The Kenneth Branagh-led live-action adaptation of the classic Marvel Comics character Thor may have just gotten another injection of star power. After little-known actor Chris Hemsworth was cast in the title role, fans were wondering whether Captain Kirk's dad would be enough of a draw to get non-comic book fans to see the movie.
Subsequent Thor casting has proven that Branagh is looking to fill his movie with the very best that Hollywood has to offer. If the additions of Academy Award-nominated actress Natalie Portman and multiple award-winning actor Stellan Skarsgård isn't enough, the latest rumor has two-time Oscar-nominated actor Jude Law and two-time Oscar-winning actor Robert DeNiro joining the cast.
According to AICN, German-born Valkyrie actor Matthias Schweighöfer told German GQ that he is up for a role in Thor and that DeNiro and Law are already on board. There is no mention of who or what characters — this is a superhero movie with a basis in Norse mythology — DeNiro and Law would be portraying. Some rumors have DeNiro portraying Odin, the "All-Father" of Asgard and Thor's father, with Law playing Balder the Brave, Thor's confidante and (recently revealed in the Thor comic series) half-brother. Posted 10.18.09 by BrentJS
In the past, comic book writers were the last people Hollywood would go to for advice about their adaptations. That's changing, though. With many of the top-grossing films of the past decade based on comic book characters, the writers are gaining a little more cred.
At the recent Baltimore Comic-Con, prolific comic book scribe Brian Michael Bendis revealed that he is one of those rare comic creators afforded access in Hollywood, at least on the Kenneth Branagh-directed Thor movie currently in development at Marvel Studios. Bendis, one of the designers of the "Ultimate" universe, a modern retelling of classic Marvel characters designed to appeal to new readers, confirmed that Thor would precede the release of Captain America: The First Avenger, and that he had read the script. Bendis joked:
I'm Thor. A Jewy Thor. I was reading the new script just last night. Very, very good.
Thor is currently in pre-production, with an expected January 2010 start, and will feature Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Natalie Portman as Thor's human love interest, Jane Foster. Posted 10.14.09 by BrentJS
After the shadow of bankruptcy threatened to dismantle the number one comic book company in America just a decade ago, Marvel Comics has emerged bigger and better than ever, helped in great part by the success of its movie production branch, Marvel Studios. Kevin Feige, President of Production for Marvel Studios, assumed command just as Iron Man was beginning production and today he is in charge of coordinating a whole slate of films in an effort to create a "shared universe" for Marvel characters to inhabit, where cross-overs and team-ups are commonplace, just as they are in the comics.
The precedent for cross-overs has already been set, with Robert Downey Jr. appearing as Tony Stark in both Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk. Likewise, Samuel L. Jackson signed on to reprise the role of Nick Fury in as many as nine movies. So, who's next? It just might be the Norse thunder god Thor. While discussing Marvel's preparations for the San Diego Comic-Con, Feige dropped the news that Chris Hemsworth, recently signed to play Thor, stopped by the set of Iron Man 2:
Chris Hemsworth came by the (Iron Man 2) set a few weeks ago. There was nobody around, but it was the historic meeting of Thor and Tony Stark. Within a few minutes, the crew was whispering, "There's Thor." Some of them had worked on Star Trek, so they knew who he was, but you could feel the buzz.
The decision to cast Hemsworth, a relative unknown, in the title role of a big-budget effects-driven movie has been questioned by some and criticized by others, but Feige defends the decision:
I think the Marvel way is casting the best actor for the part. It can be somebody relatively new, but it can also be someone like Robert Downey Jr., who you wouldn't necessarily call an unknown.
Kenneth Branagh is signed on to direct Thor, with Natalie Portman cast as Jane Foster, Thor's human love interest, and Tom Hiddleston cast as Loki, Thor's evil half-brother. Posted 07.22.09 by BrentJS
Variety and The Hollywood Reporter confirm that Natalie Portman will star as the love interest in Marvel Comics' upcoming adaptation of Thor.
Chris Hemsworth has already been cast in the title role. Portman will play Jane Foster, a nurse who becomes Thor's first love interest early in the comic book series. The story involves Thor's banishment to the world of everyday humanity after he commits reckless actions in battle.
