In Thor: Ragnarok, Jeff Goldblum plays the Grandmaster, the ruler of the planet Sakaar who spends his free time watching warriors fight to the death in his grand coliseum – which eventually leads to a battle between Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). Not that there was going to be any doubt about it, but in Thor Ragnarok, Goldblum goes full Goldblum and it is a delight.
But if things had turned out the way Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige had hoped a few years ago, Goldblum would not be in this current scene-stealing role – and Feige is very happy things didn’t work out back then. You see, as Feige tells us, he wanted Goldblum to be in Captain America: The First Avenger.
The question came up because I had asked Feige (and we still have much more with the Marvel Studios head) if there was still an actor who he still desperately wanted to be in one of his Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. A white whale, if you will. Marvel has now had actors as storied as Cate Blanchett, Jeff Bridges, and Robert Redford. But who else has he tried to land and hasn’t pulled it off yet?
“Well, if you’d asked me that a year ago, I would have had a very specific answer,” says Feige. “And now it happened and he’s in this movie and it’s Jeff Goldblum.”
Feige continues with what could have been, “And we had come close. I mean, I’ll tell you, I think we spoke to him or offered him a role in Captain America: The First Avenger. I think the role of the senator that was part of that USO tour in the first Captain America film. And he either wasn’t available or wasn’t interested or whatever. And thank goodness, because that would have just been a small thing and instead we got to wait for the Grandmaster, which is about as amazing as a Jeff Goldblum ‘Goldblum-iness’ could be.”
So it sounds like Goldblum was approached for the role of Senator Brandt in Captain America: The First Avenger (unless I’m forgetting another senator in that movie), who was portrayed by Michael Brandon. And Feige is right, that’s a fairly small role and would have probably been a waste of Jeff Goldblum’s unique personality that we see in full effect during Thor: Ragnarok.
You can contact Mike Ryan directly on Twitter.