It's hard to believe this is true, but finally it is happening. The planets have aligned just so, and Jeff Goldblum will be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe next year as the ancient being Grandmaster, making his Marvel debut in Thor: Ragnarok.
Goldblum joins an all-star cast of Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Anthony Hopkins (Odin), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Idris Elba (Heimdall), Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner / Hulk), Cate Blanchett (Hela), Karl Urban (Skurge) and Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie), with horror/comedy director Taika Waititi and new-coming screenwriter Stephany Folsom.
The Grandmaster will likely be known to comic book fans as one of the ancient Elders of the Universe — which makes him kin with the Collector/Taneleer Tivan (portrayed by Benicio del Toro in the MCU), who we saw in Guardians of the Galaxy and the post-credit scenes of Thor: The Dark World.
Like the Collector, the Grandmaster was also once in possession of one of the Infinity Gems — the Mind Gem — before it was stolen by Thanos. In the MCU the Mind Gem (or Stone) has already been seen, as it's the Stone which once lived within Loki's scepter, and from which Vision and Scarlet Witch gained their powers.
As the name may suggest, the Grandmaster has a thing for playing games, spending most of his life traveling the universe in search of amusement through high stakes games, mastering the games of many different eras and civilizations. He's not exactly a villain, but he has been known to play heroes against each other for his own amusement as he travels through time and dimensions.
The specifics of his character aren't lost on Goldblum, as he told Empire Online:
"He's a hedonist, a pleasure-seeker, 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."
To be honest, Goldblum playing the part of a hedonist in a Marvel movie sounds pretty much perfect to us.
Filming for the Grandmaster part in [Thor: Ragnarok](tag:956858) hasn't yet begun — the movie is set to film on location is Brisbane, Australia — so Goldblum remained pretty tight-lipped about what we can expect to see from the live-action iteration of the Grandmaster.
But we do know Goldblum is putting his own spin on it: expect improvisation aplenty.
"[Taika 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!"
Indeed, let's also hope that Thor: Ragnarok can live up to what is clearly Goldblum's finest performance yet: