Where is Thor's Kenneth Branagh Getting His Inspiration?

June 4, 2009
Source: MTV

Kenneth Branagh - Thor

Thor was first introduced in Marvel comics back in 1962 and there is a lot of material available to pull from. So where is director Kenneth Branagh turning for inspiration on Thor? "I think that [Thor stories] go through golden patches and purple patches and everyone has personal favorites," Branagh tells MTV. "The recent runs have been marvelous. The J. Michael Straczynski run has been a tremendous achievement." He adds: "But I've also been reading way back, reading classic, vintage runs as well. There are many Thors and many accounts of the stories across nearly 50 years of the comics. We look to raid from the best."

I'm not a follower of Thor, so I can't speak about the comics, but I've become increasingly excited to see Branagh's take on the god of thunder. Last week we ran some quotes from screenwriter Ashley Miller talking about pulling inspiration from The Ultimates 2, a great graphic novel that will hopefully inspire The Avengers movie as well. As for meetings Branagh has taken with Marvel, they're purely educational. "A lot of the job up to this point has been listening to people who know more and better than I," Branagh admits. "I have a very strong view of how to approach it myself, but I'm still listening and learning happily."

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I think that Branagh, like Favreau before him, will turn out to be an inspired choice for director. They are both smart men, but part of that intelligence is that they surround themselves with great people who love comics, love what they do and I think that Thor will be a great film. When you get a poor director, who surround themselves with people who don't love comics or the character you get a poor film. Having said all this, it all starts on the page. Gotta have a great story and a great screenplay.

William Mize on Jun 4, 2009


I dont know, hearing Branagh say that he doesnt really know the story, that he is learning is a bit scary. What if the people that are giving him the information are just studio heads that want it to go int o a certain direction. Favreau on the other hand loved Iron man before the film and that was one of his favorite comics growing up. So hopefully this is not another fantastic four, Marvel has been doing awesome with there recent releases after the last spiderman (that piece of garbage) so hopefully it can stay on track.

THERBLIG on Jun 4, 2009


Screw Ultimates, all that's needed is the JMS run. Insanely good.

Colin on Jun 4, 2009


I'm encouraged that Branagh seems intelligent enough to not let ego get in the way and is listening too those who have been working with this character throughout the years. Favreau is more of a pure comics fan, but did the same in preparing for Iron Man. That said, those that have owned the character and read the character over the years have got to step aside and have faith in the vision of Branagh and the team he will assemble around him. Thor was my favorite Marvel character growing up, so I am heartened that those responsible for bringing him to the screen are at least taking the time to make sure this is done as well as it can be, apparently placing story and character ahead of explosions and super-hero poses (I'm talking to you Fox). Imagine a superhero film with absoloutly no explosions (as long as it takes place in Asgard). Won't that be refreshing?

Matt on Jun 4, 2009


I agree with everyone on this topic.. Branagh is top choice for the movie.. Bring in ILM for special effects and use a classic story to create a palette for people. This movie as well as the Captain America movie, NEED TO HAVE good run at the box office before any more news regarding the AVENGERS movie is even brought up. Thanks FS

Ryan McCarthy on Jun 4, 2009


#3 I love everything about JMS run! But have you read the one-shots by Matt Fraction? They have that classic feel to them with a dark theme. If you haven't you really need to!

Marius on Jun 4, 2009


Kirby is the rosetta stone of comics, but I'd be willing to say those golden age comics are (for film) mostly good for their visually imaginative power. The rainbow bridge, for example, doesn't have to look like a rainbow bridge on screen - it can be done a lot more subtly than that (also to avoid any misinterpretation). That said, I've read some of the Straszinski stuff and I think it relates things in a very real world kind of way, while remaining deeply mythical in a classical way. Keep in mind, Branagh's had a couple misses along the way as well. At least it's not Ethan Hawke as Thor though. Shame. I was really rooting for the Skarsgard father son team on this one. I think that'd lend a substance that direction alone couldn't achieve. Guy from Trek is tall enough, sure - but Peter Jackson knew you can achieve illusions of scale w/ age old camera tricks. Bring John Rhys Davies in as Falstagg, and I'm in !

Django on Jun 4, 2009


Is Branagh acting in this as well? I don't really follow the Thor books, so I couldn't suggest a character for him...but he's a fantastic actor (most recently in "Valkyrie") and it would be great to see him in this, as well as behind the camera.

Nathan Beale on Jun 19, 2009

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