‘Thor 2′ Snags ‘Rise of the Silver Surfer’ Screenwriter

Published 4 years ago by , Updated February 10th, 2012 at 12:13 pm,

thor retains number one position Thor 2 Snags Rise of the Silver Surfer Screenwriter

Now that Thor 2 has settled on an official release date, Marvel Studios is pressing ahead on the project by hiring on a screenwriter – even though the sequel is currently without a director, since Kenneth Branagh has officially passed on the opportunity.

Thor co-writer Don Payne has been charged with the task of penning the next big screen adventure with the hammer-wielding warrior, who will be portrayed once again by Chris Hemsworth (after he reprises his turn as the character in next year’s The Avengers).

As Deadline has pointed out, Payne’s superhero movie writing resume encompasses the lackluster comedy My Super Ex-Girlfriend, the underperforming sequel Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, and a Lobo comic book adaptation – which is currently stuck in development limbo.

Needless to say, that resume doesn’t exactly inspire a whole lot of confidence about the potential quality of a Thor sequel scripted solely by Payne, who also worked as a co-executive producer/staff writer on The Simpsons from about 2000-2010 (not exactly the best years of the show’s run). Presumably, that means Payne was responsible for a good chunk of the jokes and humor in Branagh’s Thor movie – and that Marvel approved of his work as well. Take that as you will.

Thor coffee mug scene Thor 2 Snags Rise of the Silver Surfer Screenwriter

"This joke, I like it. Another!"

Marvel has so far alternated between recruiting a single screenwriter to handle one of its in-house productions and bringing on at least two (sometimes, even half a dozen) writers to fine-tune the scripts for its films. Two or more scripting talents worked on Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger – whereas The Incredible Hulk was written solely by Zak Penn (Elektra, X-Men: The Last Stand) and Justin Theroux was the sole credited writer for Iron Man 2.

That’s all to say: The only “winning” formula for how to create a good Marvel movie so far appears to be… recruit writers who know what they’re doing. Theroux didn’t have any experience adapting comic book material prior to the second Iron Man film, which in part resulted in a weaker final product. Penn, by comparison, might not have proven himself to be a stellar screenwriter in the past, but he had two comic book movies under his belt. Thus, the latter seemingly had a better idea of how to strike the right tone – as well as how to balance plot/character development with action – in the Hulk movie than Theroux did with Iron Man 2.

Will Payne’s work on Thor 2 turn out better than his Fantastic Four sequel? It’s certainly possible, though his resume just doesn’t inspire the same degree of confidence as say Avengers writer/director Joss Whedon’s or Iron Man 3 director/co-writer Shane Black’s. If anything, Payne’s resume suggests that the Thor followup may be more overtly comical (and perhaps even campy) than its predecessor. Again, take that as you will.

Thor 2 is scheduled for theatrical release on July 26, 2013.

Source: Deadline

TAGS: Thor, Thor 2
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  1. Who would hire the guy who wrote FF4 R of S.S. to write Thor 2?

    • Apparently Disney/Marvel does. The guy can only get better…..hopefully. I guess what I am saying is any writer cannot get better if he stops writing.

  2. Underachieving!!!! I thought Rise of the Silver Surfer was great. Give the guy a chance.

  3. Thor was a good movie. I didn’t like any of the Fantastic Four films, Rise of the Silver Surfer especially. I think they should give the writer a shot.

  4. The problem with “Fantastic Four” was that it is alot harder to write a great movie for. It splits it’s action to 4 characters who each have to be distinguishable but still work as a team. It’s also a giant comic book series with alot of pressure to be good. The Fantastic Four movies were good but they its very hard to make them great.

    Thor is much easier to write for. 1 character and a bunch of no-name villains that would all look awesome on screen.

    I look forward to this as long as they keep sheild to a minimum.

    • “It splits it’s action to 4 characters who each have to be distinguishable but still work as a team.”

