Thor 2 is having an incredibly rocky road to the big screen. Kenneth Branagh originally turned down the chance to return as director, then talks with his replacement Brian Kirk broke down, and just recently director Patty Jenkins walked away from the project. Marvel is, understandably, working hard to get things back on track, and it looks as though they’ve already zeroed in on Jenkins’ replacement. The studio is apparently looking at two directors as possible candidates to take the job: Alan Taylor and Daniel Minahan. Both come from the TV world, and both have helmed episodes of HBO’s epic fantasy series Game of Thrones. Hit the jump for more, including what candidates are being considered to draft a new screenplay.
Marvel seems to be moving incredibly quickly, as it was only a few days ago that Jenkins left the project, but Heat Vision reports that they’ve narrowed down their choices to just Taylor and Minahan. Taylor is a veteran of cable TV, having directed episodes of Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, The Sopranos, and Mad Men (including the pilot). Minahan has also worked with HBO on Game of Thrones, True Blood, and Deadwood, and was behind the 2001 feature Series 7: The Contenders. Both directors have done some fine work on the small screen, but Minahan seems to have more experience with the fantasy aspect; he has a few more Game of Thrones episodes under his belt than Taylor and has helmed seven episodes of True Blood.
I’m not really familiar enough with either director’s work to say which is better for the job, but it’s telling that Marvel is sticking with a television director. The project’s first point man, Kirk, was a veteran of Game of Thrones (big George R.R. Martin fans, are we Marvel?), and Jenkins had been working in the TV world since her 2003 feature Monster. The studio has been noted for keeping budgets as tight as possible, but I hope whichever director they choose will be given the creative freedom to make Thor 2 his/her own.
It’s worth noting that both Kirk and Jenkins left the production due to “creative differences”, and Heat Vision’s report adds that they were in the middle of hiring a new writer just as Jenkins made her exit. Don Payne (My Super Ex-Girlfriend) was initially hired to pen the script, and now a new shortlist of possible scribes has be drawn up. Marvel is apparently mulling over John Collee (Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Happy Feet), Robert Rodat (Saving Private Ryan, creator of Falling Skies), and Roger Avary (Beowulf) to work on the script. Avary is a strange choice here, as his filmography is kind of all over the place. He’s best known for being credited as a co-writer on Pulp Fiction, and his recent output includes the Bret Easton Ellis adaptation The Rules of Attraction and the Silent Hill movie.
I’m personally intrigued by Collee, but I think Rodat and Avary could also bring something interesting to the project. The real question here is how much wiggle room do they have? With so many “creative differences” on the project, I’m wondering if Marvel is pushing too heavily towards fitting the film in with the rest of their planned output. With Thor 2 be able to stand on its own or is it being crafted as a commercial for prequel to The Avengers 2? I sincerely hope the project finds its footing, and whomever the studio chooses to bring Thor back will be given the chance to put their signature touch on it. Whatever the case, Thor 2 is slated for November 15th, 2013, so they better get a move-on.