Is this a comic-based flick or another Hamlet adaptation? The cast for the upcoming Marvel comic adaptation Thor is is looking pretty high brow. First, we’ve got Shakesperean actor/director Kenneth Branagh at the helm. Second, the lineup includes the likes of Sir Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman, Stellan Skarsgard and Samuel L. Jackson.
I’d never peg Branagh to be doing a movie like this, which is all the more reason I’m intrigued to see what he’ll bring to the table. Seems that more and more serious thespians are joining the comic-book bandwagon, just this week it’s been reported that Dame Helen Mirren will star in an espionage thriller Red, which is based on a DC comic. Now, some might think they are merely wanting a little piece of the superhero pie as one Cinematical writer put it. She also astutely noted that the quality of these genre flicks have been greatly improved over the years that if there ever was a stigma of being involved in those, it’s quickly eroding. I’d say it’s a win-win trend for everyone involved: the project gets some kind of prestige-boost, the actors get a heftier paycheck (as films of this genre usually get a relatively bigger budget), and we the moviegoers get to see higher-caliber acting alongside some kick-ass CGI. That’s definitely not a bad thing, especially the fact that with the continued success of both DC and Marvel projects, comic book flicks surely aren’t going away any time soon.
For anyone not familiar with the comics, here’s a quick plot summary from THR’s blog: The movie’s story sees the god of thunder Thor, a powerful but arrogant warrior whose reckless actions re-ignite an ancient war. As punishment, 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.
Hopkins will play the Norse god Odin, who is Thor’s father and ruler of Asgard. Newcomer Chris Hemsworth (who’s last seen as Capt. Kirk’s father in Star Trek) has been given the role of Thor and Natalie Portman will play his love interest.
The movie is set to be released Summer of 2011.