‘Thor 2′ Closing In on New Director & Writer

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Thor 2 Director Shortlist Thor 2 Closing In on New Director & Writer

The saga of Thor 2 continues, with word that Marvel Studios is closing in on a director to replace Monster director Patty Jenkins, who dropped out of the sequel due to creative differences with Marvel (though, word is the studio will employ her talents on a future film).

Our own Rob Keyes reported on the increasing problems Marvel is having with its film directors, as Jenkins joins Thor director Kenneth Branagh, Incredible Hulk star Ed Norton, and Iron Man 1&2 director Jon Favreau in the camp of those who have worked with the studio, but ultimately left the fold due to what is suspected to be a creatively-stifling environment.

Indeed, the question that we’ve been mulling for some time now here at Screen Rant is how Marvel can hope to balance the very specific demands of its shared movie continuity with the creative ambitions of the filmmakers and actors the studio hires. To put it another way: how do you find competent and accomplished filmmakers who are willing to surrender to the micro-managing demands of their studio employer? Talk about oil and water…

In the case of Thor 2 (and really, in general) the answer seems to be: hire someone whose talents have brought them a reasonable amount of success, but are still waiting on that big break to push them to the next level. In other words: don’t aim high, or low, but squarely at the middle when picking personnel.

This strategy has been effective with choices like Australian actor Chris Hemsworth to play Thor, character actor Chris Evans to play Captain America, or French director Louis Leterrier to helm The Incredible Hulk - and it seems Marvel is going to continue that philosophy, if their shortlist of directors for Thor 2 is anything to judge by.

THR has the exclusive that Alan Taylor and Daniel Minahan are the names Marvel is currently considering for the Thor 2 director’s chair. Both men have a feature-film directing credit under their belt; however, their work has mostly been in TV, with Taylor having helmed episodes of acclaimed shows like Oz, Homicide, The West Wing, Rome, The Sopranos, Lost, Deadwood, Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones - while Minahan has shows like The L Word, Six Feet Under, Deadwood, Big Love, Grey’s Anatomy, The Good Wife, True Blood and Game of Thrones decorating his own filmography. To most Marvel fans, the Game of Thrones experience will likely be the most promising aspect of both men’s resumes.

eddard game of thrones preview sean bean Thor 2 Closing In on New Director & Writer

From 'Game of Thrones' to 'Thor 2'?

To sum it all up: these are two candidates with enough experience to make a good film – but more to the point, enough familiarity working within tight narrative confines (given the episodic nature of TV) to make them suitable team players.

Along with a new director, there is the question of the Thor 2 script: the studio is searching for a someone to re-write the initial draft by Don Payne (Thor, Fantastic Four 2), with names like Oscar-nominated writer Sheldon Turner (Up In the Air, X-Men:First Class) previously being rumored for the job. However, THR reports that John Collee (Master and Commander), Oscar-nominee Robert Rodat (Saving Private Ryan), and Oscar-winner Roger Avary (Pulp Fiction) are the more likely candidates on Marvel’s shortlist.

Hopefully, the combination of an acclaimed writer and capable director is enough to make Thor 2 a better sequel than Iron Man 2 was. As it’s shaping up now, the hardest road for Marvel Studios won’t be the lead-up to The Avengers, but rather the next phase after it. Stay tuned, as this story is sure to develop quickly.

Thor 2 is slated for release on November 15, 2013.

Source: THR

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TAGS: thor, thor 2

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  1. and who will the next villain be ???

    • its prob gonna be loki again =D

      • Theres gotta be a change, It might be THANOS because his glove was displayed in COMIC-CON

    • I would like to see The Enchantress but my money is on The Absorbing Man.

      • I would love to see enchantress and her body guard the exucutioner!!! if done right, he would be fighting thor for a good long time (not like when thor fought the destroyer, it was kinda lame) and the enchantress would be pulling the strings, it has so much potential…

        Wreaking Crew?

