ICYMI: New ‘Thor’ Movie Features Tessa Thompson in a Race-Swapped Role

By Sameer Rao Apr 12, 2017

Marvel’s latest trailer for "Thor: Ragnarok" includes a major race-swapped role, but not the kind of Whitewashed one frequently associated with the comic giant.

The clip features Tessa Thompson ("Creed") as Valkyrie, who captures Thor (Chris Hemsworth, "Blackhat") under direction of the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum, "Independence Day: Resurgence"). Released on Monday (April 10), The Hollywood Reporter says the trailer is Marvel’s new record holder for most views within the first 24 hours. Marvel Comics first debuted the character in 1970 as a light-skinned and blond-haired warrior from Asgard, the Norse mythology-influenced world from which the similarly-featured Thor originates. She later befriended Bruce "The Hulk" Banner and joined forces with other superheroes as The Defenders.

A 2014 Yahoo News profile of Thompson, who is the first person to portray Valkyrie in a live-action film, is of mixed Afro-Panamanian and Mexican descent. Her casting makes Valkyrie the first major Afro-Latinx character in a Marvel feature film.

Thompson isn’t the only person of color associated with "Thor: Ragnarok." New Zealand-born auteur Taika Waititi ("Hunt for the Wilderpeople"), who is of indigenous Maori and Russian Jewish descent, directed the film. And Idris Elba ("Luther") reprises his role from 2011’s "Thor" as mythological being Heimdall, who was rendered as White in previous Marvel comics.

"Thor: Ragnarok" opens in theaters November 3.