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Thor is an upcoming American superhero film based on the comic book of the same name appearing in Marvel Comics. The film will star Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, and Tom Hiddleston, with Kenneth Branagh directing a script by Mark Protosevich, Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz and Don Payne. Thor is scheduled to be released on May 6, 2011.
||The Mighty Thor, a powerful but arrogant warrior whose reckless actions reignite an ancient war. Thor is cast down to Earth and forced to live among humans as punishment. Once here, Thor learns what it takes to be a true hero when the most dangerous villain of his world sends the darkest forces of Asgard to invade Earth.
—official press release from Marvel.com, 
- Chris Hemsworth as Thor: The god of thunder based on the deity of the same name from Norse mythology. According to Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily blog, director Kenneth Branagh and Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige chose Hemsworth after a back-and-forth process in which the 25-year-old actor was nixed early on, then given a second chance to read for the part.
- Tom Hiddleston as Loki: Thor's adoptive brother and nemesis based on the deity of the same name. Hiddleston was chosen after previously working with Branagh on Ivanov and Wallander. Initially Hiddleston auditioned to play Thor but Branagh decided his talent would be better harnessed playing Loki. About the character Hiddleston stated that "Loki's like a comic book version of Edmund in King Lear, but nastier". Hiddleston also stated that he had to keep a strict diet before the start of filming because "Ken (Branagh) wants Loki to have a lean and hungry look, like Cassius in Julius Caesar. Physically, he can't be posing as Thor".
- Natalie Portman as Jane Foster: A nurse and Thor's human love interest. Marvel Studios stated in an announcement that the character will be updated for the feature adaptation. When asked why she took the role, Portman replied "I just thought it sounded like a weird idea because Kenneth Branagh's directing it, so I was just like, 'Kenneth Branagh doing 'Thor' is super-weird, I've gotta do it.'"
- Anthony Hopkins as Odin: The ruler of Asgard, father of Thor and adoptive father of Loki based on the deity of the same name. In an interview with MTV News Hopkins stated that he knew nothing of the comic. About the film he said, “It’s a superhero movie, but with a bit of Shakespeare thrown in”. He also revealed that the film uses all modern language. In an interview with LA Times Hopkins stated "I'm very interested in that relationship between fathers and sons". "My father's relationship with me was cold. He was a hot-blood character but to me, cold. When I was young, he expressed his disappointment because I was bad in school and all of that. He didn't mean any harm, but I felt I could never meet up to his expectations." Hopkins also expressed that he finds a personal resonance in the Odin role stating; "He's a stern man. He's a man with purpose. I play the god who banishes his son from the kingdom of Asgard because he screwed up. He's a hot-headed, temperamental young man... probably a chip off of the old block but I decide he's not really ready to rule the future kingdom, so I banish him. I'm harsh and my wife complains and I say, 'That is why I'm king.' He's ruthless, take-it-or-leave-it. Women are much more forgiving; men are not so forgiving. I know in my life, my karma is, 'If you don't like it, tough, move on.' And I move on. I'm a little like Odin myself".
- Joshua Dallas as Fandral: the leader of the Warriors Three, a group of three Asgardian adventurers who are among Thor's closest comrades. Stuart Townsend was initially cast after Zachary Levi was forced to vacate the role due to a scheduling conflict. However, days before filming began, Townsend was replaced by Dallas citing "creative differences".
- Ray Stevenson as Volstagg: the comic relief of the Warriors Three known for both his hearty appetite and wide girth. Stevenson has previously worked with Kenneth Branagh in the 1998 film, The Theory of Flight and with Marvel Studios as the titular character in Punisher: War Zone. Stevenson will wear a fat suit for the role stating; "I've tried the suit on, and what they've done is kind of sex him up: he's sort of slimmer but rounder.". About the character Stevenson stated; "He's got every bit of that Falstaffian verve and vigor, and a bit of a beergut to suggest that enormous appetite, but he's not the sort of Weeble-shaped figure he is in the comics. He's Falstaff with muscles. I've got this amazing foam-injected undersuit that flexes with me. I can't wait!".
