This is Thor. He is a god of Thunder.
He is also a Marvel superhero, and one of a handful of such heroes set to star in their own big screen blockbusters in the next couple of years - this one to be directed by Kenneth Branagh. The other really big hero on the slate is Captain America, and casting rumours have been rife on who would be cast in each of these roles. For a long time, it seemed the most sensible choice for Thor was this fella:
This is Alexander Skarsgård, son of Stellan Skarsgård, and one of the stars of both Generation Kill and True Blood. Not only is he tall, handsome, muscular and blond; he’s also Scandinavian! It was pretty much dream casting. Thus I was very disappointed when Skarsgård recently said that he was out of the running for the part. At that point I was resolved to hate whoever they eventually did cast.
Then came today’s scoop from Deadline Hollywood Daily that Branagh has his Thor, and it’s this guy:
You may know him as Kim Hyde on Home & Away. More likely, you know him as Captain Kirk. Senior, that is. He played the rather dishy George Kirk in the new Star Trek movie.
He’s not as tall as Skarsgård (an inch shorter at 6′ 3″), and he’s not as Scandinavian (he’s Australian), but he is tall, handsome, muscular and blond, so as second choices go, he looks pretty good to me - and he’s about seven years younger than Skarsgård, so he has better mileage for a franchise. Given that the producers were considering Charlie Hunnam (a good looking lad, but an atrocious actor), I’m actually rather relieved.
This still leaves the question of who should play that other tall, handsome, muscular blond, Captain America.
The names being thrown in the hat by Cap fans include Tahmoh Penikett, Travis Fimmel, Chris Egan, Jensen Ackles, Kellan Lutz, Mark Valley, Matthew McConaughey, Leonardo DiCaprio and Will Smith.
I’m fairly sure they won’t cast someone who isn’t actually American (it would be a scandal), so Penikett, Fimmel and Egan are out. I also don’t think they’re going to cast a black actor - there was a black Captain America, but 1940s America was not going to choose a black man to be its symbol of hope. They won’t cast Kellan Lutz because, let’s be honest, he looks kinda metrosexual.
Because the character is meant to have gravitas, there’s a temptation to cast someone a bit older in the role, but Cap would have been in his early 20s when he started out, and not yet 30 when he was frozen in 1945, and the movie is expected to cover that period, so the likes of McConaughey, Damon and, especially, Valley should be too old.
My personal favourite for the role is Scott Porter of Friday Night Lights (above). He was perfect as an iconic blond, blue-eyed, square-jawed hero in Speed Racer, playing big brother Rex. He definitely has the all-American thing going on, and he doesn’t look too lightweight. Of course, if the Marvel movie makers do not follow my excellent advice, their casting on Thor has proved that they can sometimes make a good decision without my help.