Although he’s about to return as the Asgardian gatekeeper Heimdall when Thor: Ragnarok is released on Nov. 3, Idris Elba recently told Entertainment Weekly that he would like a bigger role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The 45-year-old actor, who has three films coming out later this year — in addition to the third Thor installment, there’s the high-altitude Kate Winslet romance-adventure The Mountain Between Us (in theaters now) and Aaron Sorkin’s Oscar buzz-magnet Molly’s Game — says that unlike most people his age who complain about the ubiquity of superhero films, he loves the genre. “I’ve never felt that way,” he says. “Weirdly enough, I’ve got like the Peter Pan syndrome when it comes to the kinds of films I like.”
During a recent interview in London, where Elba’s finishing up the editing on Yardie, a gangster flick about Jamaican drug runners set in the ‘70s that marks his debut as a director, the actor says, “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.” But he continues: “The last one [Ragnarok] was fun. The others weren’t fun. They’re work. But on this one, Taika [Waititi, the director] was great.”
Elba pauses for a beat, weighing whether he should say what he wants to say next. Then he says it. “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.” Elba says that he’s never been approached to play anyone but Heimdall, including a role in the upcoming Black Panther film – or any of the studio’s other superhero properties. But he also says he doesn’t want to sound like he’s moaning about it, either. “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.”
So do we.