I don’t know about you, but I’m very anxious to find out who will wield the mighty hammer Mjolnir on the big screen as Marvel’s God of Thunder, Thor. Over the months, even years now, we’ve heard a ton of rumors of who may play the character and now we’re finally winding down to the moment when the decision is officially made.

Last week, Screen Rant reported on some updates regarding Thor from Kevin Feige, President of Production at Marvel Studios. He revealed that we’d likely be seeing cast announcements for the movie coming out next month in preparation for a production start early next year.

In an interview with MTV, Thor-director Kenneth Branagh dropped some more updates and addressed the lack of any official information regarding casting as of yet.

“We’re down to the final stages of it… 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… That said, I think we are extremely close and I hope to announce a decision sooner rather than later.”

It sure sounds like Branagh has a choice in mind already and that they may just be working out the numbers behind the scenes. When asked about what specifically they are looking for in their Thor actor, Branagh responded:

“There’s a massive fan base out there of devotees, enthusiasts and real experts who have all the answers to that… 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.”

Branagh continued by laughingly saying, “it’s a whole series of things that I could list, but I’m not going to, because I’d have to kill you.”

Branagh is certainly doing his homework and he seems truly passionate about this project and the idea of the Marvel films working together towards a common goal in the form of the Avengers team-up film. This is evidenced by Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada praising the director earlier in March for his respect of the inter-connectivity of the Marvel characters and his knowledge of the source material.

Lastly, MTV questioned Branagh on his knowledge of online fan campaigns for certain actors including James Preston Rogers who’s been widely talked about as a potential candidate for the role of not only Thor, but of Conan and He-Man in their respective remakes.

“I am aware of certain campaigns, and I think everyone is grateful for them and knows that there is a great anticipation… We have every intention of doing everything humanly possible to live up to that anticipation.”

It sounds like he’s respectful of those online campaigns but again; it seems that he already has someone in mind. I hope we find out soon.

Who do you think will be announced to play Thor?

Thor is tentatively scheduled to begin production next January and will hit theaters May 20, 2011.

Source: MTV