In case you missed it, the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs announced last month that the third instalment in the God of Thunder's trilogy Thor: Ragnarok was set to begin production in Australia sometime next year, along with Ridley Scott's [Alien: Paradise Lost](tag:3572502). An exact production start date hasn't been solidified yet, but Kevin Feige has claimed it'll begin around "around June of ", with the movie set to release on November 3rd 2017.
Apart from the fact that it's set to feature the titular ragnarok, an occurrence of the Norse apocalypse upon Asgard, we still don't know a whole lot about the upcoming film, least of all the full cast.
We know that Chris Hemsworth will be back as Thor because, well obviously. Jaimie Alexander and Tom Hiddleston will return as Lady Sif and Loki respectively, and Mark Ruffalo's Bruce Banner/Hulk will show up at some point. Taika Waititi of What We Do In The Shadows fame is set to direct, and that's about all we know for sure. The rest of the cast is yet to be confirmed, and we're still unsure if we're going to see Odin (Anthony Hopkins), the Warriors Three (Zachary Levi, Tadanobu Asano, Ray Stevenson) or the all-seeing Heimdall (Idris Elba).
Does Idris Elba Want Out Of The MCU?
There was a lot of chatter regarding the rumour that Elba hated filming the last Thor film he appeared in, [Thor: The Dark World](tag:206462), based on a comment he made during an interview with The Telegraph this time last year.
"I’d just done eight months in South Africa. I came to England and the day I came back I had to do reshoots on Thor 2… I was like, 'This is torture, man. I don’t want to do this.' My agent said: ‘You have to, it’s part of the deal.'"
However, Elba has since clarified that his comments were related to the difficulty he had in transitioning from portraying his personal hero and public iconic Nelson Mandela in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom to the more fantastical context of the superhero film.
The apparent backlash and rumours sparking that he wanted out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are "sloppy journalism, or just really bad misquoting" according to the man himself:
"I have a great relationship with the Marvel team, and the character of Heimdall. People are really running with this thing like, 'Oh my God, he doesn’t want to be with Marvel anymore.' People thinking that comparing those roles means I don’t want to be with Marvel, well, that’s crazy."
Perhaps the most important thing to take from The Telegraph interview is that Elba is an incredibly busy man, between his acting, music, DJing and his family it's no secret that his schedule is packed. But at least we know that he definitely doesn't have an issue with playing Heimdall, just maybe don't attempt to compare the demi-God to Elba's Mandela role.
Why He HAS To Return For Thor: Ragnarok
Idris Elba last appeared as Heimdall in this year's [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](tag:293035), showing up briefly during Thor's Scarlet Witch induced vision in which he witnesses the apparent disintegration of an Asgardian party and is grabbed by a cloudy eyed Heimdall blaming him for damning them all to Hel.
We know that Loki was set to appear in this scene too, though his part was cut due to time constraints, so it's also pretty fair to assume that Thor's vision is going to be important in setting up the events of Thor: Ragnarok. A decaying, apocalyptic vision of Asgard and the all-seeing Heimdall blinded somehow by Thor's actions, blaming him for damning them all to Hel - another important location in the Marvel-Norse pantheon - ties in nicely with the ragnarok mythology.
It is Heimdall's warning that causes Thor to leave Earth at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron, returning to Asgard to kick off whatever we're going to see happening in Thor: Ragnarok when it finally rolls around, so it's highly likely that he's going to be a big player there.
There's also another important reference to Heimdall in one of the Avengers: Age of Ultron deleted scenes, after Ultron escapes Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) asks Thor to seek help from Asgard but the demi-God comments that he's unable to do so: "Heimdall's either away from his post or he's been ordered not to answer." Wherever Heimdall is it's likely that he's all tied up in what's going on with Thor: Ragnarok, so it's pretty pertinent that we see him returning in the upcoming film.
It's also worth noting that in the most recent iteration of ragnarok in the Marvel comics Heimdall does die along with the rest of the Asgardians (though they are all later reborn upon Earth as mortals, but that's a whole other story), so it's possible we could see this happening in Thor 3, but let's hope not.
Though the fact that Elba's involvement is not yet confirmed is a little worrying, there's still a good six months to go before production is set to start on Thor Ragnarok, so there's still plenty of time for him to get on board with the project. We're keeping our fingers tightly crossed.