- Rene Russo as Frigga: the wife of Odin, queen of Asgard and the step mother of Thor and adoptive mother of Loki based on the deity of the same name.
Colm Feore has been cast in an unknown role though it is thought to be a villain. Stellan Skarsgård has also been cast in an unspecified role. Adriana Barraza has been cast in an unknown role though is said to be a human. Clark Gregg will reprise his role as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson from Iron Man and Iron Man 2. Actors Joseph Gatt, Joshua Cox, and Troy Brenna have also been cast in unspecified roles. Joseph Gatt revealed in an interview with Screen Rant that he will be playing a villain stating; "Marvel are really into secrecy and protecting their scripts and characters, so there’s not much I can say except that I’m playing a bad guy with a lot of action". Stan Lee and J. Michael Straczynski will have cameo appearances.
"Thor's powers are godly, yes...But at the end of the day, he's a man... Odin sends him to Earth because he's not perfect. He's brash, arrogant. Even over-confident...he also bleeds. He struggles. Life kicks him where it hurts the most... You want to feel Thor's rage when he rages. You want to see him fight like hell, and take as much as he dishes out -- maybe more. You want to have a visceral reaction to the guy, and what happens to him. You don't want his adventures to be clean and antiseptic. You want to see the dirt, and grime and blood. You want to feel every bone crunching moment of every fight. And when he unleashes the storm, you want to feel like you're seeing the power of a GOD at work."
Ashley Miller, co-writer of Thor
, about the project
Sam Raimi originally envisioned the idea for Thor after Darkman (1990), meeting Stan Lee and pitching the concept to 20th Century Fox, but they did not understand it. Thor was abandoned until April 1997, when Marvel Studios was beginning to rapidly expand. The film first gained momentum after the successful release of the film X-Men. The plan was for the film to be made for TV. UPN were in talks for airing it; excited by the prospect, they pushed for a script and approached Tyler Mane to lead as Thor. In May 2000, Marvel Studios brought Artisan Entertainment to help finance it as a film, but Thor was still laboring in development hell by April 2002, and in June 2004 the project still had yet to be optioned by a studio. However, Sony Pictures Entertainment purchased the film rights, and in December 2004 David S. Goyer was in negotiations to write and direct. In 2005, though there were talks between Goyer and Marvel, it was revealed that Goyer was no longer attached, though at this point the film was still set to be distributed through Sony Pictures.
Mark Protosevich, a fan of the Thor comic book, signed to write the script in April 2006, during which time Paramount Pictures acquired the rights from Sony. That year the film was also announced to be a Marvel Studios production. In December 2007, Protosevich described his plans for it "to be like a superhero origin story, but not one about a human gaining super powers, but of a god realizing his true potential. It's the story of an Old Testament god who becomes a New Testament god". In August 2007 Marvel Studios signed Matthew Vaughn to direct the film. Vaughn then rewrote Protosevich's script in order to bring down the budget to $150 million, as Protosevich's first draft would have cost $300 million to produce. He intended to start filming in late 2008 and after the success of Iron Man, Marvel Studios announced that they intended to release Thor on June 4, 2010, with Iron Man 2 being used to introduce the character of Thor.
Vaughn was released when his holding deal expired in May 2008, at which point Marvel set Protosevich to work on a new draft and began searching for a new director. By September 2008 D. J. Caruso had been discussing taking on the project, though he did not read the script. Later that month, it was revealed that Kenneth Branagh had entered into negotiations to direct, and in December 2008, Branagh confirmed to MTV News that he has been hired. He described it as "a human story right in the center of a big epic scenario.” Branagh stated that he hoped to begin filming in January 2010 and Marvel Studios set back the release date of the film from its scheduled July 16, 2010 date to June 17, 2011, almost a full year later. They later moved the release date to May 20, 2011, to distance the film's release from that of The First Avenger: Captain America, another Marvel Studios film which was scheduled to be released on July 22, 2011. In February 2009, Samuel L. Jackson, who had briefly portrayed Nick Fury at the end of the film Iron Man, signed on to reprise the role in the film as part of an unprecedented nine-picture deal with Marvel Studios.
