It’s been known for a while that Marvel Studios has been collaborating with several of Marvel Comics’ top writers and artists to ensure that their comic book adaptations stay as true as possible to their printed roots. And now next summer’s Thor will feature the first Writers Guild approved credit for a comic writer’s contribution to the final product. Of course, it probably helped that the writer in question is J. Michael Straczynski, who in addition to working on a couple of Marvel Comics’ series including Thor, is also the creator of the television series Babylon 5 and writer of the Clint Eastwood movie The Changeling.
As Straczynski mentioned late last week on his Facebook fanpage –
Good news: I was brought on to help develop the Thor movie prior to Kenneth Branagh coming on as director. I wrote a detailed outline, and pushed the story toward its final form. Didn’t know if I’d get an on-screen credit in its final form, but the final WGA credits just came in and I have a story credit, along with Mark Protosevich, who was on before I came in.
Having read Protosevich’s draft a long while back and knowing what we do about the story coming to us next summer, I think we can make some assumptions as to what Straczynski’s contributions are. Protosevich’s draft was set primarily in the halls of Asgard, home of the Norse gods, and the related mystical kingdoms surrounding it and in some ancient viking villages here on Earth. While it was most undoubtedly a studio mandate that moved the Earth-bound action to modern times in order to line the film up with the upcoming Avengers, it is probable that Straczynski was the one who shaped those changes for the final scriptwriters. Perhaps he will clarify his role a bit more in a few weeks during his appearance at the New York Comic Con.