      But writers have pulled it off successfully in the past! I think fans would’ve been much happier if Fox had split ” Rise of the Silver Surfer”
      into a second part and gave us the Galactus we wanted. It can be pulled off just look at “Avatar.” Even if you didn’t like the effects of “Avatar” an entire generation grew up knowing full well that the story of Big G is a big story, at least a two parter. It was just unsatisfying as it was. A rushed conclusion to the story. Some argue that showing Galactus as a higher life form was the safe way to go, but if they would have filmed a second part and showed he had the ability to give himself a physical body it would have peaked audience interest. They could explore Galactus as a person not just a life sucking force. That’s also what we didn’t get with “The Green Lantern”. We got a background story but we didn’t get Parallax the personage. Yellow just becomes a symbol for evil and nothing more which is way, way too shallow. Now perhaps their’s hope that it will be explored in a sequel and that at least Warner gave the audience a taste of that. Some still want more than this! Well tell them. Was the conflict too short? Do you want just way more violence? Will that make the drama more serious? Does Hal need to get serious? Sue technically died in “Rise” did that make it more serious and better when the Surfer saved her, or was it just forced? Rewind and tell me what would have made that scene less forced? Do like some Anime’s do and reach back to the first F.F. movie and show how Doom felt that Richards ruined his chances with her in his eyes? That he lost a major part of a fortune and became a freak not just physically but mentally and emotionally as well. Mentally Ill! Would 7 or 10 minutes from Doom’s perspective made it better? Why doesn’t that effect Reed emotionally, why doesn’t he vent his guilt to say, Ben? Why ???

  5. Any chance of seeing Fin Fang Foom? I’ll give him a chance but this trend of losing/dismissing your directors from franchise material is a disturbing trend for Marvel movies. I’m still not happy about Favreau (or Terrance Howard for that matter) being booted off the IM series. It interferes with continuity. And in case Marvel hasn’t figured it out yet, fanboys like continuity.

    we’ll see if it’s the right move for Thor. But when it comes to THOR and Captain America, I have very little patience with failure or underachievement. Those characters are iconic and should be treated as such.

    • It’s great that fanboys like continuity. But 90% of the revenue that comes from these movies don’t come from fanboys.

      • True. But anyone, fanboy or not, gets MORE into sequels when the same people come back to reprise their roles.

      • Evidence?

        • Watchmen.

    • Do you know why Howard was recast? He was the highest paid actor for “Iron Man” and got like 15 minutes of screen time. He didn’t want to take a pay cut for the second, so they recast him. I’m glad he was recast, there are certain actors who can pull off a military role and he isn’t one of them. I think the more disturbing trend for Marvel are on the creative side. Favs almost didn’t come back for the 2nd I.M., they lost Norton on TIH and Brans for Thor 2.

      • They didn’t lose Norton, they didn’t bring him back for Avengers because he wanted control of every aspect of filming during The Incredible Hulk…which wouldn’t have worked in an ensemble pic like Avengers.

    • Favreau wasn’t booted from IM3, he was burned out on Iron Man and wanted to move on.

      • No, Favereau had a choice to either helm Disney’s “Magic Kingdom” or Iron Man 3; he chose Magic Kingdom because of having more creative control coupled with the trilogy curse syndrome, issues with IM2 and his fear of tackiling the “magic vs tech” arc for the Mandarin for IM3. He’ll be a part of the creative process for Iron Man 3 and reprise his role as Happy Hogan. Favereau is also co-producing The Avengers aside from Kevin Feige.

        • Correct. Both Favreau & Branagh are staying involved with their respective Marvel projects. I’m glad too, I hate it when a director leaves something they helped start out.

          BTW I know all about Favreau’s involvement, I’m probably a bigger Iron Man (comics) fan than anyone around these parts, and was always rooting for the Marvel Studios film projects.

          • @Ken, LOL! I believe you, I’ve seen your impressive display wisdom with comic book stuff and other genre here. Btw, I hope that “Ghost” is in Iron Man 3. Madame Masque and War Machine would be nice as allies to battle the Ten Ring insurgents/terrorist groups. But I’d like to see Ghost, almost more than the Mandarin.

            • I hope my comment didn’t come off as “yeah well I’m a true fan so neener neener!” I know that it’s easy for things to come off wrong when people are communicating only through text, and on this site I take extra care to make sure people get my actual meaning.

