While movie and comic books fans may be eager to return to theaters for the upcoming Marvel Studios movies, the same cannot be said for returning to the production side of things for some of the talent involved in making them.
We learned last week that after signing on to direct Thor 2, Marvel Studios and Patty Jenkins parted ways, bringing the number of directors who’ve dropped from a Marvel Studios project due to creative differences up to three in the last year. That’s quite a lot for a studio that has only released five of their own movies so far.
Patty Jenkins (Monster) had signed on to take over for Kenneth Branagh in helming the Thor sequel in October but last week, we learned that despite having met with Marvel execs and cast members over dinner and having Tom Hiddleston describe her as “amazing,” she dropped out of Thor 2.
Days later, reports indicated that it was creative differences that knocked another director away from Marvel Studios, but Marvel was apparently still keen on having her direct a different project, one that’s rumored to be a non-sequel.
We know Marvel is now closing in on a new Thor 2 director and writer but in the meantime, the latest news from The Hollywood Reporter points towards Jenkins not just dropping out of the project, but Marvel having fired her. According to their sources, she was “fired without warning” and that the news made Natalie Portman, someone who was an advocate of Jenkins getting the job and therefore becoming the first woman to direct a big budget superhero movie, a non-happy camper. They explain that it was Portman who may have sold Marvel on hiring her but once hearing her ideas, felt “uncomfortable.”
According to more “sources” of THR, this news adds to Portman’s desire to take a break from acting to spend more time with her newborn son. She is however, contracted for multiple movies like all actors signed with the studio, so she has to play her part in Thor 2 regardless of her feelings towards Marvel. This has the studio working their hardest to have her involved in selecting a replacement for Jenkins.
We still don’t know the true reasoning behind Jenkins no longer having the job. Inside sources on both sides having some saying Jenkins didn’t have a clear gameplan for Thor 2 and this had Marvel worried about meeting the release date (which is still two full years away) while others say Marvel is confused themselves and they’re having their own script rewritten for the sequel.
What everyone does agree on is Jenkins’ positive attitude and respect for Marvel, so we can hope that results in her getting a chance to direct another one of the studio’s projects down the road. All of this uncertainty doesn’t bode well with the studio’s biggest and most ambitious movie ever in The Avengers debuting next summer.
After getting into rough (and widely publicized) financial negotiations with Mickey Rourke, Samuel L. Jackson, Terrence Howard and Scarlett Johansson, while having Kenneth Branagh and Jon Favreau both opt out of directing sequels for the studio, Marvel’s tight money management and strict guidelines remain a concern for their upcoming slate of films. The last thing they need is one of the most respected actresses in Hollywood down on them too.
Thor 2 hits theaters in the on November 15, 2013.
Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes.
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