by Chris MaGee
Word that Kenneth Branagh was going to be directing a live-action adaptation of Marvel Comics "Thor" has been floating around the net for a good long while now. I've always been a bit confused as to how an actor who's been compared with the Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud, and Alec Guinness would end up helming a comic book adaptation, specifically one that chronicles medical student, Donald Blake and his realization that he's the Norse thunder god Thor. I mean if Branagh's films was to be set in medieval Scandinavia it would have a bit of Wagnerian flare to it, but a med student who finds out he's a god? Or believing he's a god... after a schizophrenic breakdown... Now that could be interesting!
But I digress. Brannagh's "Thor" has already attracted some major players with Anthony Hopkins, Colm Feore, and Natalie Portman rumored to be on board, but now news (or rumour) has leaked out that none other than Tadanobu Asano will be joining the cast of this comic book epic. According to Andrew Mack over at Twitch the "Ichi the Killer" and "Electric Dragon 80,000V" star has signed on to play one of the Warriors Three, a trio of divine fighters who've played a supporting role in Marvel's "Might Thor" since the 1960's. Asano will specifically be playing Hogun the Grim while the roles of Fandral the Dashing and Volstagg the Valiant will be taken on by Stuart Townsend and Ray Stevenson respectively.
I guess Asano's performance as the young Genghis Khan in Sergei Bodrov's historical epic "Mongol" must have gotten the attention of Branagh, and it's just another example of how "japan's Johnny Depp" doesn't play it easy in his choice of roles at home in Japan, and now in his choices of crossover overseas roles.
Kenneth Branagh's "The Mighty Thor" is expected to be released in theatres sometime in 2011.