Kenneth Branagh To Direct THOR?

Former classical wunderkind Kenneth Branagh may return Marvel's resident Norseman to his Shakespearean ''roots'' as helmer of Thor's big screen treatment.
Marvel Comics' publisher emeritus Stan Lee has stated in the past that the Elizabethan speech patterns of the four-color god of thunder came out of Lee's love of Shakespeare. Maybe it's not such a surprise, then, that the latest name bandied about as director of the planned Thor feature is none other than Shakespearean actor-turned-filmmaker Kenneth Branagh (right).

According to Variety, Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige has entered into negotiations with the classically-trained Brit to helm their next live-action superhero flick, to be released in 2010. The comic book adaptation by Mark Protosevich (The Cell) follows disabled medical student Donald Blake, whose alter ego is a hammer-swinging Asgardian.

Though his feature directorial debut, 1989's Henry V, was medieval action-heavy, Branagh's film versions of classic novels and plays have tended toward comedy and melodrama. His last high-profile helming job was 1996's full-length Hamlet, a critical success but a dismal financial failure.

However, such an unusual choice for this comics-based project actually has its precedent in recent successes that include Jon Favreau on Iron Man and Christopher Nolan with the rebooted Batman franchise.

Branagh would owe this opportunity in part to Stardust director Matthew Vaughan, the long-attached helmer who fell from favor after submitting a script that promised an expensive production. As CBR News's HANNIBAL TABU put it, an industry trade report of negotiations suggests that Branagh indeed is a serious contender.

If the Irish-born star of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, who counts Emma Thompson and Helena Bonham Carter among his former loves, does clinch this gig, perhaps he'll cast regular collaborator Brian Blessed (left) as Thor's pop, Odin.
0 Yes
0 No
Sci Fi Wire