Kenneth Branagh, the actor/director best known for adaptating various Shakespeare plays to film in the 1990s, is currently in final negotiations to direct Thor, an adaptation of the Norse god-turned-superhero comic book character, for Marvel Studios.
For the uninitiated, in Marvel Comics lore, Thor is indeed the Norse god of thunder who has been bound to the mortal Dr. Don Blake. Blake calls upon him to fight off great threats to humanity, oft times as part of the superhero team The Avengers. Marvel Studios has been gearing their individual superhero films – this past summer’s Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk, as well as the upcoming Thor and Captain America films – to segue into an Avengers motion picture in the summer of 2011.
While on the face of it, the choice of Branagh appears to rather unconventional. He has virtually no real experience with special effects, and his only action direction was back in his Henry V (1989) debut. However, the script written for the project by Mark Protosevich spends much time in the Norse gods’ realm of Asgard, chich is characterized with a stylized, neo-Shakespearean dialogue. If there is any director who could get it to sound natural and not alienate the audience, it is definitely Brannagh, who managed similar feats in his other Shakespear films.
Previously, Matthew Vaughan had been attached to direct the Thor film. He left after Marvel required too many cuts to Protosevich’s script for budgetary reasons.
No casting for the film has been done, although the movie is set for a July, 2010 release.