Stan Lee makes a cameo in pretty much every single Marvel movie, and Thor: Ragnarok is no exception. But, as delightful as Lee’s cameo is, it’s probably not going to be the one that moviegoers will be talking about the most. Three famous, totally unexpected actors popped up playing Thor, Loki, and King Odin. Kind of.
This story spoils those Thor: Ragnarok* cameos and mentions some plot details from the beginning of the movie, in case you hadn’t already guessed.
Matt Damon, Sam Neill, and Luke Hemsworth (Thor actor Chris Hemsworth’s older brother) all make cameos playing the Asgardian royalty during an early scene in the movie. Thor, having just come back from a mission that he thinks will prevent Ragnarok from occurring, finds an unusually hedonistic Odin lounging and watching a play about the events of Thor: The Dark World. Because Odin is actually Loki in disguise, the play paints the trickster god in a very, very flattering light.
Damon, wearing a black wig, plays Loki, while Westworld star Luke Hemsworth plays Thor, who comes off as a bit of a dope in the play. Watching them all, and feeling awful about what he did to Loki, is Neill, who appeared in director Taika Waititi’s last film, Hunt for the Wilderpeople.
It’s a pretty great, unexpected surprise, and Thor: Ragnarok moves so fast and is so wonderfully bizarre that viewers don’t have that much time for the cameos to really sink in, making the actors’ appearances that much more baffling.
Hemsworth was selected for the cameo because, as a Hemsworth, he’s a dead-ringer for Thor. Neill had the Waititi connection, and he’s also from New Zealand. Damon’s in the movie, though, because he’s pretty good friends with Chris Hemsworth even though the two had never been in a movie before this.
That one is directly from Chris. You know, it’s his mate,” Waititi told Entertainment Tonight. He went on to say that originally he’d asked another big movie star to cameo as Play-Loki, but the timing didn’t work out. “He was keen, but then he was doing some other thing, so he couldn’t come. Boring story now, ‘cause we can’t say the name,” Waititi said.
Maybe it’s for the best, because something about Damon-as-Loki is really, really funny. He’s an A-list celebrity, hamming it up in a minor role. Plus, even though he’s clearly got leading man looks, Damon’s a little doughier than Tom Hiddleston’s suavely gaunt Loki.
Stan Lee appears as a cybernetic barber who butchers the hell out of Thor’s hair before the gladiator fight on Sakaar, if you were wondering.
Thor: Ragnarok is now in theaters.