Why Thor: Ragnarok's Director Taika Waititi Took On The Role Of Korg

Korg in Thor: Ragnarok
(Image credit: Disney)

Thor: Ragnarok is about to take Marvel audiences to distant planets as the God of Thunder (Chris Hemsworth) loses control of Asgard and must battle his way off of the warrior world of Sakaar. Thor will encounter a few familiar faces on this quest -- most notably The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and his evil step-brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston). But Thor: Ragnarok also introduces a slew of incredible new characters, and at least one of them -- Korg -- will be played by Ragnarok director Taika Waititi.

The Marvel director made this admission to our own Eric Eisenberg during an exclusive tour of the Marvel Studios in Los Angeles, explaining that his role as Korg came about after considering another big actor:

Obviously, being made of rock, we really wanted someone like The Rock to play him. But there wasn't enough chicken or salmon in Australia to sustain both him and Chris [Hemsworth]. So we got the next best thing, which is we got this super hot young actor from New Zealand. This super hot young character actor named Taika Waititi.

Taika Waititi was showing off visual effects from his upcoming sequel, Thor: Ragnarok, and one main scene that he screened for us involved Thor meeting Korg on the gladiator planet of Sakaar. Korg, who was first introduced in the pages of the Marvel Comics in 1963, is a member of the Kronan race. Originally a villain, Korg has history with both Hulk and Thor, having been defeated by the latter in an early story, but then also teaming with Hulk during the World War Hulk storyline when -- and stop me if you have heard this before -- Korg is banished to Sakaar to fight in gladiator battles. So yeah, this is why Thor: Ragnarok needs him around.

As Taika Waititi explained to us:

He is one of the few characters to befriend Thor on the planet. He helps him out and explains how things go and becomes an ally to Thor. Of course, he's 8-feet tall and made of rocks, and it's very hard to create a character who you want to relate to and really like... Being so big, he's a slugger. He's not very graceful. He just sort of hits hard. He uses his bulk size.

Through motion tests, Taika Waititi explained that they captured the unique look of Korg with motion-capture body suits. He will be one of many creatures that will be introduced in the colorful environments of Thor: Ragnarok... and now, when you see him, you will know that the film's director is underneath that CGI imagery.

Chris Hemsworth in Thor: Ragnarok

(Image credit: Disney)

In Thor: Ragnarok, the son of Odin loses Asgard to the invading forces of Hela (Cate Blanchett), and must battle his way back from the world of Sakaar with the help of The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). In addition to the aforementioned cast members, Ragnarok also stars Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Idris Elba, Anthony Hopkins and Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange. It opens in theaters on November 3, while you can learn more about Upcoming Marvel Movies with our full guide.