Can you imagine for a moment if "Thor," "The Avengers," and "Thor: The Dark World" did not feature Chris Hemsworth as the eponymous God of Thunder? There's something not quite right about the idea, mainly because at this point in Marvel movie momentum, Chris Hemsworth IS Thor as much as Tom Hiddleston IS his formidable foe/rival sibling Loki.
However, as Marvel fans and Hiddleston devotees well know, there was a time during the casting of the original "Thor" when Hiddleston tried to prove himself worthy of wielding the mighty hammer, Mjolnir. And now, Yahoo Movies has the first glimpse of the British actor's audition tape for the role of Thor from the special features of the upcoming "Thor: The Dark World" DVD/Blu-ray.
Even with those brief clips of Hiddleston-as-Thor, you can tell by his particular brand of cinematic intensity that his Norse God would have been decidedly different, even with his packed-on muscle and long blond wig. As executive producer Craig Kyle says in the video, "He did a tremendous job, but he wasn't Thor." [UPDATE: Marvel Studios announced Monday afternoon that Craig Kyle has signed on to write the screenplay for "Thor 3" with "The Dark World" co-writer Christopher Yost. Marvel did not give a release date for the third installment.]
"Every English-speaking actor over 6 foot was being seen for the part," Hiddleston told The Guardian about his audition process. "I got down to the final few, which also included Chris’s younger brother Liam Hemsworth ["The Hunger Games"], Alexander Skarsgård ["True Blood"], and Charlie Hunnam ["Pacific Rim,""Sons of Anarchy"]."
At that point he had roughly six weeks to prepare for the screen test and used that time to pack on 20 pounds of muscle by lifting lots of weights and eating lots of protein, which explains the toned torso we see in the clip above. Although that screen test didn't land him Thor, it landed him in "Thor," when director Kenneth Branagh — who had worked with Hiddleston on stage and TV — later sat him down and asked him to play Loki instead. The rest, of course, is history. And insane Internet popularity.
Hiddleston also got the chance to play another Avenger, albeit briefly. In another Blu-ray bonus, there is behind-the-scenes footage of the scene in "The Dark World" where Loki disguises himself as Captain America, and Hiddleston got to wear the red-white-and-blue costume himself. Hiddleston told MTV that he shot the scene with Hemsworth first, and then "hey showed Chris [Evans] my performance on tape, and he went and did an impression of me doing an impression of him."
Hiddleston has said he will not be appearing in the upcoming sequel "The Avengers: Age of Ultron," but it sure looks like he could understudy for any of the other actors in the movie. Maybe he'll get his chance to wear the Iron Man armor someday as well.
"Thor: The Dark World" will be available on Digital HD on Feb. 2, and Blu-ray/DVD on Feb. 25.