Our incredibly efficient friends at Live For Films have drawn our attention to a theory, that Cinema Blend have come up with about a French Iron Man 2 promo video that the chaps at io9 posted.

Just after the main mini-interviews with the cast/director, there is an extract from the film, showing Tony Stark, walking through a French prison to a meeting with a captured Whiplash. Just before the end (01:17) he walks past a prison jail cell housing a muscular, long-haired con (check out the pic below). Cinema Blend’s theory is that this could be our first look at Chris Hemsworth as Thor.

The fact is that Thor almost certainly appears in the film. Given Marvel’s history of crossovers, and more to the point, given their pressing need to set up The Avengers, it’s pretty safe to assume that Thor is going to crop up in some fashion. Whether it’s going to actually be a full on appearance, played by Chris Hemsworth, or something more subtle, like the Captain America ‘cameo’ in The Incredible Hulk is another matter.

The main obstacle to a full on Thor (or Donald Blake) appearance in the film, assuming it would fit the plot, would be scheduling. Iron Man shot for an insanely long 15 week period, between 6th April and 17th July 2009. Meanwhile, Deadline Hollywood announced Hemsworth’s casting on 16th May.

At the time of Deadline’s announcement Marvel hadn’t formally signed a contract with Hemsworth. Assuming that the negotiations and due diligence took a month*, accounting for weekends, Hemsworth would have been contracted to Marvel from about 18th June. A quick glance on IMDB Pro shows that principal photography had finished on Cabin In The Woods sometime before 12th June. Availability certainly wasn’t an issue.

If we assume Hemsworth is in the film, the next question is whether it’s him in the clip. This is actually pretty easy to answer** – No.

Marvel may be new to the film industry, but they’ve spent the last 70 years carefully managing their properties. If it happens, Thor’s appearance in the film is going to be an important moment. It might happen after the credits, but it won’t just be an ancillary moment in a tracking shot.  Consequently, it’s pretty safe to assume the chap in this video isn’t Chris Hemsworth. Much as we’d all like it to be.

*They could have taken a lot less, or a lot longer – there’s simply no way of knowing short of Marvel or Hemsworth talking openly about it.

**This next bit is entirely my self-righteous, uninformed opinion. I look forward to being proved wrong.