Natalie Portman Joins 'Thor' Cast, Chris Hemsworth Confirmed As Lead

Natalie PortmanNatalie Portman added a new comic book role to her work schedule today with an announcement from Marvel Studios that she will appear as Jane Foster in "Thor." Though the part will likely be retooled for director Kenneth Branagh's adaptation, Portman's character originally appeared as the central love interest for Donald Blake, the human whose body was originally used by Thor when he appeared on Earth as a mortal.

"The character will be updated for the feature adaptation," Marvel Studios said in the announcement. "Portman will star opposite Chris Hemsworth who will play Thor and Tom Hiddleston who will play the villain Loki."

The movie, which Marvel Editor-In-Chief Joe Quesada called "Shakespearean" and screenwriter Ashley Miller said will take place in continuity with Marvel's other upcoming films, already has a strong cast in line for its May 20, 2011, release date. In addition to Hemsworth and Hiddleston, Brian Blessed has also been rumored for a role in the film -- possibly that of Thor's father, Odin. Portman will add one of the most recognized faces in film among comic book and sci-fi fans.

She will also become one of a short but growing list of actors to appear in both Marvel-based and DC Comics-based movies, having starred in James McTeigue's "V for Vendetta."

Also of note in today's announcement is the first official word of Hemsworth's role in the film. Previously, Hemsworth's involvement had only been rumored by industry news sites, with no confirmation from the studio.

Do you approve of Marvel Studios' choice to cast Natalie Portman as Jane Foster in "Thor"? What do you think of the overall list of actors slated to appear in the film thus far? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!