Kirk's Dad Hit by Lightning!
NY Science Fiction Examiner, 8 September 2009
Actor Chris Hemsworth, the 6 foot 3 hunk who played Capt. Kirk's dad in this summer's 'Star Trek' re-boot, has been cast as Marvel Comic's Nordic hero, Thor.
Thor, of course is the Norse God of Thunder, and is one of the major gods of ancient norse mythology. Thor was such a popular god among the Norse, that today his name lives on — Thursday is a derivative of "Thor's day".
The comic book version of Thor was created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby, and first appeared in 'Journey Into Mystery' #83 (1962). The comic changed titles with issue #126, to 'The Mighty Thor' (1966). The God of Thunder was also a founding member of the super hero group, the Avengers.
Thor proved so popular that he was included in Marvel's first cartoon show, 'The Marvel Superheroes Show' (1966). He later made appearances in 'Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends', and made his live action debut in 1988's 'The Incredible Hulk Returns'. The TV movie was a vehicle for a proposed Thor spinoff series, which never happened. In the made-for-TV movie, Don Blake (the alter ego of Thor in the comics) was a student of Dr. Banner (played by Bill Bixby). Blake tracks down Banner, hoping that his old professor can help him get rid of an ancient curse that has befallen him. It seems that Blake has become a vessel for Thor, and can summon him, a la Shazam, when he calls out the name of Odin — and they wondered why this didn't sell? Thor next appeared came in the direct-to-video cartoons 'Ultimate Avengers' 1 and 2 (2006), and in the recently release 'Hulk Vs' (Wolverine and Thor) in 2009.
Now it seems that Thor will finally get his due, and star in a lavish, big budget feature (shooting begins Jan. 2010), scheduled for release in May of 2011. The movie will be directed by Kenneth Branagh, and in addition to Hemsworth, will star Tom Hiddleston ('The Gathering Storm') as Thor's evil step-brother Loki, Natalie Portman as Jane Foster, and Brian Blessed as Odin. Rumors throughout the Internet have Jessica Biel in the movie — but that has not been confirmed. Some have her cast as Thor's Asgardian love, Sif, and others have her cast as the villainous Enchantress. As of this date, none of these rumors have been confirmed — sorry to rain on your parade bloggers. In addition, Marvel plans on developing a cartoon series based on the movie, but no official release date or network has been announced.
Thor will also appear in the Live action 'Avengers' movie, set for release in 2012.