Marvel caused itself a bit of a headache when it let Patty Jenkins go as director of Thor 2, much to the (reported) chagrin of co-star Natalie Portman. The comic book studio's previous actions had already attracted criticisms that it strives to maintain a distracting amount of creative control, which is the reason so many high-profile filmmakers have parted ways with the organization. Jenkins' departure was just more fuel for that fire.
How then is Marvel going to improve the public perception of its Thor sequel, during these early days of pre-production? Well, apparently by hiring on a director who has worked on Game of Thrones, along with the man responsible for writing Saving Private Ryan to revamp the film's script.
Longtime TV show helmer Alan Taylor was brought on to direct Thor 2 back in December 2011; now, Deadline says that Oscar-nominated Ryan scribe Robert Rodat is set to rework the previous script draft penned by Don Payne, so as to (seemingly) adjust the screenplay to better fit Taylor's vision of the God of Thunder's new adventure.
Both Taylor and Rodat were mentioned as possibilities to handle directing and script revision duties on Marvel's second Thor movie, in the aftermath of news that Jenkins would no longer be involved with the project. Rodat's rewrites aren't expected to be anything so substantial that it will delay the planned production start date for Thor 2; Loki himself (a.k.a. actor Tom Hiddleston) confirmed as much to Empire earlier this week, saying that principal photography on the film is slated to begin by Summer 2012.
Besides his work on Ryan, Rodat also contributed to the screenplays for the acclaimed family-friendly drama Fly Away Home and the (sort of) well-received Roland Emmerich historical war drama The Patriot. He is also the creator of the gritty alien invasion TV series Falling Skies for TNT.
So, overall, Rodat has a pretty solid writing resume, primarily composed of darker action-packed pieces that don't skimp on character development. Sounds like a good talent to have onboard for a movie that takes place in the aftermath of The Avengers, in which Loki will attempt to enslave/commit genocide against the inhabitants of Earth, following his (would-be) mass slaughter of the Frost Giants in Thor.
Previous word on the plot of the Thor sequel (according to Marvel president Kevin Feige) is that it will focus on both the relationship(s) between Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Odin (Anthony Hopkins), and Jane Foster (Portman), as well as "the broader stakes for The Nine Worlds," in reaction to the events of both the first film and The Avengers.
Most would agree that the best sections of Thor were those either set in Asgard and/or dealing with the dynamic between the main characters, so that sequel news is encouraging. Plus, expanding the Marvel movie universe beyond the realm of Earth would fit nicely with the idea of other cosmic Marvel comic book properties making the jump to the big screen soon.
Thor 2 remains set for a November 15th, 2013 theatrical release date in the U.S.