News on the "Thor" casting front has been moving at lightning speed with reports that Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston would be playing Thor and Loki, respectively. Yet despite the fact that these casting decisions seemed likely, they were not set in stone with an official announcement from Marvel Studios -- until today.
In a press release issued earlier today, Marvel confirmed that Tom Hiddleston will indeed be playing Loki in the Kenneth Branagh-directed "Thor." The actor, who previously worked with Branagh on stage in Chekov's "Ivanov" and in the BBC miniseries "Wallander," was initially rumored for the leading role, but wound up cast as the titular Thunder God's mischievous sibling.
So, Loki is officially locked in -- and that's the good news. But what's the deal with Hemsworth as Thor? Has something fallen apart for him since the initial story? Like his "Star Trek" character George Kirk, could Hemsworth only be holding the captain's chair for a few minutes?
Reports have come in from both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter that the "Star Trek" actor was in final negotiations to play the Norse God, but there's still no word from Marvel themselves. The lack of official news seems a little fishy, particularly due to Deadline Hollywood Daily reporting the Hemsworth casting news well before mentioning Hiddleston.
Of course, it could simply be much ado about nothing. After all, if Hemsworth does land the role as is commonly believed, then he's likely to have a lot more paperwork to sign than Hiddleston. There's no guarantee that Loki would be involved in any movies past this "Thor" film, but whoever assumes the winged helmet of Thor would likely need to commit to "The Avengers" at the very least. Given that, Hemsworth could be knee-deep in a bureaucratic battle of contract negotiations.
No matter who ultimately wields the mighty Mjolnir, an official casting announcement is likely to happen soon -- and unless something wildly unexpected occurs, you can bet that Hemsworth will be tossing that thunderous hammer at theatergoers in 2011.
How soon until Hemsworth gets officially announced as Thor? Will the rug be pulled out from under us, leaving another actor in the title role? Give us your thoughts in the comments!