Fans are revving up for the arrival of Thor: Ragnarok, the next installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, coming to theaters on November 3. It’ll feature the return of Chris Hemsworth as the God of the Thunder and Tom Hiddleston as Loki, as well as the debut of Cate Blanchett as Hel.
But it will also give us something else: The first gay character in a MCU movie.
Set four years after the events of The Dark World, and two years after Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ragnarok sees Thor captive on planet Sakaar, where he must battle the Hulk in a gladiatorial match in order to save Asgard.
The plot weaves elements from the “Planet Hulk” storyline that ran through Incredible Hulk in the mid-2000s, including the introduction of an alliance of alien warriors that Hulk joins on Sakaar, called the Warbound.
Issue 619 of The Incredible Hulk revealed that two members of the Warbound, one-armed Hiroim and the rock-covered Korg, were in a gay relationship.
It’s unclear how much of “Planet Hulk” or the Warbound will make its way into Ragnarok, but Korg is definitely in the movie: Director Taika Waititi indicated that he would be one of Thor’s allies on Sakaar. (Waititi will actually portray Korg himself, via a motion-capture performance.)
“We wanted to change the idea of what a hulking guy made of rocks could be. He’s huge and heavy, but with a light soul,” he said. “We wanted to make him funny and a relatable entry point into this world. And Thor needs friends.”
Waititi said he based Korg’s soft-spoken voice on Polynesian bouncers he’s known.
LGBT characters have appeared in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and Jessica Jones, but Korg would be the first in a Marvel feature film.