MCU Actor Joins New Franchise After Being Booted By Marvel

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Thor leaving Stormbreaker in the dirt

Credit: Marvel Studios

After a rigorous editing process that left multiple actors (and time) cut from Thor: Love and Thunder (2022), Avengers: Infinity War (2018) actor and Game of Thrones alum, Peter Dinklage, has joined a new franchise.

Chris Hemsworth as Thor in Love and Thunder looking at Falligar
Credit: Marvel Studios

The release of Thor: Love and Thunder from director Taika Waititi and Marvel Studios, has been marred with issues. From its hindered distribution in countries like China and Malaysia to its criticisms of the plot, and VFX — a problem that saw fans calling for unionization –,  the fourth Thor outing continued a declining trend for Kevin Feige’s Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Natalie Portman as Jane Foster/Mighty Thor (left) and Chris Hemsworth as Thor (right)
Credit: Marvel Studios

Despite including new characters like Zeus (Russell Crowe) and the major antagonist, Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale), the 29th film in the MCU endured cuts that resulted in characters like Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster from Waititi’s first Marvel movie, Thor: Ragnarok (2017), and Peter Dinklage’s Eitri from Avengers: Infinity War being booted from the film.

Peter Dinklage as Eitri the Dwarf
Credit: Marvel Studios

Eitri was monumental in the battle against Thanos (Josh Brolin). After Thor’s (Chris Hemsworth) iconic magical hammer Mjolnir was destroyed by his estranged sister Hela (Cate Blanchett) in Thor: Ragnarok, the God of Thunder sought out the Dwarves of Nidavellir in order to construct a new weapon — the ax, Stormbreaker.

Even as Stormbreaker and Mjolnir became characters somewhat themselves in Waititi’s latest movie, Eitri was noticeably missing, leaving fans wondering what the scenes with the weapon-forger and Goldblum’s Grandmaster entailed.

chris hemswork as thor in avnegers infinity war holding open eye of Nidavellir to make stormbreaker superhero pose
Credit: Marvel Studios

However, in a recent announcement, the Tyrion Lannister actor has been cast in a key role in The Hunger Games franchise. The four-time Emmy Award-winner (Outstanding Supporting Actor) will play Casca Highbottom — the Dean of the Academy — in the Hunger Games prequel, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2023).

The movie, based on Hunger Games scribe Suzanne Collins’s 2020 book of the same name, revisits the dystopian Panem in the early days of the Hunger Games, providing an outlet to explore the troubled youth of Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth), as he mentors the District 12 tribute at the 10th annual Hunger Games.

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes logo
Credit: Lionsgate

Dinklage and Blyth are joined by Rachel Zegler (Lucy Gray Baird), Hunter Schafer (Tigris Snow), and Jason Schwartzman (Lucretius “Lucky” Flickerman), in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes with the Hunger Games prequel movie slated for a 2023 release.

On the actor’s casting, Variety reported:

“With production underway, we couldn’t be more excited about the way this cast has come together and thrilled to be welcoming Peter Dinklage to Panem,” Nathan Kahane, president of Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group, said in a statement. “Peter is not just a fan favorite actor who brings a commanding presence to every part he plays. He is one of the best actors alive. He will bring a formidable, charismatic authority to the important role of the dean of the Academy.”

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is helmed by Francis Lawrence, the director responsible for directing the highly-commended The Hunger Games — Catching Fire (2013), The Hunger Games — Mockingjay Part 1 (2014), and The Hunger Games — Mockingjay Part 2 (2015) featuring Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson as Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark. Lawrence said he was “thrilled” that Dinklage would be bringing one of the most “austere” and “vindictive” characters to life with Dean Highbottom.

peter dinklage as tyrion lannister
Credit: HBO

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is produced by Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson, with Lawrence, Tim Palen, Jim Miller, and Suzanne Collins serving as executive producers. Michael Lesslie will pen the screenplay based on Collins’s book.

So, while Dinklage’s omission from Thor: Love and Thunder is by no means a guarantee the actor will never appear in the MCU again, it does posit the question of how King Eitri could reenter the live-action Marvel Universe being so connected to the Thor mythos, at least in this on-screen canon. And with Thor’s own future seemingly hanging in the balance, it doesn’t bode well for this heroic King of Nidavellir.

Do you think Peter Dinklage should have appeared in Thor: Love and Thunder? Let us know in the comments down below!

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