We recently reported that the Thor casting was in its final stages, now we have our first solid casting news. Chris Hemsworth will be playing Thor in Kenneth Branagh’s big screen adaptation as well as in 2012 as part of The Avengers movie. You may have just seen him as Captain George Kirk in Star Trek, he’s also starring as the lead in Red Dawn and Joss Whedon’s ‘Cabin in the Woods’.
How Chris was cast
The way Chris Hemsworth got the part of Thor is one of those great Hollywood backstories that happens only once in a blue moon. Ward had found Chris during one of the manager’s many scouting trips to Australia. Ward brought him to Los Angeles and really put him out there to casting directors and production executives. As for the major agencies, I hear CAA passed on the meeting, Endeavor took it but passed on repping him, and ICM was interested but dragged their feet. But Ilene Feldman understood his appeal immediately.
Chris had read for the part of Thor but wasn’t given a test because a casting director had nixed him early on. I’m told Chris’ younger brother Liam (who’s also a ROAR client) then tested for the role of Thor, but Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige passed. Then, after a conversation with Ward (“You’ve got to reconsider Chris, he’s your guy”), Feige decided to let Chris read again. […] Branagh came to town last week and saw the Chris test and made the final casting decision today.
Our old list of probable casting decisions did not include Hemsworth:
Kevin Feige, the President of Production at Marvel Studios, recently spoke to Empire to fill us in on their upcoming features, informing us that Zak Penn is hard at work on The Avengers script:
“Zak Penn is already on board The Avengers [as writer] and he’s spending a lot of his time looking into what we’re doing with Iron Man, Thor and Captain America, seeing how we’re tying it all together. And he’s beginning to outline the script now – he’ll be doing that over the summer.”
“All of the Marvel movies leading up to The Avengers will be based in our new facility in Manhattan Beach, in LA. There will be location work that will take us out occasionally, but our home base will always be here. ”
Paramount Pictures and Marvel Studios plan to release the much anticipated Avengers movie on May 4th, 2012 — a delay of twelve months on the original 2011 date. Zak Penn, co-writer of The Incredible Hulk, is penning the movie with inspiration taken from Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch’s Ultimates version of the team. Iron man director Jon Favreau is set to executive produce and there have been rumors that this delay may also put him inline to direct:
–Avengers is delayed a year because of financing issues but also because the plan is for Favreau to helm it. Everybody here loves the guy and he wants to do it, but it would have been impossible for him to do before the date change given his Iron Man 2 commitments. Also partly the reason why he agreed to do the Stark sequel on such an accelerated schedule was so he could get given first dibs on this. It would still be a punishing schedule for him, so hes not firmly confirmed yet, but he is certainly the presumptive director at this point.
Marvel’s official word on which superheros will appear in The Avengers is currently limited to a small blurb on a press release:
In a movie event, THE AVENGERS will bring together the super hero team of Marvel Comics characters for the first time ever, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, the Hulk and more, as they are forced to band together to battle the biggest foe they’ve ever faced.
Notably the words ‘including’ and ‘more’ are there, so we can be ready for further super hero announcements in the future as development continues.
Iron Man — played by Robert Downey Jr.
Hulk, presumably played by Ed Norton though this is only rumored
Thor, casting unknown
Captain America, casting unknown
Nick Fury — played by Samuel L. Jackson
From Iron Man:
War Machine — played by Don Cheadle
Black Widow — played by Scarlett Johansson
Marvel press release about Iron Man 2 and The Avengers
ROBERT DOWNEY JR. AND JON FAVREAU SUIT UP FOR MARVEL STUDIOS’ THE AVENGERS AND IRON MAN 2
As part of his four picture deal with Marvel Studios, Robert Downey Jr. is appearing as Tony Stark in THE AVENGERS motion picture, as well as reprising his starring role as the larger-than-life leading character in IRON MAN 2. Jon Favreau will return to direct the sequel to the blockbuster IRON MAN, which to date has grossed over $578 million worldwide, as well as executive produce THE AVENGERS.
DON CHEADLE WILL STAR AS RHODEY IN IRON MAN 2
Marvel Studios is pleased today to confirm that an agreement has been finalized with award-winning actor Don Cheadle to take on the role of Colonel James “Rhodey” Rhodes in Marvel’s IRON MAN 2 due in theaters on May 7, 2010. In casting Cheadle, Marvel replaces Terrence Howard who appeared in the role of Rhodey in IRON MAN.
Cheadle is also signed on to perform the same role in THE AVENGERS and subsequent installments of the IRON MAN franchise.
“We are very excited about working with the extraordinarily talented Don Cheadle as we expand the role of Rhodey in Iron Man 2. It has already become apparent as we prep the movie for production, that the dynamic between Robert and Don will take Iron Man 2 to new heights,” said Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios.