At last night’s Los Angeles press screening of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, members of the press were treated to an Open House during which they were able to get a look at some of Marvel’s upcoming projects including Thor: Ragnarok. While last week’s teaser certainly generated positive buzz for the film, fans of the comics are going to be more excited to hear that the scenes set on Sakaar will feature members of the Warbound, a group of gladiators loyal to the Hulk in Greg Pak‘s Planet Hulk arc.

Given the early reveal to the press, I expect that the characters mentioned in this article will be featured in some of the marketing for Thor: Ragnarok, possibly even in the next trailer, but for those of you are spoiler sensitive, you should probably stop reading now.

Last week’s trailer gave us a look at the showdown between Thor and the Hulk in an arena run by Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster on the planet Sakaar, legitimizing the long-gestating rumor of an adaptation of Planet Hulk. Marvel Studios has done a fine job of adapting and combining different stories over the years without being married to all parts of it and it seems that they’ve done it again here. The Grandmaster has replaced the Red King as the man behind the gladiatorial games known the Contest of Champions. Fans of the comics and games will recognize the title, a great nod to the 30+ year history of the Grandmaster. And if that wasn’t enough of a nod to some great comic arcs, the Contest of Champions will include at least two members of Hulk’s Warbound: Korg, the Kronan and the Sakaaran insectoid, Miek!

Eagle-eyed fans may have suspected an appearance by Korg after director Taika Waititi teased us with this Instagram post last fall:

Watch this space… #Ragnarok

A post shared by Taika Waititi (@taikawaititi) on

Now the director is free to talk about the inclusion of the Stone man, a character for which he provided the motion capture and voice, in his upcoming film:

His name is Korg, like the piano, and he’s a Kronan! I mean, I know you’ve seen (Thor) Dark World. At the beginning of Dark World, there’s a Kronan there. This is kind of a relation to that guy. He’s not as tall. He’s sort of about eight feet tall, and he’s um, made of rocks. He’s one of the creatures featured in the Planet Hulk storyline, along with another character called Miek, who is also in the film, so we’re borrowing those from their storyline and putting them in the arena, the Contest of Champions, that the Grandmaster, Jeff Goldblum runs on the planet Sakaar, which the Hulk is the main champion.

As for how Korg and Thor, who destroyed one of his fellow Kronans, will hit it off, it seems they’ll be fast friends. “He’s one of the few characters to befriend Thor on the planet,” said Waititi. “He helps him out. Sort of explains how things go and becomes an ally to Thor.” Waititi added that Korg, as was the case in the comics, is not glad to be a part of the Contest of Champions and has a bit of a rebellious streak. Despite being described as “lovable” and a “very light soul”, Korg is ready to rebel and recruits Thor to his cause. Their first meeting will seemingly include a bit of Waititi’s signature humor as Korg tells Thor exactly why he’s in the cell. “I tried to start a revolution,” says the Kronan, “but I didn’t print enough pamphlets.” While the footage didn’t reveal more about how Thor and Hulk ultimately escape the planet, we can be sure that Korg will be a part of it.

Fans of Planet Hulk will also be interested to see what role Miek, mentioned above by Waititi, plays in the film. The director described his take on Miek as follows:

This other character here is Miek. He’s from the comics as well. He’s sort of like an insectoid. He sort of has a cool exoskeleton with knife hands. He’s basically sort of a larva shaped thing. He controls the exoskeleton with these controls and stuff. He’s way more graceful than Korg. Much more efficient and Miek does not talk.

The footage showed Miek’s red exoskeleton and his “graceful” fighting style seemed very much like a balanced kung fu, in contrast to the sheer force employed by Korg. Waititi’s description also makes it seem as though Miek has not yet undergone his metamorphosis into “King Miek”, so it will be interesting to see if that’s included in the film. We’ll also be keeping an eye on Miek as fans of the comics know that there’s more than a little treachery in his blood.

No other members of the Warbound were shown, so we are certainly left with some questions about just how many others might make the transition to the big screen. While we’d love to see Hirohim and No-Name make the jump, we are certainly most interested in whether or not we might see Caiera, who made it to the concept art stage during pre-production of Thor: The Dark World. With minds like Waititi and James Gunn shaping the Cosmic corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I don’t know that we can rule anything out, much less possibly planting some seeds for a possible exploration of Skaar and/or Hiro-Kala down the road.

Thor: Ragnarok, in all its 80’s glory, comes smashing into theaters November 3, 2017!

Source: That Hashtag Show