        • I agree. It has a ton of potential and done right it would be awesome. It could also help pave the way for The Masters of Evil in The Avengers 2. I too thought about the Wrecking Crew, but IMO they are pretty weak characters. I’d much rather have The Absorbing Man or Enchantress/Executioner.

    • Loki will be heavily involved as he was a fantastic part of the first movie (as played by Tom Hiddleston, who I really hope will return. He was picture perfect.)

      But, he’s that guy who kinda plays both sides. As to who the main villain would be, I don’t think it will be Thanos. That’s an Avengers specific villain. For Thor 2 I’d hope they would pull something out of Norse mythology, so I’m personally hoping for Surtur.

    • surtur

  2. I find it sadly ironic that Maervel is so creative and stimulating when making comic books, in their creation and handling of such beloved characters on the inked page, but is then seen as overbearing and stiffling when dealing with likewise creative professionals of another artistic medium like film. You’d think the idea of creative and artistic freedom would be a no-brainer to them. For example, how is working with Joss Whedon as the director of one of their films that much different than when he was working on the Atonishing X-Men? Or is that perhaps why he got the job, cause they felt they could trust him with more creative control than other directors who have “only” worked with other films before? Does anyone else feel like this is an issue that for all intents and purposes shouldn’t even exist?

    • Marvel isn’t known for giving its writers and artists creative freedom with their comic books. This was a big concern for many of writers/artists back in the 90s when they all left Marvel in a big exodus and formed Image comics.

      In Marvel’s defense — it is their characters and properties. They can do with it how they see fit. I wonder if Marvel doesn’t like how FOX has handled Daredevil and the Fantastic Four and that is why they keep a tight grip on the Avengers related franchise.

      Marvel is also fiscally responsible for the (I forget the exact dollar amount) $400 Million loan that initially funded the Iron Man and (Ed Norton’s) Hulk movies. I don’t know if that has changed since Disney bought them or where the loan stands. Given the financial success of IM and IM2 I imagine the loan has been mostly repaid. As far as I know, all the movies have profited. I think the Punisher reboot was funded by Lionsgate and mostly their loss. I’m sure Marvel lost a bit on that one too. After two movies the appeal of a Punisher movie is going to be dead for a long while. The Punisher becomes one less property that Marvel still has the rights to that they can make a profitable movie from.

      Creative freedom isn’t a luxury. This is still a business and Marvel/Disney has to make a profit to appease debtors and stockholders. Just look at Frank Miller’s “The Spirit” to see how creative freedom can go wrong. It was a financial flop and critically hated movie.

      • After Marvel was bought by Pearlman and he tried to turn it into a media conglomerate, the whole mindset of the company changed, and not for the better. Most of what happened in the mid to late 90′s when various business parasites started feeding off of the companies popularity and goodwill with fans is what almost bought the company down. Now that they have gotten back into better fiscal shape and they are a parent company of Disney, they are not going to try and go to far out on a limb with these films. Despite the amount of money some comic themed movies have made, it is still a dice roll overall.

        The properties that they sold/rented out to other studios was done because they needed cash, and the reality was that at the time nobody had much success with making comic movies, so it didn’t seem like much of loss.

      • “I wonder if Marvel doesn’t like how FOX has handled Daredevil and the Fantastic Four and that is why they keep a tight grip on the Avengers related franchise.”

        IMO, that’s exactly why they keep such a tight grip on the directors of their property. I think it’s worked out pretty well for them so far. They’ll probably have a fail sooner or later but FF 1&2 and Daredevil are awful so I don’t blame them for tight control. Even SM3 would have benefited if Marvel was in the drivers seat. They probably would have either allowed Raimi to not direct a movie about Venom (so he could do a villain he wanted) or more likely fired him and gotten a director that understood Venom (for my part Sony should have allowed Raimi to do a villain other than Venom, and then done Venom in the next movie with a new director, just my $.02).

  3. Come on, Marvel bring back the first movie writers Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stenz and also get Kenneth Branagh back to direct Thor 2 but if Branagh can’t direct then at least he can produce Thor 2.

