In Thor: Ragnarok, Jeff Goldblum plays the Grandmaster, an ageless and powerful being with a love of games. And as colourful as his costuming is, there is still the fact that Goldblum’s comic book counterpart is blue. Why didn’t that make it into the movie?
According to director Taika Waititi, the reason that Goldblum’s Grandmaster isn’t blue is “Because he did another movie where he was blue.” That would be the camp classic Earth Girls Are Easy, where Goldblum played one of three aliens who come to Earth looking for sex, but mostly end up crashing, trying to fix their ship, and befriending a manicurist.
Waititi added that it wasn’t just his choice as a director, telling IGN that he also wanted to lean into the casting, and not “detract” from the fact that it is Goldblum up on that screen.
I have to admit that I completely understand this. Let’s be clear that we’re not really looking at Marvel character the Grandmaster as much as we are looking at a universe in which Jeff Goldblum, as we know him, is a powerful cosmic being. You cannot look at him and not know it’s Goldblum. You can’t hear him speak and not know it’s Goldblum. If he were blue, you’d spend the whole movie going, “Is that Jeff Goldblum? Is he blue?”
Goldblum has transcended acting to that place where he’s invited to films to basically be himself. Making him blue, while comics accurate, would have just put an artificial barrier between us and what is surely going to be an epic performance.