              On other sites, I don’t care what they think.

  6. Everybody stop the panic, if they don’t like the script it will be changed this isn’t FOX, Thor 2 i think will be watched closely so i wouldn’t freak out, im being calm and will expect a good movie.

    • Lets not forget this is the same D-Bag who made Galactus into a cloud

  7. Is it wrong that I just heard the Price Is Right “Fail” music go off in my head?

    • haha, Tuche my friend, tuche

  8. Yahoo did an article on the over-saturation of the comic movies. I am inclined to agree with them.

    I get more enjoyment in watching the direct to DVD animated versions. Especially the Thor stories. Although, I think there were only a couple, but they were done very well.

    As to Thor 2, I was on board until this news about the FF2 writer coming on board.

    • I think its more the over saturation of research that movie fans do before the movie comes out….like we do on screenrant. I agree I get more enjoyment from animated films like Ultimate Avengers but people are not constantly criticizing animated movies while they are being made. Less pre-movie criticism may lead to better movies. Its just a thought.

      • Insightful. But I stand by my assertion.

        General audiences are not interested in second or third tier comic movies and yet Hollywood continues to make them. At least for now until they start realizing these big budgets are not getting such big returns. I think we are about to see a sharp decline after 2012.

        • I think the true problem (not that what you’re saying isn’t a problem, but what I’m about to describe is the cause of the problem you state) is that there have been numerically so many comic and/or superhero films at this point, many of which were terrible, that even though we’re just now getting to many that people have been waiting DECADES for (like Thor, Cap, GL), they’re already burned out because there have been a bunch of films using up the somewhat finite “superhero film appetite” reservoir that’s out there.

          So…they’re finally getting around to a lot of the “standards” heroes like GL (which I admit I haven’t seen), Cap, Thor, etc, and are trying to start with more like Flash, Dr. Strange, etc., and there’s much less interest even though these are loved characters.

          • Loved by comics nerds, but less known by the general populace.

    • I read that aricle and it was complete bogus. It was comparing the recent superhero movie’s performance to Iron Man and calling them failures which is ridiculous. (With the exception of Green Lantern) X-Men and Thor performed well at the box-office. So that article really doesn’t have much credibility. As long as these superhero movies make atleast $400 million, I’d say it was successful.

      Plus, There are plenty of people out there who watch superhero movies. After all, it is from the general population that these movie cash in from. If fanboys and those who read the comics were the only ones who watched these movies, they’d bomb left and right and eventually, they would no longer be made. So while I respect your opinion, I think that Yahoo! article was complete bogus.

      • While I agree that much of what they stated was spurious, it prompted me to consider the underlying message as well the fact that these movies have under performed given each of their budgets.

        And, “plenty of people” does not necessarily mean a box office success.

        I am still predicting that after 2012, volume of comic movies are going to significantly decrease.

        • Thor didn’t under perform at all. It actually is pretty spot on with Marvels expectations and it made more than most experts had predicted. By all accounts it’s actually been better than everyone expected.

          Firs Class has underperformed horribly in the US but overseas it’s doing very impressive. It’s domestic intake has been very low and much lower than predictions as well as expectations yet some how it’s managed to make more world wide than was predicted and if it keeps up it’s current world wide trend with in two or three more weeks will be considered a big success for the studio.

          Green Lantern is the only true underperformed in the bunch.

          • And yet I just spoke to a female attendant to a double bill showing of “Cars 2″ and “Green Lantern” at a Drive Inn and she said she throughly enjoyed “Green Lantern”. This woman was my age with her grandson and a couple of her youngest kids.

            Times are still tough and as the classes are driven further apart their appetites for entertainment differ. They also seek value in their entertainment as much as anything else in their life. Well some just don’t have the disposable income. The choice might be the movies or the water park for the day or the public pool several days a week, figuring, hey yeah I want to see that just not at that price point. $10.00 x 4 or 6 starts adding up to real money and you factor the relative cost of say a trip to the public pool and an afternoon at the park and a weekly play-day with the neighbors and that has more value than a two hour movie but less money has been spent…

    • I may be wrong but I believe Hollywood studios just may be planning for the end of the big Comic Book movie genre. Batman and Superman and maybe Spider man will still be around in the future but as for the rest, titles like THOR, XMen and GREN LANTERN as well as other yet to be filmed movies, it feels like the plan is to move forward with sequels to existing titles that are cheap and to do it with tons of product tie-in so that if it does fail they can at least make money of the product tie in one last time before calling it quits on the title.

