It's official, Marvel fans: Everyone's favorite semi-crazy, pants-optional, brilliant scientist is set to return for the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron. Total Film (via Comic Book Movie) confirmed in a recent interview with actor Stellan Skarsgard that he would be indeed be stepping back into the mad scientist shoes he's already filled in [The Avengers](movie:9040), Thor, and [Thor: The Dark World](movie:206462). And yes, he will be naked...again:
Yeah, I was naked again. They called my agent and said, 'Do you think Stellan will mind being naked?' My agent laughed his head off. Yeah, I almost insist!
At this point, don't we kind of expect to see Selvig in naught but his birthday suit? But that's not the most important part, says Skarskgard. What about his role?
First of all, I don't know what I'm allowed to say, but usually they call me in if they need something explained. There's a lot of explanations to do when it comes to that universe.
You know, I'm starting to think that Dr. Erik Selvig may be the unsung hero of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
First off, not only is he strong enough to have withstood an alien demi-god in the form of Loki rearrange his brain (well...sort of), he's also the greatest source of clues about the future of the MCU maybe ever.
Remember Selvig and his magical nonsense board from Thor: The Dark World?
As it turns out, a lot of the Easter eggs we spotted last year have come true since then...or seem to be about to come true. The Fault that hinted at [The Inhumans](movie:910490) appearing? Marvel confirmed last week that an Inhumans film is definitely in development. It also plays a huge part in The Thanos Imperative story arc, and while the plot will certainly have to be changed from the one in the comics, all the players we've seen so far on screen factor heavily into that storyline in the comics.
Likewise, the hint about The Crossroads on his board. [Doctor Strange](movie:559685), huh? Done and done - his movie is a go, and we will probably meet him in an origin story, despite recent rumors to the contrary. What's more, The Crossroads is a potential set-up for a Planet Hulk movie, and from the looks of the Hulkbuster armor we know Iron Man has to break out to stop the rampaging Hulk, it's a definite possibility that at some point in the near future, our green ragemonster is going to be sent to outer space on an intergalactic time-out.
Let's take a look at the other times the fate of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been in Dr. Selvig's surprisingly capable hands:
Selvig Is The Only Person Who Even Thinks Of Busting Thor Out Of Jail (Thor 2011)
Remember the time in the first Thor movie, when Thor got all rageballs and went completely psycho on the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents at the crash site only to get his cocky ass locked up by the most clandestine agency in the world?
And it wasn't his lady, Jane Foster, who orchestrated his jailbreak, either. She basically just laid in the mud until she called - you guessed it - her friend and mentor, Dr. Erik Selvig, for help.
Selvig is the one who showed up at the S.H.I.E.L.D. facility with a fabricated backstory for Thor, and, in a seriously underrated stroke of wizardry, even produced a fake driver's license for the alien god. A fake license good enough to fool Agent Phil Coulson, and we all know damn well that Nick Fury's right hand man doesn't often get fooled.
If it weren't for Selvig, Thor would have sat in that detainment unit and rotted until the end of time, and/or Loki got bored and sprung him, whichever came first. Probably the end of time thing, honestly.
Selvig Shows Black Widow How To Save The World... While Brainwashed (Avengers 2012)
Alright, it's true that Selvig spends the vast majority of The Avengers wall-licking crazy because of Loki's brainwashing, and as a result, this happens:
But let's be real, here. Yeah, it was Selvig's brilliant mind that helped Loki to figure out the power of the Tesseract, but the trickster god was hellbent on unlocking its puzzle one way or the other. With or without Selvig, Loki would have discovered the means of harnessing the power of the Infinity Stone, and the end result would have still been a destroyed Manhattan. But who is it that saves the world in the end?
"Iron Man!" you clamor, remembering how he flew the nuke into the closing portal. And yeah, that would have been the right answer if I had asked who saved the city - or maybe the greater New York Metropolitan area. But I asked who saved the world, and that, my friends, was Dr. Selvig.
Tony Stark may have bravely gotten rid of the nuclear warhead, but it was Selvig who, after getting knocked on the head and coming back to his senses, is the one that reveals to Natasha that the portal can be closed using Loki's staff. Because - brilliant, beautiful man! - even while under Loki's influence, Selvig retained just enough of his own willpower to covertly program a shut-down switch into the portal. And while a nuclear bomb detonating in Manhattan would have been an unfathomable tragedy, a portal that couldn't be closed against a devastating Chitauri invasion may well have meant the end of the world as we know it.
Selvig Figures Out, Well...Everything and Saves the Day (Thor: The Dark World 2013)
Along with all the prognostication already mentioned, it's once again Selvig who saves the day, this time with a sassy new pants-optional policy. The crux of the movie is that Dark Elf Malekith will appear on Earth and wreak havoc during The Convergence, a seemingly wild theory of Selvig's that he won't stop explaining even when he's locked up in a mental institution.
But lo and behold - you should have seen this coming by now - it turned out that Selvig wasn't crazy, but was spot-on with his theory, predicting the very means by which Malekith would come to our world while the rest of the characters are running around like chickens with their heads cut off. He even figures out that the exact location of the Convergence will happen in Greenwich, enabling his team and Thor to hightail it to the location in time to meet Malekith and his minions.
It's also Selvig who helps Jane stick their special deus ex machina science devices into the ground to create a portal and teleport the human soldiers into another place away from the fighting. And as his piece de resistance, Selvig manages to both save Thor and kill Malekith in one stroke of genius: As Thor collapses from exhaustion after his fight with the Dark Elf, he's in danger of Malekith's destroyer ship falling over and crushing him. It's Selvig who had the presence of mind to quickly teleport the giant spaceship into the same portal he just sent the vengeful alien through, letting the thousand-ton ship land on Malekith, killing him for good.
Seriously, people. Crazy Dr. Erik Selvig. Unsung hero of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the glue that holds everything together, saves the world in the smallest of ways (with no thanks), and gives us fans our greatest hints as to what's in store for us.
Think another supporting Marvel character deserves the unsung MCU hero award? Let's hear it!