As evidenced in the record-breaking trailer for Thor: Ragnarok, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) will be reunited with his old friend Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). But, during his layover on Sakaar, he’ll also make a new friend who just happens to be portrayed by Hemsworth’s boss.
Director Taika Waititi has made a habit of appearing in his films and even had a role in DC’s Green Lantern, so he always knew he would work his way into his upcoming superhero film. Yet, he didn’t originally plan on playing Korg, an 8-foot-tall rock creature straight out of Marvel’s “Planet Hulk” comic storyline.
“Obviously, being made of rocks, we wanted somebody like The Rock to play him, but there wasn’t enough chicken or salmon in Australia to sustain he and Chris,” joked Waititi at a Monday press event at Marvel’s Los Angeles office. “I never thought I’d be playing the most lovable character in the film.”
Lovable is an interesting adjective for a literal mountain creature and part of the Kronan race, one of which Thor memorably took down in the opening of Thor: The Dark World. But Waititi set out to defy expectations and create a character who is the opposite of what he appears.
“We wanted to change the idea of what a hulking guy made of rocks could be,” he shared. “He’s huge and heavy, but with a light soul. We wanted to make him funny and a relatable entry point into this world. And Thor needs friends.”
As evidenced in a scene screened of Korg and Thor’s first meeting, Waititi’s character will be both an ally and a fan favorite. Also forced to fight in the Grandmaster’s (Jeff Goldblum) gladiator duels, Korg reveals to his new friend why he’s a prisoner. “I tried to start a revolution, but I didn’t bring enough pamphlets,” he charmingly says.
Having already buddied up to Thor and given the Asgardian a fun nickname, will Watiti’s next move to start angling for Korg to find himself a place among the Avengers?
“I’ll lobby for anything,” he jokes. “My ego’s that big.”
Thor: Ragnarok smashes into theaters on Nov. 3.