If there’s one thing we can count on from Marvel, it’s an entertaining story, and it just so happens that also extends to what happens behind the cameras as well. Earlier this year, Marvel Studios released a new book titled The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a “fully authorized, all-access history of Marvel Studios’ creation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe” chock full of some pretty fantastic stories about the MCU. While the tale of how Taika Waititi almost lost out on making Thor: Ragnarok was one for the ages, a week later a new story has come to light that might just make your day — and have you thanking Thor director Ken Branaugh.
According to The Story of Marvel Studios (via ComicBook), prior to legendary, Oscar-winning actor Anthony Hopkins, 83, being cast in 2011’s Thor as Odin, the actor was actually about to retire. Considering the star has been regularly working in the industry since 1967, it’s not all that surprising he was close to calling it, but luckily for us, Hopkins says Branaugh was responsible for “quite an injection of new energy” in the actor’s life that made him fall in love with his career all over again.
“Although Hopkins agreed to be in the film after reading the script, at that point in his career, the Academy Award-winning actor was seriously considering retirement. Hopkins cites Branaugh as the reason he didn’t leave the business. ‘Ken Branaugh gave me back the chops to work,’ the actor shares. ‘I was gonna give it up, really. But, you see, he won’t let you do that. Working with Ken was quite an injection of new energy into my life. He seems to have that same infectious quality on everybody in the crew. His enthusiasm, his attitude, is so positive, that he brings out the best in everybody.’”
So, it looks like on top of thanking Branaugh for bringing Thor, Loki, and so many other beloved Marvel character to life, we can also thank the director for keeping Hopkins in show business. After all, in the decade since Thor hit theaters, the legendary actor has gone on to win yet another Oscar, star in several full length films (The Father, Solace, and The Two Popes, to name a few), and even delivered a critically-acclaimed performance as Dr. Robert Ford in the HBO series Westworld.
While Hopkins’ time might in the Thor series has alas reached its end, even now the actor is continuing to keep busy. Earlier this year, Hopkins starred in Zero Contact, the first film to ever be released via Vuele, a non-fungible token platform, and he is now currently working on two films slated for 2022 releases: The Son and Armageddon Time. For those of you anxiously awaiting the next Thor film, Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, and director Taika Waititi are all making their big return July 8, 2022, when Thor: Love & Thunder hits theaters.