It remains to be seen whether this is the version of Skurge that Urban will be portraying, but his reference to a "great" character arc seems to be pointing in that direction.
How about it - do you think Skurge will have joined #TeamThor by the end of Ragnarok?
Captain America: Civil War is in theaters now. Doctor Strange opens November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel– March 8, 2019; Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.