  4. I’ll do it for $500,000. Bachelor degree in film, young mind, love Thor, good enough right?

    • I’d vote for you

  5. I think we need Surter involved.

  6. Agree with zipper, thats why Marvel has multiple profitable properties in cinema than WB. creative freedom has hurt WB other properties supes, GL, WW, etc. etc.

  7. My friend and I are down to direct it. Marvel hit me up, you got my number.

  8. i think they are making the right decision going for tv directors. i was even thinking this before i even read this article, that they should go after some of the guys who directed some episodes of lost. jack bender would be great. he did some of losts best episodes, and can work within a restrictive narrative. just my 2 cents

  9. OK OK OK I’ll do it

  10. It’s understandable. Marvel wants to give the fans what they want. Marvel wants their characters to reflect the comics accurately, as that’s what they’re mainly interested in selling. As we’ve seen with X-Men: First Class, a good film can completely contradict the history of the comics, and force some hard decisions to be made. A good film that does that, actually, is more of a nightmare than a bad film in that respect, since generally Daredevil or the first Hulk movie can just be ignored. Marvel isn’t going to let that happen with the movies they’re able to control. So I understand why these people left, if they feel like their creativity is being stifled. But personally I am happy if it means the characters aren’t going to be transformed into characters we don’t know.

    • Exactly, we have seen some bullcrap films because the source material was not followed. So it is cool with me that Marvel is keeping the reigns tight on their property. Besides we were crying not too long ago how we wanted Marvel to gain control and so these characters justice.

  11. “Jenkins joins Thor director Kenneth Branagh, Incredible Hulk star Ed Norton, and Iron Man 1&2 director Jon Favreau in the camp of those who have worked with the studio, but ultimately left the fold due to what is suspected to be a creatively-stifling environment.”
    That’s not true!
    Favreou and Branagh couldn’t direct because they already had other projects in the pipe-line (scheduling conflicts) – NOT creative differences. Branagh is still very hyped for future Marvel movies, and has expressed his desire to do another Marvel flick many times. Favreou will still be producing certain Marvel movies (and may even be reprising his role as Happy), but the other reason he didn’t return to direct IM3, was because he felt he couldn’t do more with the character. He wanted to move on to something different and more changing. (It had nothing to do with creative differences)
    I’m getting very disappointed at screenrant for continuing to insinuate that “creative differences” are the reason that most of these guys left.
    –It’s staring to really feel like a bash-fest on Marvel Studios.

    As for the actual subject of the interview:
    I’d have preferred that they got the original writers and director from Thor to write and direct the sequel (since Thor 2′s release date will probably be delayed a few months, it might still be an option). But, if that’s not possible, I think the choice of writers mentioned in this article are good options, but I’m not too keen on the directors…
    I honestly don’t really know who’d be able to fill Branagh’s spot, but I’ll sleep on it, and let y’al know what I think ;)

  12. I didnt really get goosebumps over the Thor movie. It wasnt like the cartoon I watched back in the 60′s with Donald Blake as his alter ego. Guess it’s just what I was used to, the movie version seemed more empty-headed than the cartoon.

  13. I am glad Marvel is sticking to their guns. Why would a good Director not take the canon of the characters as a challenge instead of whining that they can’t change it to “make it their own”? Without strict adherence to canon, you end up with nipples on your bat-suit in stinkers like Batman and Robin and Batman Forever.

    Go Marvel. Protect your IPs. It has worked so far as each movie has been very successful. Do not give in to the prima donna directors. Do not let them take it in some new and daring creative direction. Stick to the classics and everyone will love it. No one liked Superman IV.

    • amen brotha’!

  14. i also think peter berg would be a good choice for directing thor 2, or any other marvel pic. he has made some pretty decent films, and is young enough to have the same mindset as the fans of this genre. i would like to see jj abrams take a stab at one of the movies. not a sequell, but some new character. just my 2 cents again

  15. Malikith the accursed