The movie is being directed by Kenneth Branagh, who is best known for his cinematic interpretations of Shakespeare. It is set to begin shooting early next year and is slated for a May 20, 2011 release.
Other upcoming Portman projects include Jim Sheridan's Brothers, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Tobey Maguire; Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan; David Gordon Green's Your Highness; and the ensemble vehicle New York, I Love You. Posted 07.14.09 by reelz
When Marvel cast Chris Hemsworth as Thor, a collective "Who?" echoed around the Internet. When it was explained that Hemsworth played Kirk's father in Star Trek, the question changed to: "Him?" Marvel Entertainment President Kevin Feige is not among the cries of panic. Feige thinks the Australian actor has something pretty special:
As new actors make their way into feature films, it is a rare thing to find someone who is not only immensely watchable and engaging, but can also represent a timeless and key character from the Marvel universe in such a compelling way. We have been watching Chris hone his craft over the last several months and due to his persistence and talent he rose above everyone else embodying the actor we were looking for.
Star Trek screenwriter Alex Kurtzman was so impressed, he thinks Hemsworth could carry his own Star Trek:
So many people seemed to marvel at the fact that they cried in the first 10 minutes of Trek, and that's directly a result of the amazing work Chris did. As long as he plays the part, there could be an entire Star Trek movie devoted to the heroic adventures of George Kirk.
Hemsworth will soon be seen everywhere. Up next is the thriller A Perfect Getaway, opening August 14, followed by Joss Whedon's horror flick The Cabin in the Woods opening February 5. Before Thor, Hemsworth will also shoot the remake of Red Dawn, opening September 2010. Posted 06.22.09 by Ryan
Marvel President of Production Kevin Feige has been very busy lately speaking about the upcoming slate of movies Marvel has in production, from The Avengers to Thor and even Ant-Man, giving plenty of updates about each one.
While he could not confirm another Incredible Hulk movie, Feige did confirm that Hulk will appear in The Avengers:
Now at least we can talk about Hulk being onscreen and Hulk being in a movie. It will have been four years since he was in a movie by that point. By 2012, I'd like to see him in it. We're just starting the story. I was on the phone with [Avengers screenwriter] Zak Penn this morning. He's coming in next week and he's going to work on the outline this summer. It's so intertwined with what we're doing before it. I almost wanted to get done with production on Iron Man 2, and the scripts to Thor and The First Avenger: Captain America well underway, before we even started The Avengers.
With many of the movies being intertwined, this means that several characters will make appearances in different movies, in particular Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. Feige explained that he hopes to provide fans with a comic book experience, where characters from other books show up unexpectedly.
Feige gave an update on Thor confirming that Donald Blake, Thor's human alter ego, will not appear in Thor, which will take place on both Earth and Asgard. Meanwhile, The First Avenger: Captain America will "primarily" be a period piece taking place during World War II, with an appearance by Cap's sidekick Bucky "a safe bet."
As for casting Captain America, Feige clearly hasn't made a decision:
There are only a handful of stars that mean anything here, much lessoverseas. I do think that will be a factor in it. As long as we have the freedom to cast the best actor for the part. Whether it's an actorwho's been a great actor, but hasn't starred in marquee action movies before like Robert Downey, or somebody that came out of Australia that we've never heard.
As for the Ant-Man adaptation that Shaun of the Dead's Edgar Wright is working on, Feige said:
I want to make Ant-Man one of these days. I think that'll be surprising and funny. I love Edgar Wright. What he likes about it is that when he says he's doing Ant-Man, people go, 'Ant-Man? What thehell is that?' I think that's funny.
Ant-Man isn't the only movie Feige hopes to make post-Avengers, he's also excited about Doctor Strange:
I think Doctor Strange would kick ass. I think we've done very well atthis street-level superhero aspect of the Marvel Universe. I think with Thor, you'll see us cracking into the cosmic side of the MarvelUniverse in a very good way that's never been done before in our movies. I'd love to get into that supernatural element.
