Kenneth Branagh Talks ‘Thor’ Rumors and More

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 14th, 2013 at 3:56 am,

Two years ago, the announcement that Kenneth Branagh direct Marvel’s Thor was greeted with more confusion than anything else.  Branagh (as a director) is most famous for his Shakespearean film adaptations – especially his four-hour version of Hamlet and his version of Much Ado About Nothing, which featured Keanu Reeves of all people. Simply put, Branagh’s decision to take on what will surely be an effects-heavy epic action flick seemed an odd one.

However, in an interview with the LA Times this week, Branagh shed some light why he took on Thor, what fans can expect, and why the rumors about Anthony Hopkins caushing problems on the Thor set are rubbish.

According to Branagh himself:

“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.”

The Thor comic book series began in 1962 (the same month as Spider-Man in fact) and takes place in both the realm of the Norse Gods (Asgard) and modern-day Earth.  Obviously, the idea of Thor himself – a winged-hat wearing viking with a magical hammer who spouts old-English adages – tromping around in the 21st century sounds like ripe comic material, but Branagh seems intent on playing it straight.

As he rather eloquently puts it:

“It’s about finding the framing style, the colour 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.”

Branagh has also managed to put together a well-regarded cast for the flick, with Chris Hemsworth (a.k.a. Kirk’s father in the recent Star Trek reboot) as Thor, Natalie Portman as his mortal lover Jane Foster, and Sir Anthony Hopkins as Odin, Thor’s disapproving father.  Like Hopkins himself, Branagh dismissed the rumors that the elderly actor is being heavily critical of Hemsworth’s performance and is the cause of much strife on the set.

Hopkins, according to Branagh himself, is “an extraordinary actor with his Celtic passion and incredible technique.” He further insisted that the shoot was going very well, nearly 2/3rds of the way complete, and that the film is “an interesting combination of very young and very experienced people and the double up of that, it seems to me, is there is a lot of fire in the movie. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, it doesn’t try to be too solemn.”

You can check out more of what Branagh has to say over at LA Times.

So what do you think?  Is Thor looking more and more like the next big Marvel hit?  Or does Branagh just sound like he’s doing some PR course correction for the film?

Either way, Thor is slated to hit theaters May 6, 2011 so look for a lot more updates over the next year.

Source: LA Times, Empire Online

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17 Comments

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  1. I am so pumped for Thor. I can't wait to finally see it

  2. Why doesn't Hopkins come out and say it is all rumors then? Everyone else is doing it for him…

  3. I read somewhere that he and his wife going to talk their lawyers. Probably to see if they can sue the tabloid.

    http://www.gossipcop.com/new-york-daily-news-dr

    And here's another article where he is quoted as saying “I am having the time of my life making Thor with Ken and Chris,” said the 72-year-old.

    “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.”

    http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/movies/news/a212139

    Not sure about gossip cop but digital spy is hardly ever wrong.

  4. “Two years ago, the announcement that Kenneth Branagh direct Marvel’s Thor was greeted with more confusion than anything else” — TWO years already? Damn.

  5. Thanks for the links. I wanted something definite that Hopkins has denied this and that works for me.

    I remember rumors of Scarlett and Gwyneth “cat fights” on the IM2 set and those turned out to be false also. Tabloids just love drama and love to create it in its absence.

  6. Of course the rumors about Anthony Hopkins are fake, he's a classy, very experienced actor and everyone loves him for a reason. That rumor sounds like complete b.s.

    But wow, didn't know that Branagh was such a fan of Thor. That's a good sign of the possibilities of this film being great. This just gets me more anticipated to watch the movie.

  7. No problem…..And there were rumors about Scarlett and Gwyneth? never heard about those.

  8. Hopkins already denied the rumors too.

  9. Who did they cast as Balder, why are they being so secretive about that? I bet it's probably Liam Hemsworth,made to look older than his brother Chris as Balder. Who is Balder??????

  10. I can't find it anywhere. Not sure why it's a secret.

  11. Been waiting for this movie forever – my #1 Marvel Studios flick

  12. Well Rob I think it's very evident you are the biggest Thor fan on the writing staff. So who is playing Balder? Do you think Joseph Gatt might have the part? He's in the cast but…

    Then you can find plenty of claims on the net as to cameo spots. J.M.Strachzenski, Stan Lee, Stellan Skarsgård, because his dad has a role and finally some believe that Branagh himself might decide to take a character. You're prepping an article to give us the final lowdown right??

  13. I had no idea that Branagh was a fan of the comic. This bodes well. I have no doubt that he'll pull it off. Do we know if he's directing Thor 2?

  14. Would have been more excited had they chosen Brian Blessed for Odin. Now I'm Lukewarm. Love Hopkins but not as Odin. Meh

  15. There are column wide blank spots in the text, am I missing pictures? Have there been any set pictures released at all?

    Thx for the update. More please! :~)

  16. I continue to have the same question: Why with a man as expierenced in Shakespeare as Kenneth Branagh are they not using Shakespearean English in “Thor?” Branagh coupled with Anthony Hopkins? Shakesparean English would only enhance the film with these two, not distract.

  17. Wow, this post is fastidious, my sister is analyzing these
    things, thus I am going to tell her.

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