EXCLUSIVE: Kenneth Branagh Says ‘Thor’ Casting In ‘Final Stages,’ Addresses Decision Process
MTV.com, 12 May 2009
While there’s still some uncertainty about exactly when the Kenneth Branagh-directed “Thor” will be hitting theaters, there’s even less know about who will be wielding the mighty hammer Mjolnir on the big screen. There’s been no shortage of casting rumors and teases from various actors and “Thor” filmmakers, so when Branagh dropped by MTV to discuss his PBS miniseries “Wallander,” we had to throw in a few questions about that other little project on his plate.
“We’re down to the final stages of it,” Branagh told MTV News of the “Thor” casting timeline. “The reason one has to be properly diplomatic, is simply that some talented peopled have been patient, kind, creative and really committed to working with us in this process.”
“My reluctance to say anything about it is simply out of respect for people who have been extremely respectful of us,” continued Branagh. “That said, I think we are extremely close and I hope to announce a decision sooner rather than later.”
As for what qualities would make the perfect Thor, Branagh maintained his diplomatic stance, explaining that the must-have traits of the film’s title character were a group decision — a very big group’s decision, in fact.
“There’s a massive fan base out there of devotees, enthusiasts and real experts who have all the answers to that,” said Branagh. “All I can say is that I bare all of that in mind with my Thor education. I read a couple of comics across the years every day, I read the Norse legends and sagas, and [the lead role] needs to have something from all that’s great in the comics and the legends, and needs to live in our film universe.”
“It’s a whole series of things that I could list, but I’m not going to, because I’d have to kill you,” laughed Branagh.
Branagh offered a similarly appreciative, yet noncommittal response when asked if he was aware of some of the various online campaigns for the lead role — including the much-publicized petition for actor James Preston Rogers to play Marvel’s God of Thunder.
“I am aware of certain campaigns, and I think everyone is grateful for them and knows that there is a great anticipation,” said Branagh. “We have every intention of doing everything humanly possible to live up to that anticipation.”