      In the case of GL I think we’d all agree that the movie failed to deliver om most expectations. That doesn’t mean no one likes it or that it won’t make money but that its not been received as twas hyped to be by the studios. i bet someone saw this coming and they decided to try and prep for it by talking GL up a lot.

      Regardless of what you think of MICHAEL BAY he genuinely wanted the last film in the TRANSFORMERS trilogy to be better then the last and maybe even then the first and so he worked towards that goal. For some he may have missed that goal but he at least he did go at it with the intent of making a better film. The way these sequels for THOR and the others are being planned it sounds like the studios are making cuts where they can in preparation for failure; cutting their losses in advance wherever they can, such as in the story’s development. Why else would they hire a writer who seems to be more know for his failures then anything else?

      Maybe there’s just a shortage of screen writers and directors and hats why these guys aren’t returning to work the sequels but then again…

      Then again maybe its just everyone tightening down due to the economy. What I do know is that the choices beaning made so far on these future projects do not sound like plans one would make for something they wanted to be better or successful.

    • I have to disagree. People are talking about there not being any big hits one year and suddenly people are tired of comic films.

      What they are forgetting is that no one expected these films to make a ton of money. XFC and Thor are pretty much landing where they were suppose to. They were not meant to cross the 200 Mark. Sure would of been great for the companies if they had, but no one expected that. They expected exactly what they are getting and are very happy about the numbers. The only let down is Green Lantern.

      People are acting as if Green Lantern doing so bad shows people are tired of comics but the truth is that it’s because it’s a bad film. Typically the first film in a new franchise getting bellow 50% on RT means it’s not gonna do well at the box office. You can’t expect a film that’s being critically panned to make 300Mil unless it’s a sequel to a well established franchise like Transformers. Had GL looked good in the trailers and actually been a good film with much better reviews it would or reflected in it’s numbers.

      There is Zero evidence that people are getting sick of comic movies. Just wild speculation over things that were suppose to happen. None of these were meant to be Iron Man size numbers other than GL but it was an awful film that had bad word of mouth and bad advertisement leading in.

      • Unless it’s the Twilight films

        #1 191 million and 49% rating on RT
        #2 300 million and 27% rating on RT

        Fantastic four 155 million and 27% on RT..

        Have you seen Green Lantern Daniel?

        • Well the Twilight books have a large die hard teenage girl fanbase who will watch the films no matter how bad. They are just excited to see the guys they fantasize about being shown on screen. Comic fans are typically more picky and nit picky as well.

          Fantastic Four didn’t exactly do well. It barely made a profit and the sequel made even less.

          No have not seen Green Lantern and won’t even bother to. I’ve got more important things to do. Gotta Eat, take showers, clip my nails, wash my hair and not watch green lantern. Packed schedule. As a rule I try to avoid films that look terrible to me and get really bad reviews. Sort of that if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck rule.

  9. I have a bad feeling about Thor 2. Branaugh (sp?) is out and we get an amateurish writer. I’m worried.

  10. Im not gonna panick at the moment. I remember when Kenneth B was signed on to direct at first and everyone went “HUH?!?!” So lets give it a chance. If it ends up stinkin then we can bring back stoning.

    • I don’t remember panic when it was announced that Brannaugh was going to direct; in fact, I remember many (including myself) who liked the idea of a Shakespearean director taking over a Norse god movie. This, on the other hand, does have me worried. While I didn’t think Rise of the SS was the worst comic of all time, it definitely could have been a lot better. My Super Ex-Girlfriend had its moments but was pretty forgettable. I am officially worried about a second god of thunder movie.

      • +100

      • Verily and forsooth I must agree with thine most prudent statement..

        • Thine ardent compliment thus honors mine soul.

