The latest film from Marvel Studios, Thor: Ragnarok, might just be the most colorful and fun movie in the 9 year history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Taking place largely on the distant planet of Sakaar, the film features loads of unique aliens, but no one steals the show more than Korg. Korg is a giant, frightening-looking rock monster with a dry sense of humor and a soft, New Zealand-accented voice that's totally unexpected, making him a very memorable — and strange — addition to the MCU. But who voices Korg in Thor: Ragnarok?
The voice behind Korg is none other than the film's director, Taika Waititi. The filmmaker and New Zealand native voiced and provided motion-capture acting for the character, and was apparently inspired to inject the distinct high-pitched thick Kiwi accent into the rock monster by bouncers in his native country. In an interview on Australian news talk show The Project, Waititi referred to Korg's accent as a "Maori bouncer from K-road in Auckland," which is about as specific a reference as one could possibly have for a character inspiration. And while Korg was written into the film, the character ended up being a much bigger presence than expected thanks to on set improvisation.
Star Chris Hemsworth admitted on Jimmy Kimmel Live! that one scene between his character, Thor, and Korg, was entirely improvised save for one line. "We were on set playing around with the weapons before we shot the scene, it was one line originally." Hemsworth said. "And the art department just went mental on their artistic collaboration and invented all sorts of ridiculous weapons, and we were laughing about, 'oh my God, what the hell's this thing, what the hell's that?' so we just started improvising a lot of that scene. That was the tone of most of the movie, sort of encouraged improvisation."
But now that the Korg cat is out of the bag, the character has already proven so popular that Marvel is plotting ways to bring the surprise breakout star of Thor: Ragnarok, along with Korg's insectoid friend Miek, back for future projects. "We have plans for Korg and Miek," Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige told Fandango's Erik Davis in an interview. "When and where we'll have to wait and see, but we, like the audience now that they've seen them, can't get enough."
Waititi himself also talked about the possibility of doing more Korg content in the Fandango interview, saying, "We were talking about doing a little spin-off. Like one of these One-Shot short films with Korg and Miek… like [them] just going shopping and things." He then discussed returning to direct another Thor installment, joking that Marvel may not be able to afford him now due to Korg's popularity turning him into a star actor. "It all depends on whether they can meet Taika Waititi's, the actor, exorbitant fees because Korg is now established in this film and if you want Korg you have to… cash up," he said. "The actor version doesn’t work without the director version."
As for Korg's history, he actually is a real Marvel Comics character, and wasn't created specifically for the film — though his voice and personality are all Waititi. In the comics, Korg first appeared in 1963's Journey into Mystery #83, which also marked the first appearance of Thor. Korg was one of the "Stone Men from Saturn" who attempted to conquer Earth, only to be defeated by Thor. The character wouldn't reappear in the comics for several decades until he showed up on Sakaar as a member of Hulk's gladiatorial team during 2006's "Planet Hulk" storyline. It's this incarnation that is most closely related to the Korg of the film.
Waititi steals the show as Korg in Thor: Ragnarok with his sly humor and mismatched voice, and thanks to his soaring popularity, chances are fans will get a chance to see him again sooner rather than later.