Marvel Studios has cast Tom Hiddleston to play the villain Loki in the studio’s upcoming Thor adaptation.

Kenneth Branagh will direct the film about the Norse god from a screenplay by Mark Protosevich and Ashley Miller and Zak Stentz.

Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige is producing and Paramount will release Thor in the US on May 20, 2011 and holds worldwide distribution rights.

The story follows Thor after he is cast out from the mythic realm of Asgard to Earth as punishment for his arrogant and reckless ways. He learns to respect humans and his own powers and must defend Earth from an attack by Asgard’s evil forces.

Hiddleston starred in Branagh’s London production of Chekhov’s Ivanov. As previously announced Chris Hemsworth is in talks to play Thor.

Hiddleston is represented by ICM and UK agency Hamilton/Hodell. His manager is Jon Rubinstein and attorney is Jodi Peikoff.