In May 2009 it was reported that Chris Hemsworth was in negotiations to portray the title role after something of a back-and-forth process in which the 25-year-old actor was nixed early on, then given a second chance to read for the part. The next day it was announced that Tom Hiddleston, who had worked with Branagh before and had initially been considered to portray the lead role, had been cast as Loki. Kevin Feige of Marvel Studios confirmed in June of that year that both Hemsworth and Hiddleston had signed on. Feige also mentioned that the film would take place on both modern day Earth and Asgard but Thor's human host, Dr. Donald Blake will not be included.
With Hemsworth and Hiddleston in place, the rest of the cast began to fill out. In July it was announced that Natalie Portman was set to portray Jane Foster. Jaimie Alexander and Colm Feore were reported to have joined the cast in September, with Alexander portraying Sif and Feore's role unrevealed, though it is thought to be a villain. In an interview with Swedish news site Ystands Allehanda, Stellan Skarsgård stated that he had joined the cast, though he did not specify his role. In late October it was reported that Anthony Hopkins had been cast as Odin in the film. Several weeks later Marvel announced that they had cast the Warriors Three: Fandral was to be played by Stuart Townsend, Hogun was to be played by Tadanobu Asano and Volstagg was to be played by Ray Stevenson. A few days later it was announced that Idris Elba had also joined the cast, portraying Heimdall.
In an interview with MTV News, Natalie Portman revealed that actress Kat Dennings would be involved in the project. According to Variety Dennings will play Darcy, a coworker of Portman’s Jane Foster. In December Rene Russo was cast as Frigga, Thor's adoptive mother and Odin's wife. Later that month it was reported that actors Joseph Gatt, Troy Brenna, and Joshua Cox had been cast in the film, though none of their roles were revealed. In January 2010 it was reported that Adriana Barraza had also joined the film's cast, in a supporting capacity. Her role was not revealed, but it was said to be a human. Only days before filming began, Stuart Townsend was replaced by Joshua Dallas as Fandral, citing "creative differences". When Spider-Man 4's production stalled, Paramount and Marvel Entertainment decided to push up the release of Thor by two weeks to the then vacated date of May 6, 2011.
In October 2008, Marvel Studios signed a long term lease agreement with Raleigh Studios to film their next four movies - Iron Man 2, Thor, The First Avenger: Captain America and The Avengers - at Raleigh's Manhattan Beach, California facility. Production Weekly tweeted that filming on Marvel’s Thor was scheduled to begin in LA mid-January, then move to Santa Fe, New Mexico from March until late-April. Principal photography began on Monday, January 11, 2010. A few days after filming began, it was reported that Clark Gregg had signed on to reprise his role from Iron Man and Iron Man 2 as Agent Coulson, as the comicbook company's (Marvel's) film division preps for the eventual production of The Avengers. Paramount Pictures negotiated with Del Mar, California to film a beach scene for Thor. Paramount used a 300-yard stretch of Del Mar beach for a scene involving six horses running down the terrain. Paramount said this coastline was ideal because its gradual slope of sand down to the waterline creates excellent reflection opportunities on film. On March 15, 2010 production of Thor moved to Galisteo, New Mexico, where an entire town has been built for the shoot.
France-based BUF Compagnie will be the lead visual effects house working on the film. Digital Domain will also work on the visual effects.
Marvel Animation announced a 26-episode animated series in November 2008, to air in late 2010 before the release of Marvel Studios' film. An animated direct-to-video film, entitled; Thor: Tales of Asgard is expected to hit shelves around the time Kenneth Branagh's live-action "Thor" hits theaters. A video game based on the film is being developed by Sega.
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