Kenneth Branagh Speaks Eloquently on His Approach to Thor
by Ethan Anderton
April 1, 2010
About a year and a half ago, I didn't have much interest in Marvel's Thor aside from my hope that his inclusion into Marvel's line-up of adaptations might eventually lead to The Avengers. But when Kenneth Branagh was brought on board to direct in September of 2008, my interest went from almost zero to full tilt, and when you combine his involvement with a promising cast, it's one of my most highly anticipated films in the near future. If it's even possible, my excitement has built even more as Hero Complex caught up with Branagh and spoke very articulately and eloquently on his adaptation of the thundering hero Thor.
Of course Branagh is very well known for his brilliant adaptations of Shakespeare's plays like Hamlet and Henry V, so why the hell is this guy the right one to bring Thor to the big screen? We'll let Branagh explain: "Growing up, my single comic book passion was Thor. From my time in Belfast as a kid, that's the first time I came across that comic, really, exclusively, I don't know why, but it struck a chord. I was drawn to it. I liked all the dynastic drama." I'll bet that's the first time anyone has referred to a comic book as containing "dynastic drama," but Branagh has even more intellectual praise and revelations to share about his approach to Thor. You've never heard someone break down the big screen adaptation of a comic book like Branagh:
"Inspired by the comic book world both pictorially and compositionally at once, we've tried to find a way to make a virtue and a celebration of the distinction between the worlds that exist in the film but absolutely make them live in the same world. It's about finding the framing style, the color palette, finding the texture and the amount of camera movement that helps celebrate and express the differences and the distinctions in those worlds. If it succeeds, it will mark this film as different… The combination of the primitive and the sophisticated, the ancient and the modern, I think that potentially is the exciting fusion, the exciting tension in the film. It doesn't take itself too seriously, it doesn't try to be too solemn."
It's like if Shakespeare wrote his own comic book and he's talking about his own adaptation - it's beautiful. But what about the rumors regarding Branagh's clash with Anthony Hopkins and others on set over his vision? Straight from the horse's mouth it appears to be bantha fodder. Hopkins says, "I am having the time of my life making Thor with Ken and Chris. They have made every day immensely fun and collaborative, and we're all puzzled that someone would fabricate a story suggesting otherwise. I'm proud to say that Thor has been one of the great experiences of my career." Damn, even Hopkins is having a fantastic time on set!
Even Branagh sings praises for Hopkins as, "an extraordinary actor with his Celtic passion and incredible technique," and goes on to credit the rest of the various Asgardian royals as "people who can embody larger-than-life characters but retain at the center a natural, recognizable, human dynamic… and these people run the universe." Well I can't wait to see how this cast comes together with a director who not only has passion for the character, but an invaluable set of different film experiences and projects that will allow for a unique vision in Marvel's universe. This is definitely going to be a highlight of 2011, that is for sure! Thoughts?
Reader Feedback - 25 Comments
This is a movie I am very much looking forward to. Thor is not just a hero, he is a literal God brought down to walk amongst mere mortals. And I think Branagh has the vision to bring not only Thor to our world, but also to let us get a glimpse of what it is to live in his. "And let none say thee NAY!"
DarkRaven18599 on Apr 1, 2010
Kenneth Branagh's versions of Shakespeare are some of my favorite films. His Henry V is brutal. I think he's going to make a film like no other and people will be amazed. He'll bring in non comic book people too. Can't wait!
Moviegimp on Apr 1, 2010
Kenneth Branagh's spear-heading of this makes me excited. I think people should be ready to be shaken by Thor.
Angry Chief on Apr 1, 2010
Glad to see him clear up the rumors about the arguing on the set. Kenneth Branagh seems like he really has passion for the Thor universe so I think he's a perfect fit. If not Joss Whedon, I'm starting to think Branagh should direct The Avengers.
jake the snake on Apr 1, 2010
As if all this didn't have me excited enough, there's the fact that Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz, two of the major writers and producers behind "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" (one of my top 3 shows of all time), are responsible for the script. They are geeks in all the RIGHT ways and have a wonderful grasp of story structure, humanism, theme dynamics, etc. I have so much faith in this adaptation.
equustel on Apr 1, 2010
Er - just to clarify, I did not mean humanism as in the philosophy. The word I was looking for was character/humanity. Bah, where's my coffee today. :]
equustel on Apr 1, 2010
Oscar potential anyone?
roachj on Apr 1, 2010
First trailer for this movie is gonna be interesting.
Darunia on Apr 1, 2010
Should be the best Marvel movie ever. But we'll see.
People's Champ on Apr 1, 2010
The Avengers will be a confusing mess. How can 1 picture & 1 director embody a plethora of characters helmer under different directors and retain the feel that made each individual movie so great & unique? I mean, yes, I love Branaugh! Now give us a synopsis!!
Voice of Reason on Apr 1, 2010
This has got to be a first.
Guy on Apr 1, 2010
It can be done. It doesn't have to focus on action because that's a given. The only character development needed will be for villains of the movie and chemistry between the Avengers. Origins won't need to be told. They can jump right into the story and villains.
Jake the snake on Apr 1, 2010
Thor is a lame superhero. I just can't get excited for this. Oh, well.
sean on Apr 1, 2010
Gives us a trailer. and regarding The Avengers, I would love to see all of the directors helm the film, and all of the screenwriters write the film...but all that creativty in one room in doomed to fail.
Xerxex on Apr 1, 2010
Agree with Xerxex ..where is the teaser... everyone wants to see this masterpiece..
Sakyo on Apr 1, 2010
firstname.lastname@example.org on Apr 2, 2010
High hopes for this...... Is that thors hammer in Ironman trailer?
tir na nog on Apr 2, 2010
Gotta see a trailer first. could go either way. Great cast and great director but still with this kind of character it could delve into the realms of supercheese very easily.
Vold on Apr 2, 2010
i think this is going to be better than captain america.
DEADPOOL 72 on Apr 2, 2010
It's walking a thin line... Hopefully it won't be cheezy. Both this and Cap America could be cool and could be tacky...
ryderup on Apr 2, 2010
i want kat dennings to play HELA.
DEADPOOL 72 on Apr 2, 2010
Thor's a homo.
Glass on Apr 3, 2010
This is a complete failure from conception. This "Poetic Superhero" concept just doesn't work in films. Both Ang Lee's Hulk and Superman Returns tried to mix traditional heroics and crowd-pleasing action with an overtly poetic tone and neither resonated with audiences. It'll be even worse when they have to mesh him with The Avengers clusterfuck.
SlashBeast on Apr 3, 2010
Didn't know that Branagh grew up in Belfast. I figured he was of Irish lineage, but I always thought he was born and raised in the UK. Anyhow, it sounds like he has a solid grasp on what course this film needs to take. As for the alleged feud with Hopkins, my bet is that he and Branagh were simply zinging each other and some lunkhead took them too seriously. Do we know who's making the soundtrack for this yet? If there's one superhero film that merits an epic score, it's this one. DEADPOOL 72: I'm strongly inclined to agree. I still have hope for Cap, but Marvel's handling of the casting (in contrast to how they handled Thor and Iron Man) has made me uneasy.
Corran Horn on Apr 4, 2010
As long as they stick to the spirit of the comic books it could be good. A trailer will be nice.
jimi on May 6, 2010
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