On the eve of Comic-Con 2012 we found out that David Slade would no longer be able to direct the Fantastic Four reboot due to scheduling issues this fall with the pilot of Hannibal. As we’ve learned today, that same program is responsible for the Marvel cinematic universe losing another potential key player, this one from in front of the cameras.

Danish actor and rising star Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale, Valhalla Rising) was reported to be the pick of Marvel Studios and director Alan Taylor to take on the new main villain role in Thor 2 but since he’s headlining the aforementioned series as Dr. Hannibal Lecter, Marvel was a “little too late.”

In chatting with Zoomin Movies, Mikkelsen explained that the timing of Marvel’s production and interest with the actor just didn’t work out.

“Yeah, that’s not happening unfortunately. I had a meeting with them, but they were a little too late. And then ‘Hannibal’ came in, and everything just came in the same period, so now it’s not happening.”

It was around the end of May when we first heard that Marvel was interested in Mikkelsen, but within a week he was officially cast in Bryan Fuller and NBC’s take on the Hannibal Lecter character.

While Marvel Studios will need to quickly find a replacement if Thor 2 is on track to being principal photography in August, it’s already been confirmed that Stellan Skarsgard’s Dr. Erik Selvig, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, Idris Elba’s Heimdall and Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster are all confirmed to return along with the rest of the principal Thor cast sans Joshua Dallas’ Fandral (Zachary Levi may takeover the part).

Mikkelsen brings a commanding presence to the screen in all of his roles and is seemingly built for strong villainous characters with unique traits. The role in question for Thor 2 hasn’t been confirmed, but speculation and rumors points towards it being The Executioner. Either way, finding a replacement of Mikkelsen’s (and Hiddleston’s) caliber won’t be an easy task.

Iron Man 3 releases May 3, 2013, Thor 2 on November 8, 2013, Captain America 2 on April 4, 2014 and (likely) Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Source: Zoomin Movies (via The Playlist)