Despite Kenneth Branagh’s decision not to return as director on Marvel’s Thor 2, early development of the project has been going pretty smoothly (up to now). The film was fairly quick to snag a release date (two, technically), a primary screenwriter, and managed to secure a promising replacement director in the form of Patty Jenkins.
However, reports are in that Jenkins has now left the Thor sequel; all the same, Marvel studios is a well-oiled, fine-running (production) machine and the search is already on to find her replacement.
[Update: We now know why Patty Jenkins left Thor 2.]
Deadline has the scoop on Jenkins departing Thor 2; the site says that “creative differences” are the reason for the filmmaker’s decision to step away from the sci-fi/fantasy sequel. However, this is seemingly an amicable split between director and studio, seeing how insiders are indicating that Jenkins will probably eventually get to helm one of Marvel’s comic book adaptations, “but perhaps not a sequel.”
Reading between the lines, it sounds as though Jenkins’ plans for Thor’s next big-screen outing not only differed significantly from Marvel’s vision, it probably also marked too drastic a shift in tone and style from Branagh’s film. Given the nature of Jenkins’ best-known previous work (including the film Monster and pilot episode of AMC’s The Killing) chances are good she was planning too thematically-dark and possibly gritty a Thor movie for Marvel studio executives’ tastes.
There are numerous other Marvel superheroes that are expected to make the jump to live-action cinematic form in the not-too-distant future, including characters like Black Panther and Doctor Strange, along with ensembles such as the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Runaways. So, since it’s being implied that Marvel did like Jenkins’ style (just not in the context of a Thor sequel), she could very well be given “dibs” on one of the aforementioned franchises, to make in her own style.
However, for the time being, most fans are bound to be more interested in finding out who is going to helm Thor 2, since Marvel (seemingly) has no plans to stop the film on its journey down the production pipeline. Former directorial candidate Brian Kirk doesn’t seem all that likely, given his now-full schedule (he’s currently filming a Great Expectations TV series and is slated to helm a drama called Midnight Delivery thereafter) but we’ll find out for certain in the near future, so stay tuned…
Thor 2 is currently scheduled to hit theaters in the U.S. on November 15th, 2013.