Thor, Kenneth Branagh, Natalie Portman

Marvel Comics; Evan Agostini/Getty Images; Tony Barson/Getty Images

Natalie Portman knows from fanboys. First, there were the Star Wars prequels. Now, there's Thor.

So what exactly attracts an Oscar-nominated actress to comic-book fare? A love of Norse mythology? Beefy blond guys twirling hammers? A potential franchise? Not quite.

"I just thought it sounded like a really weird idea 'cause Kenneth Branagh's directing it," Portman said during the weekend junket for her much more highbrow flick, Brothers.

"And Ken Branagh doing Thor is super weird. I've got to do it."

She's in good company. Portman will star alongside Chris Hemsworth (as the hammer-wielding god of thunder), Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgård and Stuart Townsend. Filming starts in January for a 2011 release.

The decidedly less weird Brothers, with Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal, hits theaters Dec. 3.

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Thor isn't the only flick stocking up on A-listers. Check out our Casting Couch gallery now!

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