Anthony Hopkins to play Odin in "Thor"

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Anthony Hopkins is in talks to play Odin in "Thor," based on the Marvel comic and to be directed by Kenneth Branagh. THR describes the plot of the film as centering on "a powerful but arrogant warrior whose reckless actions re-ignite an ancient war. As punishment, Thor is cast down to Earth and forced to live among humans. Once here, he learns what it takes to be a true hero."

The part was previously believed to be a lock for actor and Branagh regular Brian Blessed. While Blessed's talents and ability to project at great volume could be an asset, this announcement signals a different approach for the character, Chief of Asgard and father to the title character. Odin will, presumably, be the one casting Thor down to Earth in the film.

This is not Hopkins first brush with the frozen north, epic fatherhood, or even titanic family squabbles. Previously he appeared in "Beowulf" as Hrothgar, Old Ptolemy in "Alexander" and Prince Richard in "The Lion in Winter."

The film's confirmed cast now includes Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Thom Hiddleston as Loki, Natalie Portman as Jane Foster and Jaime Alexander as Sif. Last week, Jude Law and Robert De Niro were rumored to be joining the cast, but this turned out to be a mix of misunderstanding and mistranslation. Samuel L. Jackson is also rumored to be making a cameo in the film as Nick Fury leading into "The Avengers" film the following year.

While these talks between Hopkins and Marvel are not final, they are a good indicator the actor will be taking part in the production. However, it is never a done deal until everything is signed. Actor Nicholas Cage appeared to be set to play the villain in "The Green Hornet," but eventually opted to walk away from the film.

The film is currently set for release on May 5th, 2011

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