Brilliant casting news for the upcoming “Thor” film: Brian Blessed has been cast as Odin, the All-Father! Now, I’m aware that some of you may not know that name off-hand, but you’d certainly know the actor if you ever saw even a still photo of him. He’s been in the “Flash Gordon” movie as Vultan, and the “Black Adder” television series as a variety of characters. He’s the huge bearded guy with a booming, maniacal laugh. THAT guy.
So, kudos to Kennet Branagh for this inspired casting choice, but it leaves me with two minds on the subject. Brian Blessed has the sheer physical persona to carry off this role, so that’s perfect. But I can’t remember the last time he ever played a part that didn’t involve his crazy laughter and nonchalant swagger, which he does so well. That kind of attitude doesn’t really fit Odin, however, who I’ve always thought of as a grim, foreboding figure who never cracks a smile. Can the two be reconciled?
I have to admit, it’s been a losing battle with my imagination trying to figure out what a Thor movie would look like. He’s always been a weird fit in the superhero universe. I’m having trouble taking seriously the image in my head of Thor standing next to Iron Man. It feels like these characters work best on their own without cross-pollination, but that’s Marvel’s challenge to work out … I’m just terrified they’re gonna screw it up.