Marvel has been making waves in the comic book world this week with announcements about the new Avengers team: Avengers NOW!
The biggest news was that Thor would now be *gasp* a woman! Oh, the halls of Asgard will crumble into dust at the news...or maybe not. After all, Thor has been a horse and a frog in the past, and a lot of other characters have managed to wield Mjolnir, including a couple of the not-male persuasion.
I could write a thesis on why it really doesn't matter what gender Thor is, or the difference between Thor (the name) and Thor (the title of whoever has the hammer), but it's already been done. The internet has chewed that topic up and spit out screeds of fantastic articles and commentaries, and now it's time to move on to something a little different.
The possibility of Thor, as a woman, entering the Marvel cinematic universe!
We already have one kick-ass Asgardian woman in the form of Sif, and don't get me wrong, I love both her and Chris Hemsworth in the movies. I'm also quite sure that even if this new team comes to theaters, it will not be doing so any time soon.
That said, who-should-play is a fangirl favorite, so I decided to put together a list of some actresses who I think could really rock the hammer.
This is almost too obvious for a first pick. Already a huge fan favorite in geekdom (courtesy of Battlestar Galactica), she has proven her ability to work within the action genre time and time again. Riddick, 24, Bionic Woman, CSI, the list goes on. She also has some superhero work on the resume, doing voice work as She-Hulk and Black Cat. Physically, she's got the coloring, the bone structure, and the height and tone to pull this role off. Frankly, the only issue that I could see is that I would also like her to be Ms Marvel!
We already know that she suits the armor! Best known for her role as Brienne in Game of Thrones, Christie is a natural choice for Thor. Physically imposing, she would not look out of place with the Avengers, and there is no doubt that she can hold her own in battle scenes. Her hair would really need to be longer to match the concept art, but hair does grow, after all. At six foot three, the only problem would be that depending on who else was cast the rest of the team might have to stand on boxes to measure up!
This may be a controversial one, but isn't that part of the fun? From a commercial standpoint, Jennifer Lawrence seems to have a continually rising star, and is a name that would almost guarantee the success of a female-fronted Thor movie. She is excellent in action films, and has the size and stature (five foot nine!) to carry the hammer with style. Of course, the primary complaint that I am expecting to hear is that she is already a major character in the Marvel world, as Mystique in X-Men. Given that X-Men is owned by Fox and Avengers are owned by Disney, it could be possible to do both (just look at Chris Evans), but it would undoubtedly not go down well with some.
My second pick from the Game of Thrones cast, Lena Headey is also known for 300, 300: Rise of an Empire and Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles. In 300, she practically looks like an Asgardian already, and while she may not spring to mind as an action hero, she is a fan of boxing in her spare time, and I believe that she could take on the role with aplomb. She may not be naturally blonde, but it hasn't stopped her playing Cersei Lannister, now has it?
I often like the idea of having lesser-known actresses take on big roles, especially roles where the intention would be to have multiple movies made. It allows them to truly embody the role, and the audience is not going to go into the movie thinking of them as somebody else. Ellen Hollman has proven herself as a warrior woman in Spartacus, War of the Damned, and I think that she would make a phenomenal Thor.
Another actress who we have seen with a similar look, Diane Kruger is known for Troy, but also Inglorious Bastards, National Treasure and Unknown. There is no doubt in my mind that she has the action chops for such a big role, and while she would need to gain some muscle mass, at five foot seven, she isn't tiny by any means. For me, the face is more important than the body (being much harder to change!) and she suits the title Thor.
There are just so many women who could play an incredible Thor that it is impossible to list them all and have anyone read this list all the way through (except me). I would still like to add in some special mentions for women who didn't quite make my final six.
What kind of Thor list would this be without Xena, Warrior Princess? Also known for the Spartacus tv series (both War of the Damned and Gods of the Arena) there is no doubt that she could play Thor. My only real quibble with this casting would be her age. Even if a female-fronted Thor movie was put into development right now, she would be in her fifties before the first one was filming. It's hardly ancient, but for something that I would love to see become a franchise, a younger actress makes more sense.
Sarah Michelle Gellar:
I didn't want to leave her out, mostly because I will happily admit to being a total fangirl! She has the right coloring and background in action and martial arts, but she is just too diminutive for the God of Thunder.
Courtesy of her role in the tv show Vikings, it's possible that she could step up to the plate and make Thor her own, however, with few other action roles, I'm not sure that she has the experience in the genre to really make it happen.
I'm sure that there will be those that argue that whoever plays Thor as a woman has to be much bigger and bulkier than most of these actresses, but having already had that debate around Gal Gadot, I really don't think it is that big a deal. For me, it is more about the facial features, the acting abilities, and the only size-related issue is height. I cannot imagine a teeny-tiny Thor only reaching Tony Stark's shoulder!
What do you think? What are the most important features for an actress about to pick up the hammer, and who do you think would do it best?