Elba will play Heimdall, the guardian of Asgard, who stands on the BiFrost Bridge ready to defend the city from intruders.
He joins a cast that includes Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Jaimie Alexander, Colm Feore, Samuel L. Jackson, Stellan Skarsgard, Stuart Townsend, Ray Stevenson and Tadanobu Asano.
To be directed by Kenneth Branagh, the comic book adaptation will be released by Paramount Pictures on May 20, 2011. Shooting will begin mid-January in Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Elba also stars in Warner Bros.’ comic book adaptation The Losers, opening April 9.