Marvels' Thor: Ragnarok may be over a year away from hitting theaters, but there have been some significant casting announcements in recent months. In addition to the news of Jeff Goldblum joining the movie as Grandmaster, Star Trek Beyond's Karl Urban has been cast as Skurge, Dear White People's Tessa Thompson has been cast as Valkyrie and Cate Blanchett has already been seen in costume as the villainous Hela.
With the movie still being in production, though, the casting news is not over yet. One rumor is that Thor's roommate Darryl will be making an appearance, hot on the heels of his hugely popular role in the "Team Thor" Comic-Con video. Darryl isn't the only big name being dropped for the movie, though, with news of another Jurassic Park actor joining his once and future costar Jeff Goldbum for next year's solo Thor movie.
Sam Neill, who played Dr. Alan Grant in Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III, will be appearing in an as-yet unannounced role in Thor: Ragnarok. Neill himself broke the news in a video interview with ShortList in which he was promoting the most recent film from Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi: Hunt for the Wilderpeople. However, Neill was insistent that he could not divulge which character he was actually playing:
"Oddly enough, I’m not really allowed to say this, and I can’t tell you what it is… I did a couple of days on Thor, just before I came over here.
I had to sign all sorts of things that say if I say anything else, Marvel’s Secret Agents, and they are lethal, will come and get me, and probably my children as well."
With the non-disclosure agreements that companies like Disney make their actors sign for a big budget movie like Thor: Ragnarok, Neill is probably only slightly exaggerating about the consequences of his divulging who he will be playing in the movie. With his having only spent a couple of days shooting for it, though, it's likely that his role will be a relatively small one. Of course, a small role in one Marvel movie could mean a much bigger role somewhere else down the line. After all, Samuel L. Jackson's role as Nick Fury started off as a small cameo in an after-credits scene for Iron Man, but he went on to become a central character for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Whichever character Neill ends up playing in Thor: Ragnarok, it does not sound like he will be reprising his role of Jurassic Park's Alan Grant. Despite talk of Jeff Goldblum's Ian Malcolm possibly appearing in Jurassic World 2, Neill says he thinks Alan Grant "has retired from palentology. He's sick to death of dinosaurs and running." If that is the case, at least Neill still has one big-budget action movie in his near future.
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 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel– March 8, 2019; Avengers 4 – May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.