    • HG branagh is a respectable academy nominated directer and actor this guy wrote My super Ex-Girlfriend

      • +1

  11. The first Thor movie wasn’t good; it was a live-action disney movie (which doesn’t work in the superhero genre). So, if the second one is even okay, it will be better than the first one.

  12. OOOOPPPPS there goes THOR in the drain,,,,,, :(

  13. Yeah the last go around everyone was concerned about all aspects of the movie but it’s rather hard to know just what exactly this current writer’s input on the previous film was. Granted his record can act as a clue but any writer rising to this level has to have a certain range of writing experience, especially if s/he got this job. I’m firmly believing if he turns in something totally unworthy Disney/Marvel will round file it and start over. Likely he’s been given marching orders on the kind of story to deliver and he was the team player on the last writing team. If that’s the case it’s no small wonder he’s currently named as the writer of the sequel. I can’t understand why you wouldn’t use a writing team similar to what popular TV shows have done in the past. Having Stan sit down with Walt Simonson and this fella Payne could be well worth the time and effort. I’m not so sure that people of Simonson’s experience and caliber won’t be reviewing any work done anyway…

  14. I think the title of this article should replace the word ‘Snags’ with the words ‘Saddled with.’ Snags implies pride in catching which just cannot be the case for “Thor.”

    ‘Thor 2′ Saddled with ‘Rise of the Silver Surfer’ Screenwriter

    • Or maybe production on Thor 2 hits a “snag” :)

  15. Well…..no News like , *news…
    Just last week I was wondering when we would hear something about Thor..
    KRAKABOOOMMM!!!!! The lightning strikes in 24 hrs!
    Wow..I’m actually still dealing with the director *thang then you hit me with this…Don’t worry fellowship of Asgard..Marvel Studios will not only review the work in it’s entirety..but if ,its garbage ..They’ll fire that A** like they did Zak Penn on The Avengers!

    That’s what is comforting about Marvel Studios indifferent to DC/Warner *now. Can’t say that about Fox *at the moment because X-Men-first Class being written,produced and directed very well..I guess they’re learning…Sony/Columbia..We’ll see…
    DC/Warner…oh I’m sorry..no letting off the hook with ‘Superman Returns, Jonah Hex and Green Lantern..no..buddy..it seems like you dont know quality or don’t understand the fan base and key elements..
    Or there’s some Hollwood big shots who just dosnt give a f***! They will produce anything and think you the base will accept it…a Tax write off..oh well..

    Back to Thor…I’m looking for that *big 1 for Marvel’s Big Guy! Surtur, Celestials or a ‘Pantheon War..with a little bit of Jane forster..Thor’s ‘Empire Strikes Back/Superman 2!
    Can they do it?..Do they wanna take the chance..?

  16. This is a joke or a rumor?

    The guy wroted Fanastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer is writing the script for Thor 2.

    Besides Don Payne co-wrote Thor along with Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz.

    I believe Miller and Stentz did the whole script while Payne did the jokes which were great.

  17. Wow, no Kenneth Branagh AND the writer of Rise of the Silver Surfer! THOR 2 is going to suck on ice! I can wait!

  18. I have a bad feeling about this. But I’m glad we got at least one great Thor movie out of all of this. :-)

    • Alas, he never said, “For Odin….for Asgard!” though. I would have given it another star if they put that line in. He could have said it right before dispatching the armor (with a longer fight), or before he destroyed the Bifrost.

  19. After losing Kenneth I had a bad feeling now It’s worse.

    Also a note about Incredible Hulk it didn’t really only have one writer since Ed Norton came on and did some rewrites and extra work on the script.

    • Norton saved that movie.

  20. I’m sorry but the person who not only turned Glactus, one of the Universes primal forces, into a big ball of gas but then allowed the Surfer to take him OUT(and survive no less)??? Completely destroyed the context of both characters and did them a big injustice in the process.

    So you will forgive me if I am not instilled with confidence about this announcement.

    • If I’m not mistaken, Galactus was at one point in the comics in the form of a cloud.

