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Tessa Thompson On Valkyrie In ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ and All-Female Superhero Movie
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Thor Ragnarok Valkyrie

While Marvel Studios has paved the way for strong heroines, they still are way behind in getting a female superhero standalone film out. So as fans anxiously await the arrival of Captain Marvel, many other female superheroes are making a case for their own standalone feature and even an all-female Avengers-type film.

Case in point, Tessa Thompson who plays Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok. As Valkyrie, she is a strong fearless warrior who proves to be more than a match for Thor. But she hides a few battle scars that she received from an encounter with Hela (Cate Blanchett).

We were recently invited to sit down with our fellow journalists to talk to the cast of Thor: Ragnarok, where Thompson talked about her role in the film, her response to some of the changes to Valkyrie, and how she rallied her fellow female superheroes and asked Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige for an all-female superhero film. More on the story below.

This wouldn’t be the first time that Thor has been through a race controversy. Idris Elba, who plays Heimdall, the all-seeing Asgardian gatekeeper, is a character who is depicted as white in the comics. But for Thompson, she was more concerned about her muscle mass and height than the character’s skin color.

“I didn’t feel any pressure with that specifically. The things I thought about particulars had to do more about the mass and size because I felt like ‘Oh gosh, I am so short.’ You know? Or I am not buff enough, or he is arguably as strong as Thor, how do I stand next to a person like Chris Hemsworth? I didn’t think so much about it,” Thompson said. “Norse mythology is mystifying and fantastical and glorious, and also very confusing and it doesn’t make a lot of sense.”

When she addressed the racebending controversy she added “Apparently, someone online said ‘Tessa Thompson playing Valkyrie is white genocide.’ I think that is just as mystifying as Norse mythology. The thing I am attached to do with any character that has its own iconography is to capture the spirit of the character. I think the spirit of all of us has very little to do with what color we are.”

But as to if there will be a Valkyrie solo movie or an all-female Avengers movie, that is a possibility. “We went up to Kevin. ‘What about a movie with some female superheroes? Just like, all of them,” said Thompson. Feige said it was an amazing moment to see, “to have your shoulder get tapped, and you turn around and you see every female hero we have was standing there going ‘how about it?'”

An all-female Marvel superhero team-up would be something to see, and when it does happen, you can be sure fans will come out in full support of it. But the team is obviously going to need a name. Mark Ruffalo, who plays Hulk/Bruce Banner did offer one suggestion saying that the team should be called The Femengers. Not sure how long that will stick, even Feige admitted they were just riffing names.

While Thompson wasn’t on board with the team name, she did counter with a very deep cut. The Lady Liberators. Something that even impressed Feige as he applauded Thompson’s suggestion. As did everyone else in the room. So while it is far from a confirmation, there appears to be a huge interest in having an all-female Marvel team up. How much longer we will have to wait to see one remains to be seen.

Thor: Ragnarok opens in theaters on November 3, 2017. Click right here for more on the movie, including a trailer.

  • Rodj71

    The Valkyries were many – there’s not just one person called Valkyrie. Not keen when films mess about established mythology like that, put me right off Hellboy II with their weird take on the Celtic pantheon. That said, I guess she could be a character from the comics (yes, likely, as it’s a comic book film) but I know the myths better than I know the comics, so that’s my only reference.

  • Alfred Guy

    “Valkyrie is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character was created by Roy Thomas and John Buscema, based on the Norse mythological figure Brynhildr. The character first appeared in The Avengers #83 (December 1970) and has become a mainstay of the superhero team known as the Defenders. An Asgardian by birth, Valkyrie, also known by her real name, Brunnhilde, was selected by Odin to lead the Valkyrior. Among her other aliases are Barbara Denton-Norriss, Samantha Parrington, Sian Bowen, and Annabelle Riggs who were all host bodies to the spirit of Brunnhilde. Samantha Parrington, a previous host of Brunnhilde, later received Valkyrie’s powers and became a member of the Defenders herself. An ally and one-time love interest of Thor, she was ranked 30th in IGN’s list of “The Top 50 Avengers”,[1] and 65th in Comics Buyer’s Guide’s “100 Sexiest Women in Comics” list.[2]

    Valkyrie will make her cinematic debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film, Thor: Ragnarok, where she will be played by actress Tessa Thompson.”

  • Harjood Jones

    So I guess the key word for me is: “host”. Logically Brunnhilde could & would be hosted by a variety of ‘hosts’ as long as they are female.

  • Alfred Guy

    Sounds about right to me.

  • Rodj71

    OK, now I know :) As I said, I hadn’t read any Thor comics, but I am fairly well read in norse and other mythologies – it just sounded odd that one character had the name I had only known before as being a whole group of people.

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