'Thor' Casting Rumors Heat Up: Josh Hartnett As Loki?

Josh HartnettYesterday, we brought you a report speculating that "Thor" director Kenneth Branagh might have found his God of Thunder in Alexander Skarsgård (a rumor that many of you in the comments apparently hope to see come true). That said, it's beginning to look like Marvel's upcoming "Thor" adaptation is kicking into high gear -- at least on the casting rumors front -- as we're now hearing rumblings that Branagh has his sights set on Josh Hartnett to take on the role of the film's main villain, Loki.

Claiming to have "exclusive inside information," the folks over at IESB are reporting that Hartnett "has met with Branagh... and he is currently on a very short list to play the villain in the film," adding, "Word is Josh and his camp are really interested because he has never played a villain before and after Heath Ledger's Oscar win for the latest comic book villain, Hartnett is intrigued by the character."

In addition to the Hartnett rumors, there are also more reports that Skarsgård is indeed on a short list for the wielder of Mighty Mjolnir, with Channing Tatum as a possible lead as well (although their sources indicate that "Branagh himself does want Alex").

All that being said, it's important to note that absolutely none of this has been confirmed by the studio or any of the actors mentioned, and should stay firmly in the "rumor" files for now. However, with the clock ticking towards "Thor"'s planned July 16, 2010 release date, we can only expect to hear some big news coming out of Asgard soon, so keep it locked, Splash Page readers!

Do you think Hartnett could pull of Loki, or is there another actor out there you think would be better suited for the God of Mischief? State your case in the comments below!