Thor: Love And Thunder Concept Art Reveals Jeff Goldblum's Scrapped Return As Grandmaster

Jeff Goldblum as The Grandmaster in Thor: Ragnarok
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

From a certain angle, Thor: Love And Thunder is akin to a family reunion for the Thor series. While Thor: Ragnarok previously took the God of Thunder away from Earth and his human friends to make new pals in the cosmos, the most recent Marvel Cinematic Universe movie made efforts to have OG Thor stars Kat Dennings, Stellan Skarsgård, and Natalie Port reprise their roles alongside Ragnarok introductees like Tessa Thompson and Taika Waititi.

One actor who sadly doesn't show up in the Marvel sequel is Jeff Goldblum, who isn't brought back in his role as The Grandmaster – but concept art has revealed not only that there were thoughts about the character's return, but that he was going to have an interesting new look.

With Thor: Love And Thunder having been in theaters for more than a month now, concept artist Laurent Ben-Mimoun has been sharing some of the work he did in the development of the movie on his personal Instagram page, and that includes a depiction of The Grandmaster who is looking quite different these days:

You have to zoom into the image to notice the details, but when you do, they're unmistakable:  Jeff Goldblum's The Grandmaster has bionic limbs. His left arm seems to be ok, but his legs and right arm seem to have been replaced with machinery.

This is a sensical development when one thinks about it. When we last saw The Grandmaster, it was in the post-credits coda of Thor: Ragnarok. The scene features the character shortly after his ship crashes amid his pursuit of Thor, Hulk, and Valkyrie, and after crawling out of the wreck he is surrounded by the disgruntled denizens of Sakaar. The brief bit ends before any action takes place, but based on the concept art above, it appears as though the antagonist was ripped limb from limb and only survived thanks to technology (as well as the fact that he is one of the Elders of the Universe).

Reflecting on the events in Thor: Love And Thunder, it's hard to pick a proper spot where this depiction of The Grandmaster could have been included – which leads one to the conclusion that this artwork may have been commissioned based on an early version of the script by Taika Waititi and Jennifer Kaytin Robinson.

In addition to the peek at the potential new look for Jeff Goldblum in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (we'll have to wait and see if it becomes canon), Laurent Ben-Mimoun also shared a piece depicting an element of Thor: Love And Thunder that did make it into the final cut: the Goat Boat.

I can't say that the tone/atmosphere of the concept art fully captures the energy of Taika Waititi's work (the goats don't quite look like they are about to let out their wild screams, for example), but the lighting is beautiful, and the design of the Goat Boat itself is wonderful. 

Thor: Love And Thunder is still playing in theaters (it ranked in sixth place at the box office this past weekend), but the Marvel movie will also be arriving on home video soon. It's been announced that the blockbuster will be made available to stream for Disney+ subscribers on September 8, and a 4K/Blu-ray release is expected shortly after (an official date has not been revealed).

Looking to the future, you can keep track of everything that is on the way from the MCU with our Upcoming Marvel Movies and Upcoming Marvel TV guides.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.