It’s no secret that Natalie Portman makes her long awaited return to the Thor franchise with Thor: Love and Thunder, but as with recent moves from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, characters and actors are known to make special appearances and cameos, to tease fans and leave a smile on their faces.
Taika Waititi’s second Thor film is no different, and there are a number of cameos that you might’ve missed in the latest Marvel Phase 4 film to hit the big screen.
Is that Loki? Or is he really not there? 🙂
Warning: Spoilers ahead! Last chance to turn back now if you’re not ready!
Idris Elba is back as Heimdall
Look, if you didn’t stay behind until the very end of the movie (and we’re talking past the credits roll), it’s on you that you didn’t catch Idris Elba make his return as the beloved Heimdall. In a shockingly brief cameo, Elba dons his gold contacts once again, to portray the dead Marvel hero. Is he back for good? Not really as the post credits scene shows Heimdall welcoming Dr Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) into Valhalla after she sacrificed herself to save the children of Asgard.
The last time fans saw Heimdall was in Infinity War. The guardian of the Bifrost was murdered by Thanos, who was on a hunt to collect all the infinity stones so that he could wipe out half the population on Earth. Is this the last we will see of him though? Not if Taika Waititi has anything to say about it.
Brett Goldstein is Hercules
Russell Crowe puts on a tunic to play the Father of all Gods, Zeus, and while that’s no secret, it was Brett Goldstein’s brief appearance as his son Hercules that got fans excited. In the movie’s mid-credits scene, Zeus is seen talking to some and the camera later reveals the Ted Lasso actor in a familiar green tunic, and hears him agreeing to avenge his father. No British accent, though.
In Marvel Comics, Hercules was first introduced in 1965’s Journey Into Mystery Annual #1 and the Greek God has done everything from leading his own series to suiting up as part of the Avengers. With Hercules effectively seen as Thor’s Greek counterpart, he’s a prime candidate to replace Hemsworth onscreen as the MCU’s resident god Avenger, should that day ever happen. That said, this scene suggests that Hercules is finally joining the MCU, and will go face to face with Thor in time.
Akosia Sabet portrays the Goddess Bast
In the film, King Valkyrie, Mighty Thor and Thor approach Zeus and the Gods for help. When they finally enter the city, they introduce a bunch of other Gods in passing. When they finally get to their seats, viewers will see the Goddess Bast sitting in front of Mighty Thor.
Played by Akosia Sabet, Bast is a Psychopomp goddess worshipped in Wakanda and Ancient Egypt. In the comics, Bast was the protector of the Panther Clan and is also referred to as the “Panther God”. She was the one who gave Bashenga, and the rest of his lineage, the power of the Black Panther and control over Wakanda.
Matt Damon takes the stage (again) as Actor Loki
Matt Damon returns as actor Loki in Thor: Love and Thunder. The actor first cameoed as an Asgardian man playing Loki in a play, seen at the start of Thor: Ragnarok. Damon reprises his role once again, acting as Loki in another theatre play, only this time, he’s re-enacting the events of Ragnarok and has more screen time.
Sam Neill kills (again) as Actor Odin
Just like Damon, the Jurassic Park star also returns and appears in the play as Odin. With a beard and eye patch, Neill is almost unrecognisable but is downright hilarious. This is especially since the actor wasn’t even attempting to mimic the real Odin, played by Anthony Hopkins. Instead, Neill decides to play actor Odin like elderly, broody thespians botching a Shakespeare play.
Luke Hemsworth pretends (again) to be brother Chris as Actor Thor
Chris Hemsworth isn’t the only Hemsworth boy to play Thor. Luke Hemsworth first played actor Thor in Ragnarok alongside Damon and Neill in their theatre play. The eldest Hemsworth boy reprises his role as actor Thor in Love and Thunder and just like Damon, has more screentime than in Ragnarok too.
Melissa McCarthy raises hell as Actor Hela
Whilst most of the people on this list have already appeared or cameoed in previous films, comedian Melissa McCarthy is one of the few new ones to make her cameo debut. In Love and Thunder, McCarthy plays actor Hela, Thor and Loki’s secret sister played by Cate Blanchett in Ragnarok.
Ben Falcone calls for action as a Play Director
Someone has to run the show! And so whilst Neill, Damon, Hemsworth and McCarthy all act as thespians cosplaying to be Odin, Loki, Thor and Hela respectively, director Ben Falcone takes on the role as the director, the man behind the curtains, pulling all the strings!
Extra fun fact, Falcone is McCarthy’s husband in real life.
Stellan Skarsgår as the famed Dr Erik Selvig
Dr Erik Selvig is an important man in the MCU. A brilliant scientist, he was last seen in Avengers: Endgame although he did make a small cameo in a commercial in Spider-Man: No Way Home, and was name dropped in Ms Marvel.
In Love and Thunder, Selvig briefly appears in a scene to tell Jane that there’s nothing more he can do to help with her cancer and leaves her with well wishes.
Kat Dennings returns as Darcy Lewis
After appearing in a few major episodes in WandaVision, Kat Dennings is back as Darcy Lewis in Love and Thunder. The film did not reveal much about where Lewis is in life, but she simply appeared as a friend and colleague who visits Jane at her chemotherapy session, bringing lots and lots of snacks.
Jaimie Alexander as Lady Sif
Perhaps one of the more exciting cameos (aside from Elba and Goldstein), is Jaimie Alexander as Lady Sif. Sif is a key Thor comics character who hasn’t appeared much throughout the MCU, with her most recent appearance being the Disney+ Loki series. She was notably absent in Thor: Ragnarok, when Hela killed off the Warriors Three – Volstagg, Fandral and Hogun – and fans have wondered if she died off camera, since she was never seen after.
With Sif seemingly being an important character – as seen in the closing scene of her training Heimdall’s son Axel – there’s a chance fans might see her again in future movies, hopefully this time playing bigger roles, and as the potential love interest of not just the God of Thunder, but King Valkyrie too.
India Hemsworth as Love
At a mere 10 years old, Chris Hemsworth’s daughter India plays Love, the daughter of villain Gorr the God Butcher. Just like her father, she ends the movie charging into battle with Stormbreaker in hand.
If you’ve made it here, then we have some bad news, as Loki doesn’t make an appearance in this film. Whilst not as long a list of cameos as the recent Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the cameos in Thor: Love and Thunder are still a delight to catch for viewers who are observant enough. Damon and Hemsworth’s returned cameos for example added humour to the movie, whilst Elba’s comeback as Heimdall definitely hit a chord of nostalgia. Most excitingly, Goldstein’s Hercules means that Marvel is hot on the heels of debuting more comic book characters. One can hope that the next time Hemsworth comes to the screen wielding Stormbreaker, it’ll be to go toe to toe with Hercules, the demi-God and hero.
Thor: Love and Thunder premieres on 7 July.