For seven years, Idris Elba played Heimdall, the protector of the Bifröst in Asgard, starting with 2011’s Thor. Yet after five films, Heimdall met his end in 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War, but unlike many of the characters that died in that film, it doesn’t seem as though Heimdall was snapped back into existence. Yet a new photo from Thor: Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi has left many wondering if we might see Idris Elba back as Heimdall after all.
The photo in question shows Taiki Waititi alongside Idris Elba visiting the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team, which is currently training in Sydney, Australia. While Waititi is currently in Australia prepping work on Thor: Love and Thunder, it begs the question why Elba is also hanging around.
Taika Waititi and Idris Elba have already worked together several times before, so it makes sense that the two are close. Waititi directed Elba as Heimdall in 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok, and both are appearing in James Gunn’s upcoming The Suicide Squad, where Elba will play Bloodsport, and Waititi is appearing in a still-unknown part.
Even though Heimdall is technically dead, with his god-like powers and Marvel’s ability to bring back characters, there’s no reason why Idris Elba couldn’t theoretically reappear, good as new. Elba has hinted in the past that he wouldn’t mind returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the character has come back to life in the comics before. It’s also worth noting that even though Loki is also technically dead, the character will have his own Disney+ series in the near future. For many Marvel characters, death is only the beginning.
Plus, considering the star power of Idris Elba, the actor has mostly been wasted in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Heimdall has certainly had his moments in the films before, but Heimdall hasn’t received the type of attention one would expect from a character played by Elba. Probably his most iconic moments came from his fight sequences in Thor: Ragnarok, so if Elba did return to the role, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to do so with Taika Waititi behind the camera once again, giving the actor his due.
Unfortunately, it seems likely that Taika Waititi and Idris Elba’s rugby outing might have just been a case of the two being in Australia for two separate projects. Elba has previously signed on to star in Three Thousand Years of Longing, alongside Tilda Swinton. The film from George Miller is shrouded in secrecy, but is rumored to be a fantasy-romance, and was planned to start production in March, but was pushed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Three Thousand Years of Longing was expected to shoot in Istanbul, London, and Australia, so it looks as though filming might be going forward on this film at the same time as Thor: Love and Thunder.
George Miller also likely wants to knock out Three Thousand Years of Longing with Tilda Swinton and Idris Elba so he can continue work on his next installment in the Mad Max franchise. The delays in filming for Three Thousands Years of Longing have likely caused some havoc on the latest Mad Max film’s start date, and with the cast all lined up for Furiosa, it seems like Miller will go quickly from one project to the next.
While it is possible Idris Elba could make an appearance in Thor: Love and Thunder, Taika Waititi’s photo seems more like two friends simply getting together. In addition to both Waititi and Elba appearing in The Suicide Squad, Elba will also soon be appearing in The Harder They Fall, a Western starring Jonathan Majors, Zazie Beetz, Lakeith Sanfield, and Delroy Lindo. In between filming the Oscar-nominated Jojo Rabbit and the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder, Waititi has also found the time to write and direct Next Goal Wins, a sports comedy starring Michael Fassbender, Elisabeth Moss, and Armie Hammer.
Since Idris Elba did seem willing to return from the dead as Heimdall, there is always a possibility we could see more of the character in the future. Considering Loki and Black Widow are getting their own projects after their death, and with multiverses coming into play in Phase Four, literally anything seems possible in the Marvel Cinematic Universe at this point. As of right now though, Taika Waititi’s photo seems to be nothing more than an example of buds enjoying rugby.