If you’re a regular Screen Rant reader, you’ve no doubt seen our extensive coverage of Thor leading up to and including the casting announcements. As we waited eagerly to see director Kenneth Branagh’s choice of who would play the God of Thunder, there was quite a bit of speculation abound as to what candidates were in the running for the role.
Back in March, we reported that the folks behind Thor had narrowed their choices down to six. They included Josh Hartnett, Liam Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnam, Joel Kinnaman and Alexander Skarsgård.
Initially, many thought young Skarsgård (son of veteran actor Stellan Skarsgård) got the role as he was spotted having lunch with Branagh. To me and many others, this was a great choice. Of the six candidates mentioned above, Alexander is the tallest, oldest and the largest. He also hails from a Nordic country and has the natural hair and look.
Approximately a month later, it no longer seemed that Skarsgård was the shoe-in for the role. Interviews with the actor revealed that he was no longer being kept in the loop and he felt that he wasn’t going to be the chosen one.
This led to a quick change in online speculation of who’d play the role as two days later, reports of Charlie Hunnam being a lead contender for the role popped up on the news blogs. It was being reported that Hunnam had screen-tested for the part in costume and with a hammer.
So, who would it be? Would they announce Hunnam or Skarsgård for the role?
Instead, we got another wrench in the situation as Branagh kicked off the start of May by stating that Tom Hiddleston, his co-star from the series Wallander, was in fact in the running as well. Branagh also confirmed that the Marvel film would start shooting in January. We therefore expected a decision pretty soon so whomever was chosen could prepare for the role and get into physical training for the part.
Continue to Page 2 to hear what Alexander Skarsgård has to say…
We were right in expecting that as in the following weeks we reported on the President of Production at Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, and director Kenneth Branagh both saying that they would be making announcements soon. They did do just that and over the next week, it was announced that Chris Hemsworth will play Thor and Tom Hiddleston would be Loki.
Chris Hemsworth as Thor? He wasn’t even one of the six candidates rumored earlier. Strangely enough, his brother Liam was… interesting. It was no coincidence that this announcement was made on the heels of the grand opening to Star Trek in which Chris played Kirk’s father in the epic opening sequence of the film.
Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Tom Hiddleston as Loki
Now, looking back on not getting the role, Alexander Skarsgård spoke with MTV and revealed how close he actually was to snagging the lead role:
“Yeah, I met with [Marvel Studios chief] Kevin [Feige] a few times and the director [Kenneth Branagh… There was definitely some truth in that, yeah.”
When the interviewer told Skarsgård that he looked perfect for the role, he replied “So did I” making it clear he’s disappointed in not getting the part – No one can blame him for that. Skarsgård also revealed that he, like Charlie Hunnam and likely the other candidates, screen-tested for Branagh sporting the full costume and the mighty hammer Mjolnir.
Alexander stated that he’ll be keeping an open mind and since it was reported that all of the lead candidates who tried for this role would be brought back to audition for other major Marvel roles coming up, he still has a chance at more. When asked about another role like Captain America, he responded:
“It depends on the circumstances… It’s pretty hard to say [whether I’d take another comic role]. It depends on the circumstances – who the director is, and what the character is. But of course [I’d be interested in looking into it]. I think it’s every little boy’s dream; it would be a person’s dream to play an action hero.”
So, there you have it folks. Alexander Skarsgård was very close to getting the part but there’s a chance we could still see him in another Marvel role.
I am fine with the casting of Chris Hemsworth and I have no doubt, he and the rest of the cast will do a fantastic job in their roles.
What do you think of the Thor casting process and the decisions that were made?
Thor opens May 20, 2011.
Source: MTV, Thor #7 art by Marko Djurdjevic