Josh Hartnett, Natalie Portman and a new release date for THOR!!

These kind of stories would usually fall into the rumor category but not only has Nikki Finke been spot on about some scoops at Marvel for a good number of weeks now (Rourke, Johansson, Jackson in IRON MAN 2) but these reports are very much in line from what I've been hearing personally and from other sites. First up, it's reported that Natalie Portman is Kenneth Branagh's first choice to play the lead female role, probably the love interest Amora the Enchantress... natalie-portman-5 The character looks like this... thor-sonofasgard8 For the lead role of THOR, the following actors are said to have screentested... Josh Hartnett - Kenneth Branagh who is a close personal friend of Hartnett and was impressed by his performance in Othello on stage in London has made it clear he wants Hartnett in the picture either as THOR or the villain LOKI. Physically, he most definitely suits the latter and at this point it looks like he will play the villain part. Some heads at Marvel wanted him to play the lead THOR because of his name status, though I say it's been a while since Harnett has been a Marquee figure. josh-hartnett-picture-1 Alexander Skarsgård - 6"4 son of veteran actor Stellan and star of GENERATION KILL and TRUE BLOOD. We spoke about the dinner meeting he had with Branagh HERE... eqooqehoeq Tom Hiddelston, British actor who worked with Branagh on the t.v. series WALLANDER recently. He is a 27 year old London born actor who has yet to appear in a feature film. Must be seen as an outsider choice. arts-graphics-2008_1131246a Charlie Hunnam, Newcastle born 28 year old actor who is the co-star of the U.S. series SONS OF ARNACHY. He has appeared in CHILDREN OF MEN and HOOLIGANS. charlie01 Liam Hemsworth, the younger brother of Chris Hemsworth (who is playing Kirk's father in flashback scenes in STAR TREK) and is an alumni of Neighbours. He has recently appeared in KNOWING and has been offered a signifciant role in THE EXPENDABLES after Stallone was impressed by the kids tape reel. Joel Kinnaman, Sweedish American actor who has been in the game for about six years and whose CV of foreign work you can see HERE. 3447786819 From the looks of them, only Skarsgård fills me with much hope and I'm glad to hear that he has screen tested for the role. I think they are probably right to cast an unknown in this part but the thought of Natalie Portman and Josh Hartnett stinking up the screen is just panic inducing. They are exactly the kind of actors I feared would jump on board once Branagh was hired to direct, they are most definitely his kind of actors. In a further update, Marvel for the second time in a week have changed the release date of the picture. THOR will now open on May 20th, 2011 instead of June 16th, 2011 moving away just slightly further from THE FIRST AVENGER: CAPTAIN AMERICA which opens on July 22nd. SPIDER-MAN 4 will kick off Marvel's year in 2011, opening May 6th and with TRANSFORMERS and HARRY POTTER installments coming in July of that month, any chance of THE DARK KNIGHT sequel coming that year must have truly vanished now.

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Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.