You'll probably recognize Mikkelsen as Le Chiffre, the poker-playing villain who brutally went to town on James Bond's testicles with a rope in 2006's successful reboot Casino Royale, though his many credits also include a starring role in Nicolas Winding Refn's Viking movie Valhalla Rising and roles in Clash of the Titans and The Three Musketeers. In late May, news emerged that Marvel and director Alan Taylor has selected him to play Thor's mysterious new nemesis.
He won't be able to play the part, however. Why? His commitment to play Hannibal Lector on the NBC series Hannibal. The pilot on Hannibal has yet to be filmed, but the network has already ordered thirteen episodes, and the prequel series has cost Taylor his bad guy. Mikkelsen broke the news to Zoomin Movies (via The Playlist), saying of Thor 2, "Yeah, that's not happening unfortunately. I had a meeting with them, but they were a little too late. And then Hannibal came in, and everything just came in the same period, so now it's not happening."
It's distinctly possible that a new actor has been cast to play the new character. Marvel Studios has its big panel at San Diego Comic-Con this Saturday, and while Iron Man 3 is expected to be the main event, Marvel might just announce some Thor 2 news, possibly regarding casting and the villain. If Marvel Studios and Disney haven't already cast the part, they're going to do have to do so quickly, since Thor 2 is scheduled to begin principal photography in London next month.
After Thor director Kenneth Branagh opted not to return for the sequel, a rotating roster of potential helmers ended when frequent Game of Thrones, Mad Men, and The Sopranos director Alan Taylor got the job. Screenwriter Don Payne, one of five writers credited with the first movie, wrote the initial drafts of the follow-up, but Saving Private Ryan writer Robert Rodat has taken charge on subsequent rewrites.
While there's definitely a new bad guy inciting a ruckus in Asgard, Thor 2 will once again see Tom Hiddleston as Loki, though he's not the movie's primary antagonist. Hiddleston plays Thor's adopted brother for the third time, once again seething with jealousy over Chris Hemsworth's ridiculous physique. With Hemsworth and Hiddleston back in their godly costumes, the supporting cast will see returns for Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman, Stellan Skarsgard, Ray Stevenson, Tadanabu Asano, and Jaimie Alexander.
Thor 2 is scheduled to arrive in theaters on November 8, 2013.