As well as Samuel L. Jackson in his cameo role as Nick Fury, the cast of Thor includes Swedish favorite Stellan Skarsgard, Natalie Portman, Stuart Townsend, Ray Stevenson, the incredibly talented Tadanobu Asano, and the legendary Anthony Hopkins. Leading this strong cast are two relative unknowns in Tom Hiddlestone, who is playing antagonist Loki, and Chris Hemsworth (previously seen as George Kirk in J. J. Abrams’ Star Trek), who has been cast in the titular role.
This cast is interesting to say the least, but the recent additions of Asano and Elba (two of the more talented actors among the cast) seemed to have caused a stir amongst fans as they obviously do not resemble Norse gods. It could be argued that as this film is based in Marvel’s comic book universe it does not need to adhere to classic Norse mythology, and as this universe is really more of a multiverse, characters are subject to change ethnicity, sexual orientation, and even gender, according to different interpretations of Marvel Comics, e.g. Nick Fury (SHIELD), Colossus (X-Men), and Atlas (Thunderbolts), respectively.
However, instead of delving into Nordic and comic mythology to justify these casting choices, one might simply take the time to think about the many films which have seen western actors cast as characters which are not white in their source material. A good example of this is the upcoming blockbuster Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, where white actors have been cast in almost all of the main roles as Persian and Indian characters, including an Icelandic actor (Gisli Orn Gardarsson) playing The Vizier. If it is common practice in major Hollywood movies to cast actors to play characters of a different ethnicity to themselves, then I do not see the problem with the casting of Asano and Elba, especially when they are both amazing actors and are only really in supporting roles.
What are your thoughts on the cast of Thor?