Jeff Goldblum is no stranger to blockbuster movies, having starred in such past summer blockbusters as Jurassic Park and Independence Day. He'll be back in familiar territory later this month when he returns to once again fight a sinister alien menace in Independence Day: Resurgence, but next year he will be branching out into comic book movie territory when he plays the villain Grandmaster in Thor: Ragnarok.
Marvel confirmed Goldblum's involvement in Thor 3 last month, and also the addition of Carol's Cate Blanchett as co-villain Hela, Creed's Tessa Thompson as the heroic Valkyrie, and Star Trek Into Darkness's Karl Urban as Skurge. But how does Goldblum, who has built his career on playing dulcet-toned protagonists, prepare for his new role as a comic book villain? By doing a little bit of research.
In a recent interview with Empire (via CBM), Goldblum talked about his preparation for Thor 3 and his interactions with the movie's director, Taika Waititi. While the actor did not go into the role unprepared, he has also been allowed to bring his own ideas to the table:
"[Grandmaster is] a hedonist, a pleasure-seeker. He’s an enjoyer of life and tastes and smells. I thought, ‘I can do that, I’ll bet!’ I’m working on my part every day. I’m a sponge, researching. [Waititi] is encouraging me to improvise and make it my own, and that’s what I’m trying to do. I hope he doesn’t throw me out on the first day!"
Waititi comes from a comedy background, having previously directed movies such as Eagle vs Shark and What We Do in The Shadows, and he has said that he intends to bring more humor to Thor 3 than was present in its predecessor, Thor: The Dark World. Goldblum definitely has the potential to bring some humor to the mix himself, having flexed his comedy chops with recent TV appearances on shows such as Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and Inside Amy Schumer. He also seems excited to be working with the cast Marvel has put together for Thor 3, and also to spend some time in the Land Down Under:
"Not only Chris Hemsworth, Cate Blanchett, Anthony Hopkins… jeez, that’s gonna be fun. I’ve never been to Australia except to do these little publicity things."
The addition of Goldblum to Thor 3 is one of the more interesting casting decisions Marvel has made, but it could pay off for the studio if it helps bring a sense of fun to the movie. With Thor 3 having been described as a "Thor and Hulk buddy pic" and its director having a solid comedy background, it could end up being a much quirkier movie than the more paint-by-numbers Thor 2. With Marvel's rivals over at Warner Bros. taking a lot of flak for the self-seriousness of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, no doubt Marvel is eager to avoid making a similar misstep.
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, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.