Not that this is going to come as a big surprise to anyone who has followed the Marvel Cinematic Universe over the last decade, but Marvel Studios absolutely crushed it at San Diego Comic-Con this year. Also not surprising, considering it's the next movie up on their slate, they brought a huge showing for Thor: Ragnarok. Jeff Goldblum, who plays Grandmaster in the movie, was in attendance and made a pretty major confirmation for the MCU; the Elders of the Universe are part of it and he is a member.
This is something that has long been suspected, since Benicio Del Toro's The Collector from Guardians of the Galaxy is a member of the Elders of the Universe. And, since Grandmaster is a member in the Marvel Comics as well, fans were able to connect the dots. But nothing means anything until it is confirmed and, per IGN, Jeff Goldblum did just that at Marvel's Hall H presentation. Here's what he had to say about Grandmaster in Thor: Ragnarok.
"Yes, I'm The Collector's brother, Benicio Del Toro. We're very old. We're elders of the universe. We came about shortly after The Big Bang. Yeah, oldest living race, they call us, in the thing. Grandmaster and my brother Collector. It's amazing. Now I rule on this planet Sakaar and I put together games, mostly. Fighting games. And I put together the great, great match between Hulk and the new Thor. I put that together for your entertainment pleasure."
So there you have it. This is a big deal because it is setting up a pretty powerful, connected team of beings in the MCU. What can Marvel Studios do with that in the future? Who knows? But it does present some interesting possibilities and serves as a nice confirmation. It is also worth mentioning that Ego the Living Planet, as portrayed by Kurt Russell in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, is also a member of the Elders of the Universe. In case you aren't familiar, here's a description of the Elders of the Universe, courtesy of Comic Vine.
"Each of the Elders have spent their eons-long life engaged in highly individual pursuits and pastimes. Long ago, the various Elders discovered that if they did not choose an all-encompassing pastime to pursue, they would lose their will to live thus surrendering their immortality. The Collector's wife Matani lived for billions of years before succumbing to apathy. Some Elders have chosen to develop their full physical and mental potentials, thus becoming extremely powerful beings. Others have not and rely on technology to perform various feats. It is not known precisely how many Elders there are in the universe. Although they are not related, the Elders all call each other 'brother.'"
Avengers: Infinity War (which still hasn't had its trailer released online) is set to shakeup the MCU in a big way and with the Elders of the Universe officially part of the MCU now, one has to think that will lead to something down the line. For now, all we can do is speculate. Thor 3 is set for release on November 3 and that's where you can see some more of Jeff Goldblum's Grandmaster. Also, in case you missed it, we have the brand new Thor: Ragnarok trailer from SDCC for you to check out below.