SDCC: Updates on Thor, Captain America movies

Thor found its Norse war god in Chris Hemsworth, and Natalie Portman and Tom Hiddleston have also joined director Kenneth Branagh's comic-book adaptation, and on Saturday at Comic-Con, Marvel Studios production president Kevin Feige said to expect more casting announcements soon.

"I think we're nearing, closing in on Odins and Heimdals and the Warriors Three, which we're excited about," Feige said in a group interview in San Diego, where he was promoting Iron Man 2. "We're about halfway through prep. We start filming in January."

Feige estimated that about 30 percent of Thor would take place in the present day, which suggests a film favoring the historical Norse mythology.

Meanwhile, Feige said that The First Avenger: Captain America is on the production path after Thor, so it will be a bit longer before they cast Cap. "I think it'll be a few months," Feige added.

Prep is fully underway on Captain, though, even though director Joe Johnston has not even wrapped his current production. "We already have some concept artists working on it," Feige continued. "Joe Johnston's finishing up Wolfman now, but he comes with us—and we're already deep into the script—and was in the office last week with us. He starts officially, and we open the offices officially, in October."

As for the previously announced casting, Feige described why Hemsworth made the perfect movie Thor. "You know what, it's one of those rare things that doesn't happen often, but people like me always say it, so it probably sounds cliche," Feige said. "We auditioned a lot of people. We did a lot of screen tests. We put a lot of people on video, and one guy just kept popping out, and it was Chris. You realize, regardless of what he's saying or how he's saying it, you're engaged with him. It's that movie-star quality which I think he has, and, thankfully, looks like Thor, which is a good combination."

Feige looks forward to introducing San Diego Comic-Con audiences to his Thor cast in 2010. "You know, this is my 10th year, so I'd be disappointed if I'm not here next year."

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