As something of a purist when it comes to screen adaptations of novels, comics, etc., I amazingly do not find myself too overcome with upset regarding the casting of Idris Elba in the Kenneth Branagh’s big screen version of “Thor.” My reasons are pretty basic and may not occur to many people that are not fully aware of the history of Mr. Branagh’s “creative casting.”
The example that immediately comes to my mind is kne of my favorite Shakespearean screen adaptations, “Much Ado About Nothing” in which Denzel Washington is cast as Prince John. Another example of Branagh’s naturally diverse casting choices is in the HBO adaptation of ” As You Like It,” in which David Oyelowo and Adrian Lester as featured performers. Furthermore, he has even shifted the setting of the play in this adaptation to turn-of-the-century Japan.
One final example that springs to mind in a film I have not seen in it’s entirety -Love’s Labours Lost”. This relatively young cast featured Adrian Lester (again) and Alicia Silverstone. One can argue that even his selection at various times of American actors in British productions is equally dubious. If anything, these casting decisions symbolize the non-tradiontional (NOT necessarily PC) process of combining star power with talent as Mr. Branagh sees it.
Film after all is the director’s domain; s/he is the creative force of its universe. And in the case of Kenneth Branagh, I would recommend that we wait until we see the finished profit before making any judgements.