Marvel and Feige clearly have a lot on the horizon. However, ultimately, it's The Avengers that Feige is most excited about:
I think The Avengers is going to have it's own vibe. It'll have a different tone than the other Marvel movies. It is about saving the world, because there's no other reason for characters that powerful to band together. I think the scope and the scale will feel like a much bigger thing.
Iron Man 2 opens May 7, 2010, while Thor and The First Avenger: Captain America are due May 20 and July 22 of 2011, respectively. The Avengers should open May 4, 2012. Posted 06.09.09 by Ryan
Thor is really starting to fill out its ensemble, with Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Tom Hiddleston as his evil half-brother Loki, and Kenneth Branagh-favorite Brian Blessed as their father Odin.
What concerns comic fans, however, is not so much the casting but instead how Branagh and company plan on handling Thor's odd position as both superhero and Norse god. With Thor looking to be released only a year prior to The Avengers, will Thor's integration into a team of heroes seem natural or will Thor stand out among his more human counterparts like Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man? Nothing to worry about, Thor screenwriter Ashley Miller told CineFOOLS:
Thor's powers are godly, yes. And his zip code is a little different. But atthe end of the day, he's a man. In the comics, Odin sends him to Earth because he's not perfect. He's brash, arrogant. Even over-confident. Weall know that guy -- some of us have even been that guy. Our script is very firmly rooted in the Marvel film world. We wereconstantly looking for ways to connect Thor to the other movies and heroes, even if they were simply in passing.
Director Branagh is also interested in the story, reading tons of Thor comics and taking advice from several Marvel writers and editors. With such in-depth research, clearly Branagh has some favorite storylines? He told MTV:
I think that [Thor stories] go through golden patches and purplepatches and everyone has personal favorites. The recent runs have been marvelous. The J. Michael Straczynski run has been a tremendous achievement. But I’ve also been reading way back, reading classic, vintage runs as well. There are many Thors and many accounts of the stories across nearly 50 years of the comics. We look to raid from the best.
So really, the story could come from anywhere in Thor's 45-year history. That ought to satisfy fans. Posted 06.05.09 by Ryan
With Chris Hemsworth, who played Kirk's father in the recent Star Trek, on board to star as the hammer-wielding Thor, another Star Trek actor is hoping to join the Kenneth Branagh-directed production. Clifton Collins Jr., who played the Romulan Ayel in Star Trek and starred in Capote and Traffic, announced on his Twitter page:
Studying my ass off for THOR, gonna be a late night, well worth the loss of sleep!
Collins Jr. followed up his post by saying:
Brewing big pot of joe, hitting THOR hard this mornin!
We assume he means the audition. Collins Jr. made no mention of which character he would portray, though MTV speculates that he could play one of The Warriors Three, one of Thor's Asgardian friends. Clifton has yet to reveal how the audition went. Posted 06.01.09 by Ryan
DeadlineHollywood.com has scooped a double whammy in casting news for Marvel Studio's next big franchise comic book movie, Thor.
As we reported earlier, the lead role Thor has gone to Australian hunk Chris Hemsworth. Now we learn his evil arch-nemesis and half brother, Loki, will be played by award-winning British actor Tom Hiddleston.
Both of these hunky hotties are relative unknowns, at least to American audiences, but if you think you recognize Hemmings, perhaps you just saw Star Trek -- he portrays the doomed daddy of James T. Kirk -- killed in the opening scene of the movie. Posted 05.19.09 by reelz
After months of screen testing several actors for the lead role in the upcoming adaptation of Thor, Kenneth Branagh's recent comment that the casting decision was "extremely close" turned out to be true.
Deadline Hollywood Daily reports that newcomer Chris Hemsworth has landed the role. The Australian actor appeared in Star Trek as Captain Kirk's father and will be in the upcoming remake of Red Dawn. Hemsworth had not been mentioned as one of the actors testing for the part because he had only read for the part. Hemsworth's agent convinced Marvel CEO Kevin Feige to test him, which then convinced Branagh.
While Hemsworth definitely looks the role, the actor has another asset that could make a good comic book hero: he's Australian. Just ask Hugh Jackman (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) or Eric Bana (Hulk). Posted 05.17.09 by Ryan