Posted on Thursday, February 19th, 2009 by Brendon Connelly
A casting notice for the lead role in Kenneth Branagh‘s Thor not only tells us that the position is still vacant, but what criteria will be applied in selecting the big screen God of Thunder. Coming Attractions have been slipped the following definition of a Marvelous Norseman and plenty of people aren’t going to like it:
Male MUST BE MID-LATE 20’S and SIX FEET OR TALLER. LEAD.
Physically powerful, very handsome, occasionally egotistical, petulant, and wild. A natural warrior with a quick charming wit who must be genuinely and severely humbled before becoming the compassionate, mature hero of our film.
Some controversial points there, not least that they’re looking for a 20 something. It might just be that I’m getting old, but it feels to me like 20 somethings are, in reality, the new teens while to the studios and casting agencies, they’re being used as the new 30 somethings.
I suppose it makes a certain amount of sense in an origin story that the lead hasn’t really lived much yet, but I think most people’s immediate conception of Thor is not necessarily compatible with that. Simply put, I think folk typically conceive of gods as being older. And there must be a modicum of outrage due when Kevin McKidd, for sometime now a fanboy fave for the role and definitely a choice I could quite easily see working out, appears to have been kicked to the curb in favour of a younger demo. This does have a whiff of Internet upset about it, but I bet it’s quickly overshadowed by the inevitable casting of a youngster as He-Man in the Masters of the Universe movie. Just a hunch.
The arc of Thor being “genuinely and severely humbled” is interesting, and perhaps indicates why the casting skews younger- but it still wasn’t necessary. People of all ages can and regularly do need to be humbled, of course, and definitely on some kind of mythical scale 30 something can still be played out as small fry.
On the other hand, when it ultimately comes to selling our 20 something hammerman as having matured, the narrative should do all of the work – Thor will have undergone the maturing process before our eyes, and therefore we’ll hopefully buy into it.
The emphasis on a “charming wit” wasn’t quite what I would have predicted. Egotistical, yes; petulant, yes; wild, yes; witty, not so much. Despite inevitable protestations that I’m reading too much into it, I really think there are some telling indicators of the production’s trajectory woven into this casting notice.
Standing somebody who is taller than six feet next to the typical Hollywood leading man truly would create a giant. I hope they do cast short for the other parts.
Now… bring on the casting details for Loki.Cool Posts From Around the Web: