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The casting of Idris Elba as a Norse God in the forthcoming movie Thor has sparked an online race row, with comic book fans (and online right wing communities, obviously) spluttering into their keyboards in disbelief and rage at how a London-born black actor can play 'the whitest of the gods'.

Elba, best known for his role as Russell 'Stringer' Bell in hit TV show The Wire, will play the Marvel Comics character Heimdall, an all-powerful Norse deity who can see across galaxies and owns a sword that contains all the power in the cosmos.

Read more about Idris Elba playing a Norse god... The casting of Idris Elba as a Norse God in the forthcoming movie Thor has sparked an online race row, with comic book fans (and online right wing communities, obviously) spluttering into their keyboards in disbelief and rage at how a London-born black actor can play 'the whitest of the gods'.

Elba, best known for his role as Russell 'Stringer' Bell in hit TV show The Wire, will play the Marvel Comics character Heimdall, an all-powerful Norse deity who can see across galaxies and owns a sword that contains all the power in the cosmos.

That's pretty big stuff in the world of comics, and while some fans are angry because this choice deviates from the Marvel Universe (their logic being that any portrayal of a character must not deviate from how they are in the comic universe ), many are furious simply because Elba isn't, you know, white. The Marvel website has had to delete a few forum threads that descended into racial slandering, although a quick google of 'Idris Elba forum Heimdall' will reveal many dispiriting examples of how some people choose to spend their time.

Thankfully, Elba doesn't seem too fussed about the ridiculous reaction, jokingly telling Jonathan Ross recently that he was "Norse by way of Hackney" and in a recent interview with TV Times magazine, bringing some logic to the craziness:

"There has been a big debate about it: can a black man play a Nordic character? Hang about, Thor's mythical, right? Thor has a hammer that flies to him when he clicks his fingers. That's OK, but the colour of my skin is wrong?"

Watch Idris Elba being interviewed by Jonathan Ross below: