Branagh On Idris Elba's Thor Casting
The Controversy Was 'Daft'
Empire Online, 28 March 2011
So far, the signs are looking pretty good for 'Thor', Marvel's trickiest Avenger to slot into our universe. So as you'd expect, director Kenneth Branagh was in a good mood when we spoke to him for the latest issue of Empire, on sale on Thursday. But in the piece he wrote for us as part of our Brit Director's Diary series, he did address the biggest controversy that has attached itself to his film so far: the casting of The Wire's Idris Elba as Norse god Heimdall.
"Idris Elba is a fantastic actor - we were lucky to get him. He provides all the characteristics we need from Asgard's gatekeeper, the man who says, "Thou shalt not pass". When Idris Elba says that, you know you're gonna have a problem. He's smart, intelligent, handsome and an absolute joy to work with. If you have a chance to have a great actor in the part, everything else is irrelevant.
"If you're going to say the colour of his skin matters in a story like this, look at 50 years of 'Thor' comics to see how many ways great artists have bent alleged 'rules'. Look at the Norse myths to see the way they confounded and contradicted themselves. That whole 'controversy' was a surprising - and daft - moment."
You know what? He's not wrong. For the full story on Thor and more from Branagh, pick up the new issue of Empire on Thursday.