Earlier today, the report popped up that the director of next year’s Thor had a meeting with Alexander Skarsgård (True Blood, Generation Kill) and rumors began circulating that this man could play the God of Thunder.

Now, IESB claims they have some inside information that Josh Hartnett has had meetings with director Kenneth Branagh and that he’s on the short list to play villain and Thor’s brother, Loki.

Foster brother to Thor, Loki is the physically weaker son of Odin in the land of Asgard where strength and bravery in battle are most valued. Loki made up for this with his gift in sorcery. Mischievous growing up, his pranks became more severe and sinister and he earned the nickname, God of Lies and Mischief. Power hungry and vengeful, Loki later became the God of Evil and his plans eventually made their way to include Earth.

When I first heard that the Skarsgård could play Thor, I liked the idea – He’s a physical match and not a big A-list actor which is what I was looking for. On this news of Mr. Hartnett as Loki, I get the unexpected but interested feeling similar to what I felt when I first heard Heath Ledger would play the Joker in The Dark Knight.

If this comes to be, I think I can get behind it and I’d be very interested to see Josh play this very different style of character then we’re used to seeing him play.

The hypothetical cast so far may include Alexander Skarsgård, Josh Hartnett, Kenneth Branagh and Samuel L. Jackson (who’s signed a 9-picture deal with Marvel) – And to think, just yesterday my friends and I were wondering when casting decisions would start being made with the movie expected to open next summer.

What do you think of this possible casting choice and that of Thor’s?

Thor is scheduled to release July 16, 2010.

Source: IESB