Director Taika Waititi has appeared in each feature film he’s helmed, and it’s already been known that the upcoming “Thor: Ragnarok” would not be an exception — it just wasn’t known who he’d play.
That role was revealed this past Monday during a Marvel Studios “Open House,” where the studio’s various divisions were opened up to members of the press, including CBR — with Waititi himself revealing that he performed both the motion capture and voice acting for Korg, a member of the Kronan race created by Greg Pak and Carlo Pagulayan as part of the “Planet Hulk” story, as first seen in 2006’s “Incredible Hulk” #93. Kronans were seen in 2013’s “Thor: The Dark World,” and as Waititi pointed out, Korg is related to those characters, but not as tall.
“He is one of the few characters to befriend Thor on the planet [Sakaar], and he helps him out, explains how things go and becomes an ally,” Waititi told the press. “He’s 8 feet tall and made of rocks — it’s very hard to create a character you want to relate to and really like.”
As such, Waititi made sure the CGI character was as expressive as a rock creature can be, and gave him a much lighter and human personality than an average viewer might expect from — well, a rock creature.
“We wanted to change the idea of an obvious choice of how the character would sound,” Waititi said. “Even though he’s huge and heavy, he has a very light soul. He’s very lovable, and has a good amount of humor.”
That’s apparent from Korg’s initial introduction, shown in early from to press: “Pile rocks of waving at you. Allow me to introduce myself, I’m Korg, I’m kind of like the leader in here. I’m made of rocks, as you can see, but don’t let that intimidate you.” Of course, that doesn’t mean that Korg can’t hold his own in the gladiatorial arena.
“Being so big, he’s a slugger,” Waititi said of Korg’s fighting style. “He’s not very graceful. He hits hard.”
Korg (and Hulk) aren’t the only “Planet Hulk” characters to show up in “Thor: Ragnarok” — Miek, also introduced in 2006 by Pak and Pagulayan, appears in the film, as well, and also hews relatively closely to the source material.
“He’s sort of an insectoid,” Waititi said to reporters. “He has a cool exoskeleton with knife-hands. He’s basically a larvae-shaped thing. Ironically, he’s way more graceful than Korg.”
This isn’t the first time Waititi has appeared in a comic book movie — though the first time for Marvel. He played Hal Jordan’s buddy Thomas Kalmaku in Warner Bros,’ 2011 “Green Lantern” film.
Directed by Waititi and starring Chris Hemsworth, “Thor: Ragnarok” is scheduled for release on Nov. 3.