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THOR writer approves of Branagh

J. Michael Straczynski can't think of a better choice in THOR directors

By Rob M. Worley     October 03, 2008

Scot Eaton's cover art for THOR #77.
© Marvel Comics

Last week came the news that Kenneth Branagh was the favored contender to direct Marvel's 'Thor' movie. MTV Splash Page checked in with writer J. Michael Straczynski, currently revitalizing the character in comics, to get his opinion of the potential helmer.

"Honestly, I can't imagine anyone better suited to this," said Straczynski. "‘Thor,' at his best, has always had a classical bent to the character in terms of his history, the way he speaks, and the often Shakespearean intrigues and dramas that surround him. That kind of dialogue and character needs the hand of someone who comes from a theatrical/classically trained background in order for it not to sound forced or artificial. Branagh is absolutely the perfect choice."

While I'm definitely on board for a Branagh-directed 'Thor' (I said so to E! last week) but is Straczynski being a little over-effusive? He can't imagine anyone better suited? Verily, Branagh's mastery of the Shakespearean classics on film are a major plus, but there's a complete lack of any "event movie" on his resume. And there are directors out there who have made huge movies with a classic feel (Peter Jackson being the most obvious that springs to mind).

Is Straczynski on the mark? Is Rob splitting hairs that he doesn't have? What do you think about Kenneth Branagh directing Thor? If not him, then who?  Post your comments below.


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midknyght 10/3/2008 7:47:10 AM
Myself, I cant think of anyone better to do so. Yes, Thor needs action, but without the proper dialog it would be nothing. I'm getting pretty excited about this project. Keep it up, Marvel.
ponyboy76 10/3/2008 7:51:23 AM
You "splitting hairs" dude. You mention Peter Jackson, but given the time constraints, there is no way they could get him to do the movie. Branagh is great choice. I say, give the man a shot. I mean none of the directors hired by Marvel up until this point have had an actual even movie. Favreau has had some great flicks, but hardly what you would call "event" and Leterrier had the Transporter.
biffbolt 10/3/2008 7:56:32 AM
WRT Peter Jackson. While I loved the LoTR series, Peter Jackson wouldn't recognize subtlety if it came up and bit him on the ass. A Jackson-directed _Thor_ movie would be high on visual spectacle, but low on humanity (think _King Kong_). I personally think Branagh is a much better choice, and the lack of an "event movie" on his resume bothers me not at all.
fft5305 10/3/2008 8:21:56 AM
Regardless of who directs, Thor is going to be a tough sell. I'm going in with high hopes and low expectations. Having JMS do the script boosts my hopes a little. He rocked the shit with Babylon 5.
DaForce1 10/3/2008 9:22:16 AM
The only other director I can see doing a Thor movie would be Del Toro. But since he's booked up until the next millennium, I think Branagh is a fine choice. Del Toro deals well with fantasy and fairytale stories, and Thor at it's core is a mythological fairytale. Something that JMS has been showing us in the new Thor comic. Jackson is a horrible choice, since he is entirely unable to edit his movies down to something within a two hour time frame.
silversurfer 10/3/2008 9:49:42 AM
This is an exceellent choice and it gives Thor the kind of attention it needs, and it shows that Marvel wants to be serious with the type of Superhero movies it wants to do. If anyone has any doubts about this guy and what he can do, see Henry V, that should at least give you an idea that he's going to be taking this very serious....
Wiseguy 10/3/2008 10:47:51 AM
I said it before and I'll say it again, Branagh is THE perfect choice. I'm completely satisfied with this selection. Maybe I'm being overly optimistic but I loved most of his prior works and think he'll do great.<BR itxtvisited="1" /><BR itxtvisited="1" />And I don't know why people keep saying "hard sell". Thor is automatic in my book and I'm not lowering my expectations either. I expect a great film.<BR itxtvisited="1" /><BR itxtvisited="1" />And not to say PJ wouldn't be able to handle it but we know he's too busy. <BR itxtvisited="1" />DelToro is another everyone likes to throw out there and he's booked for several years.<BR itxtvisited="1" />Yet neither of these two came to mind when talking Thor.
hanso 10/3/2008 11:36:40 AM
Chris Nolan!!!. Search your feelings you know it to be true!! Buwahahaha!<BR itxtvisited="1" /><BR itxtvisited="1" />In all seriousness, I think other directors could take on Thor and make a good Thor film no prob. I mean who the hell knew the guy that made Swingers could make a good superhero movie? So I can't say I can't imagine anyone else doing it regardless if he's the right choice or not. <BR itxtvisited="1" /><BR itxtvisited="1" />As always I'll throw out Alfonso Cuaron. No one ever thinks of that dude but that guy is on par with Del Toro.
joeybaloney 10/3/2008 2:44:56 PM
Please. Branagh is an OK choice and I ain’t complaining. I agree with most a y'all above in that just because he doesn’t have an “event†movie behind him yet it doesn’t make sense. His background is perfect and not just because of the language. Sure needs a lot of action but there should be lots of royal intrigue with characters totally full of themselves. With Loki as the presumed villain there should be a sense of wry mischievousness that Branagh can bring with ease. I think both Del Toro and Jackson would be too dark for Thor. Branagh’s a much better choice IMHO. But lets be clear. He’s no Don Coscarelli.
hanso 10/3/2008 3:59:49 PM
I admit I don't know jack on Thor but why does Kenneth Brannagh having done Shakespeare automatically make him the best guy to take on Thor? Other people have done Shakespeare. John Madden directed Shakespeare in Love, Baz Luhrman directed Romeo & Juliet. Does that qualify them for Thor also or is there something specific about Brannagh?
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