I’m taken aback by the casting direction that Kenneth Branagh has taken with his film version of Marvel Comics’ Thor — it might just be my unfamiliarity with the subject material, but really? The 40-Year-Old Virgin‘s Kat Dennings in a tale of Asgard’s invasion of Earth?
That’s not to say I’m disappointed or unexcited. In fact, Branagh has fleshed out an incredibly interesting cast featuring Star Trek‘s Chris Hemsworth as Thor, alongside Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgard and Ray Stevenson.
The latest addition to the cast of Thor is Rene Russo, who will be playing Frigga, the mother of Thor. Russo has been sort of non-existent for the past few years, so it’s good to see her stepping behind one of Marvel’s upcoming centerpiece films.
Thor begins production in January and is scheduled for release on May 20, 2011. Scripted by Mark Protosevich and Zack Stentz (I Am Legend, The Sarah Conner Chronicles), the film will center on “arrogant warrior Thor reigniting an ancient war … Thor is cast down to Earth and forced to live among humans. Once here, he learns what it takes to be a true hero when the most dangerous villain of his world sends dark forces of Asgard to invade Earth.”
Thinking in the long term, if an Avengers film is made, Thor’s character would be a perfect way to pit more worldly heroes like Tony Stark’s Iron Man against supernatural forces, which is an element present in the comics but somewhat at odds with the world that Favreau has established.