[For director Kenneth Branagh’s response to these rumors, GO HERE.]

At the end of every year we at Screen Rant put up a list of our most anticipated films for the upcoming year. Last year’s list topped off with Marvel’s superhero sequel, Iron Man 2, in the number one spot. I have a feeling that when we do the list for the upcoming 2011 movie season, Marvel’s next major superhero film, Thor, will be on the top of the list.

Everyone involved in this film should be super pumped about starring in it. With the exception of Ghost Rider and Punisher, almost all of Marvel’s attempts to bring its characters from page to screen have worked (some will argue that Daredevil was a fail, but I liked it).

Just like Iron Man, Thor should have at least 2 movies and the character will appear in at least 2 Avengers films. That’s a lot of guaranteed work, even for the 2nd tier characters in the film; so all parties involved should be having a great time filming, right?

Not according to a “spy” on the set of the film that recently dropped a line to the New York Daily News claiming that the great Sir Anthony Hopkins is extremely displeased with the way things are progressing on the Thor set and isn’t being shy about sharing his feelings with everyone around him (Dr. Phil would be so proud). According to the Daily News spy:

“Anthony has not tried to hide his disapproval of Chris’ acting skills. Chris is definitely the least-experienced actor on set, but he’s trying. He respects Anthony a great deal, and it looks like he’s trying to grin and bear all of his criticism.”

Sounds like “Sir” Anthony may be becoming “Madam” Anthony if he is acting like a spoiled diva. Remember though, this is all from an “insider” and has to be taken with a HUGE grain of salt. Not all of these rumors turn out to be true. When the website Gossip Cop contacted Marvel for a comment regarding the rumored on-set turmoil, Marvel responded by saying it was “100 percent false!” Gossip Cop also got in contact with Stella Hopkins, Sir Anthony’s wife, who said:

“[The rumor] is a horrific, vile lie and [we] are going to talk to [our] lawyers.”

That pretty tells us how much validity there is to the “insider’s” information as reported by the NY Daily News. To be honest, I am more inclined to listen to what Hopkin’s wife says than I am his or the studio’s reps. I’m not sure what a lawyer can do to stop news sites from reporting alleged rumors but good luck to them. I really can’t see a seasoned professional actor like Hopkins giving his opinion on a co-worker in public though, especially a young actor like Chris Hemsworth.

Continue to our discussion about Chris Hemsworth…

Hemsworth may not have as many acting years under his belt as Hopkins does, but he has had plenty of experience in Australian TV and he’s been in a handful of American films (Star Trek, A Perfect Getaway, Ca$h). His acting chops can do nothing but get better with time. Many people don’t know it, but Hemworth’s first American film was Ca$h and here is what the director Stephen Milburn Anderson had to say about Hemsworth’s ability to learn from seasoned actor Sean Bean:

“Chris is a young man and is nowhere near as accomplished as Sean Bean, just strictly from the number of years they’ve been on the planet. However, Chris was an accomplished actor, he has a lot of experience in television, I don’t think he had done any film. What he did do, when he started working with Sean, I watched him pay strict attention during the course of the shoot and watched Chris Hemsworth learn an amazing amount of stuff from Sean Bean. I’m very impressed with that young man.”

Go check out the rest of the interview to see what else Anderson had to say about working with Chris Hemsworth.

Still though, this dubious rumor about Anthony Hopkins would not be the first time we heard about a veteran actor or actress throwing mini-tantrums or being overly critical of their co-workers.

I recall Sean Connery doing his best “crotchety old man” routine during the filming of The League of Extraordinary Gentleman (which was coincidentally also a comic book film) and all of that unhappiness and on-set strife spilled over onto the screen.  No one looked happy to work with Connery and Connery sure didn’t look happy to be working with anyone else either.

And who can forget last year’s infamous meltdown in the set of Terminator: Salvation, caused by every fanboy’s favorite Batman, Christian Bale? His profanity-ridden tirade, aimed solely at a lighting operator, was not only rude and over-the-top, but it undoubtedly distracted the rest of his co-workers from performing their jobs properly.

I should point out that both of the above mentioned films under-performed at the box office and received showers of negative reviews. Are the set meltdowns and conflicts directly responsible for poor showings for the films? Probably not; but the correlations between the two cannot be ignored either.

There is a difference between what happened with Connery and Bale and what is rumored to be happening with Hopkins, though. Both Connery and Bale were the stars of their respective films, so more was riding on their shoulders; whereas Hopkins is only a supporting actor and, just like we saw earlier when Stuart Townsend was replaced as one of The Warriors Three, studios aren’t afraid to replace supporting actors who exhibit poor attitudes.

No one likes to work with a mumbly-mouth person and all the constant down-talking would eventually wear on the people working on the film. In short, Thor could suffer from a cinematic stand point if this turns out to be true, but until we get some actual, factual, concrete confirmation, I think fanboys are safe to assume that the Asgardian muscleman is safe at this point.

What are your thoughts on Sir Anthony Hopkins and the supposed griping he has been doing on the set of Thor? Believe any of it?

Thor slams his hammer onto theater screens everywhere May 11th, 2011.

Follow me on Twitter @Walwus

Source: New York Daily News, Gossip Cop