Taika's rocking a big feature in upcoming Thor movie

Movies 19/04/2017

New Zealand filmmaker Taika Waititi has continued the trend of casting himself in movies he's directing - but this time, it's on a much larger scale than previous projects.

Few who've seen his earlier films will forget his roles as Alamein in Boy and an unnamed priest in Hunt For the Wilderpeople - and now he's playing a huge rock beast in Marvel's Thor: Ragnarok.

During a small-scale press conference at Disney Studios on Tuesday (local time), Waititi unveiled new artworks, footage and behind-the-scenes studio information about the film.

He also made the surprise announcement that he would feature as Korg - a rock beast featured prominently in Thor comics who will speak with a Māori accent in the film.

Waititi teased the announcement with a picture of a keyboard branded with the same name on Instagram in September last year.

At yesterday's conference, he joked that he initially wanted to cast Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson in the role, but said "there wasn't enough chicken and salmon in New Zealand" to maintain the muscle mass of both him and Chris Hemsworth, who plays Thor, throughout the filming process.

Korg made an appearance in the preceding Thor film - The Dark World - but Waititi said his expressionless face will receive a makeover that will make it appear more friendly and relatable.

The character will appear as a fighter in a gladiatorial arena run by Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum), a setting that was teased in the film's first trailer released last week.

Waititi also revealed that another prominent character in the comics, Miek - who he described as an "insectoid with a crab mouth", would also play a part in Grandmaster's arena.

Thor: Ragnarok is scheduled to be released on October 24 in New Zealand.