Idris Elba May Have Walked Away From ‘Thor: The Dark World’ If He Could Have

Thor: The Dark World sits pretty high up on the list of worst Marvel Cinematic Universe installments. Under Alan Taylor’s direction, the film lacked the gravitas inherent to Kenneth Branagh’s Shakesperean style and the bombastic humor akin to Taika Waititi’s Ragnarok. While various complaints spewed from critics following the premiere, “it’s boring” tended to be a consistent remark. 

Thor: The Dark World left fans wanting more — with a narrative that never reached its full potential and character arcs that were left unfinished. So, while many fans were upset that they had to sit through the movie, some people in it were upset that they had to be present for the filming. 

Idris Elba
Idris Elba | Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

According to ScreenRant, citing an interview that Idris Elba did for The Telegraph, the man behind Heimdall wasn’t exactly enthused while working on the second Thor installment.

Idris Elba is a professional who did not phone in his performance. However, his strong delivery did not compensate for a subpar script and a dismissal of the character’s comic book consequentiality, in favor of other trivial moments deemed “more cinematic.” 

Idris Elba talks ‘Thor: The Dark World’

ScreenRant notes that, during an interview with The Telegraph, Idris Elba recounted his experience on the Thor: Love and Thunder set as “torture.” He remembered telling his agent, “This is torture, man. I don’t want to do this.”

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Unfortunately, he was contractually obliged to return to the set, and he was stuck finishing off a film that he would have likely rather walked away from. Considering Elba has never been deemed a diva to work with or a “difficult actor,” it’s likely that something about this role, in particular, left him unsatisfied.

Idris Elba’s reported issues with ‘Thor: The Dark World’

Idris Elba’s greatest gripe with the movie was, reportedly, the character’s lack of development. Considering Heimdall is much more significant in the comics, it goes without saying that the MCU dropped the ball on his character, especially in the second movie. He did not contribute to the narrative in a meaningful way; at best, he was present to move something along or provide a logistic connection.

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Heimdall’s development, his friendship with Thor, his reason for existence beyond mere random necessity were not interwoven into the film’s fabric. In short, the MCU got a very talented actor and asked him to give it his all in a movie that was not worthy of his presence — with a script that didn’t leave much for Elba to work with.

ScreenRant goes on to label the experience as “degrading” since Elba went on to become a major movie star — leading movies and acting alongside some of the Hollywood greats — merely to return to a franchise that didn’t value what he had to offer. 

Unfortunately, Idris Elba was not the only actor wasted in the MCU; both Cate Blanchett and Christopher Eccleston could have brought more to Hela and Malekith respectively.