While the impending battle between Steve Rogers and Tony Stark in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War has been grabbing headlines lately, Marvel Studios is always thinking ten steps ahead of the audience. One film that will prove to be a fundamental entry to Marvel’s Phase 3 films will be Thor’s third solo outing: Thor: Ragnarok. While Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston are both expected to return as Thor and Loki, respectively, another familiar face could also potentially pop up.

Actor Stellan Skarsgard recently spoke to Digital Spy regarding whether or not Marvel would bring back his character Dr. Erik Selvig for Thor: Ragnarok:
They have an option on me. I don't know what decisions they'll make, but they have an option on me for the next Thor movie.

So Marvel might bring him back – but then again they might not. With a two years until the film is expected to hit theaters, many of the finer details regarding the film’s story still remain in flux. Bringing Skarsgard back into the fray does seem like the logical thing for Marvel Studios to do. Next to Loki and the big man himself, Erik Selvig has become arguably one of the most important characters on Thor’s side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

He not only serves to provide excellent exposition regarding the somewhat convoluted nature of inter-dimensional travel, but he also serves as one of the franchises best sources of comedy – particularly in the overly dreary Thor: The Dark World. Chris Hemsworth has already gone on record as stating that he wants more humor to be injected into the Thor films, so keeping Selvig around would most certainly serve that purpose.

The again, we already know that Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk is set to show up in the film as well. Aside from being a lumbering brute that can provide some stellar action sequences, Hulk’s alter ego of Bruce Banner could potentially provide much of the expository information and comedic relief that Selvig would have injected into the film. The MCU seems to be pairing headlining members of The Avengers together in solo films – see: Civil War as well – and as a result some of the secondary characters like Selvig, and even Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) become somewhat less essential to the overall plot of the film.

There still remains quite a bit of time to determine whether or not Skarsgard will return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Thor: Ragnarok will smash into theaters on November 3, 2017.

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