Anthony Hopkins Almost Quit Acting Before Joining The MCU

anthony hopkins odin

Things could have turned out very differently for the Thor franchise, the Marvel Cinematic Universe at large and Anthony Hopkins, had the acting legend not ended up landing the role of Odin in Kenneth Branagh’s Asgardian epic.

The veteran star brought his natural gravitas and fatherly warmth to the part, and he fit seamlessly with the Shakespearean trappings that characterized the first installment in the God of Thunder’s solo series. As hard as it sounds to believe, Mel Gibson actually turned down the role before Hopkins was cast, and he’d have definitely made for a much more grizzled Allfather.

However, new book The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe via CBR finds Hopkins reflecting on the fact that if he hadn’t boarded the MCU, he may have ended up retiring from the business altogether.

“Branagh gave me back the chops to work. 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.”

Thor provided a new lease of life for Hopkins, with The Silence of the Lambs legend going on to appear in sequels The Dark World and Ragnarok, and another eighteen movies in total, which also saw him win a second Academy Award for Best Actor thanks to his devastating turn in The Father. If it wasn’t for Kenneth Branagh and the MCU, none of that would have happened.