By Odin’s Beard! Anthony Hopkins is Thor’s Daddy

Surprise? Don’t be. “Thor” is being directed by Kenneth Branagh, after all. Once Marvel Studios hired on the Shakespeare man, it was pretty much “anything goes” when it comes to the studio’s Asgard product. According to the trades, Hannibal Lecter himself has all but signed on to play Thor’s daddy Odin in the upcoming “Thor” movie, set to shoot early next year.

“Thor” will follow the titular god of thunder (to be played by “Star Trek’s” Chris Hemsworth), a powerful but arrogant warrior whose reckless actions re-ignite an ancient war. As punishment for his misdeed, Thor is cast down to Earth and forced to live among humans, so that he may learn to temper that “I’m the God of Thunder, hear me roar!” attitude of his. Once among mortal men, our hero learns what it takes to be a true hero, thanks to the love of human woman Jane Foster (to be played by Natalie Portman). Just in time, too, because dark forces from Asgard have just launched an invasion of Earth. And just when he’s about to ask Jane to move in with him, too. What rotten timing!

Besides Hemsworth as Thor, Portman as Foster, and now Hopkins as Odin, the cast also includes Tom Hiddleston as Thor’s evil half-brother, the evil trickster Loki, and Jaimie Alexander as Sif, a fellow Asgardian badass.

Branagh will direct from a script by Mark Protosevich, Zack Stentz, and Ashley Miller, with Marvel scheduling in a grand Summer 2011 entrance for the God of Thunder and his mighty hammer.

Odin talks softly but carries a big ass ax.

Odin talks softly but carries a big ass ax.