According to Thor: Ragnarok screenwriter Eric Pearson, the franchise’s human characters, like Natalie Portman’s Jane, Kat Dennings’s Darcy, and Stellan Skarsgård’s Dr. Erik Selvig, were never considered for parts in the film. The Taika Waititi-directed flick reinvents the God of Thunder as he goes through his own hero’s journey to save Asgard with his Avengers pal (and sometimes sparring partner), Bruce Banner/Hulk. With the movie being a mix of old and new (but mostly new from the look of things), there are some notable absences in the flick — mostly Odinson’s Earth-bound friends.
Days before the movie finally hits North American theaters, it has already been dubbed a success worldwide, raking strong reviews and international box office sales, suggesting that Pearson and Marvel’s decision to leave the supporting cast at home was indeed the right one.
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Speaking to Cinemablend, Pearson revealed that there was never a conversation about wanting to incorporate Jane, Dr. Selvig, or Darcy in Ragnarok. Apparently, Marvel Studios had a set of story points that they wanted to include in the film (presumably the bit about Planet Hulk), but he was never obligated to cram all of them in, nor mandated to bring Thor’s Earthly friends into the movie:
Not that it would hurt Ragnarok to make reference to the characters, but the decision to leave them out is totally understandable. On top of being set mostly outside of Earth there is already a lot going on in the narrative that probably wouldn’t work while still trying to incorporate additional pre-existing characters. Even Waititi himself shared that he approached working on the flick as if it is the first solo outing for Thor, which justifies the movie’s remarkably different look and feel, not to mention its off-world storyline.
Despite this, the movie is still very much connected to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, after all, Thor: Ragnarok is still part of a bigger narrative. It is even deemed to have direct repercussions on what is to come in Avengers: Infinity War with the God of Thunder being the link between the Guardians of the Galaxy and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. So while some fans may wonder why Jane, Darcy, and Dr. Selvig weren’t present during the film, their absence is likely not going to ruffle too many feathers of the Marvel faithful.