      • Yes he was but the SS didn’t have those powers, Galactus gave them to him to be his herald. Also, Galactus was a cloud of gas eons before mankind walked erect and was given a suit of armor to house his emense energy.

        Oh Lord, I am a geek!


        • Yep, Ions or an ionic gaseous cloud but even before that, Galactus was humanoid like the rest of his race. But he was solidified again before the time Norin Rad aka Silver Surfer became his herald. So Fox still had no excuse for doing that. If they wanted to be mysterious about it or leave it as a cliffhanger for a Silver Surfer movie, they could just showed Galactus’s eyes (with the energy emanating from them) without showing his face or head just yet.

          • But philosophically giving a living thing a permanent form is tantamount to making them mortal. Would it really have been so bad if Galactus was able to change from one form to another? Would Fox had been egregiously wrong to do that? On top of that the ending of “F4:ROTSS” doesn’t really show much of anything final as an ending. It could’ve easily extended into a second part. I do agree that way more should’ve been hinted at in the movie referencing the classic comic story. They could have done allot things to improve it but the energy form of Galactus in and of itself wasn’t a movie killer move, it was that they didn’t make it a part of a greater whole…

  21. It doesn’t mean they will use his treatment..they may use just a portion and hire another writer or team to takeover..Disappointed by the fact that KB won’t be back in the director’s chair..Is that confirmed by-the-way? Seems kind of strange for Marvel not to bring him back..

    I think Captain AMerica’s performance will go along way in predicting if this genre is running it’s course with the lesser known commodities..

    Any takers on how well Cap will do overseas?

    • Greenknight.

      Curious if it’s confirmed my self. I read the news some where else and they reported it more as a MIGHT not return and Rumor type thing.

      I don’t think cap will say much about the future either. It’s sort of along the same lines as Thor it’s not expected to be a big huge Dark Knight sized money maker. Just a good profit making film. I think next year is the only real year to tell how it’s going with The Avengers and Man of Steels opening.

      It’s hard to compare this summers comic films to other years. People expected Green Lantern to be the next Batman or Iron man, but it hardly got Batman or Iron Man sized reviews. Thor got good reviews, but not as good as either of those two and he’s less known than even Iron Man. As far as X-men go while the fanboy boycott probably didn’t have a large impact you can bet it had an impact to some extent not to mention it was coming of the hills of X3 and Wolverine both being poorly received.

      I think more accurate than say people are sick of comic films is saying ‘people are sick of stale run of the mil average comic book films and stale properties that have been constant let downs’

    • I know they won’t call it Captain America overseas, it will be Captain Marvel or the Avenger

      • They’re calling it “Captain America – The First Avenger” everywhere except a few countries, where they’re calling it “The First Avenger.”

  22. Bummed about losing Branagh….doubly bummed about the writer choice. I hated many things in FF2, but I love Thor and the “Thor” film. Time will tell how this works out.

  23. Ugh, more bad news on top of bad news. This is worrisome :(

  24. Wouldn’t it be bizarre if somewhere between Asgard & Earth, Silver Surfer & Thor met up, and one had to ask directions from the other?

    • Silver Surfer would give Thor a Ride

  25. Thor as a concept for a film, I feel at least, is one of the more risky comic book charatcers to bring to the big screen. It would have so easy for it to come off as cheesey or campy or even just plain silly. Marvel Studios did a fantastic job and it all came together wonderfully. It’s not on the top of my list for fav comic book movies, but I enjoyed it greatly regardless.
    But I think if you change certain things, like the director, your going to risk having the sequel bomb. Without Branagh, Im feeling cautious. But now with this new news about the script writer, I cant see anything but trouble for the God of Thunder. But two years is a long time, much can change.

  26. I think that unfortunately this franchise is going to go belly up since KB no longer wants anything to do with it and now we have this bit of bad news

  27. Noooo….this is terrible news. Why would anybody give that idiot that wrote the rise of the surfer another job after that catastrophe. Wow, I don’t like this news one bit. Also I am not so sure if hopkins and portman are contractually obligated to do a sequel n if the script is bad I could see them jumpin ship…

  28. Wow…they might as well do a gritty reboot with Tommy Wiseau starring, directing, producing, and writing…