Actor/Director Kenneth Branagh Helming Marvel's Thor!
by Alex Billington
September 29, 2008
In a rather surprising announcement early today, Marvel has confirmed that they're in negotiations with Kenneth Branagh to direct the upcoming Thor film for 2010. For the longest time, Matthew Vaughn was attached to direct the adaptation, but his contract ended and Marvel went on a hunt for someone else. It seems Branagh was the right guy for the job even though he's only direct various arthouse (and Shakespearean) films like Henry V, Dead Again, Hamlet, and Sleuth. Marvel hasn't announced who will be distributing the film, however they will be funding this project entirely on their own. In my opinion, Branagh seems like the worst choice to direct a comic book movie since Joel Schumacher.
This Thor adaptation follows disabled medical student Donald Blake, who has an alter ego as the hammer-wielding Norse god Thor, meaning this will definitely be set in modern times and play an integral part in the lead up to The Avengers in 2011. The script was penned by up-and-coming writer Mark Protosevich, of The Cell, Poseidon, and I Am Legend. My problem with Branagh lies in his complete lack of directing competence. It's not that he hasn't ever done action (which is a seperate problem), but almost all of his other films have been quite lackluster. I saw Sleuth last year, which was adapted from a stage play, and it was terrible; a dry and utterly boring adaptation that was worse than the stage version.
I heard a rumor that Branagh might be in the running for the role of Thor as well, but that definitely isn't confirmed. Either way, this is the first time that I feel like Marvel has taken a giant misstep. Unless they've somehow been convinced that Branagh can really pull off the perfect Thor movie, I'm officially concerned. Until I'm convinced otherwise, I'll admit that I've lost all hope for this adaptation. Thoughts?