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After Thor grossed nearly $450 million worldwide and won sterling reviews at the start of the summer, Marvel Studios wasted little time scheduling Thor 2 for release on July 26, 2013. Yet news of Chris Hemsworth‘s return to the role of Norse God of Thunder following next year’s The Avengers also brought news that Thor director Kenneth Branagh would be leaving the blossoming franchise.
Marvel Studios and Disney are now in the early stages of talking to Brian Kirk, director of assorted episodes for HBO’s Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire and Luck as well as Showtime’s Dexter. Variety reports that the studios were impressed with Kirk’s ability to handle large ensemble casts and complext storylines. Thor 2 will reportedly have a wider array of Asgardians and Norse creatures.
Kirk has apparently beaten out directors Drew Goddard (Cabin in the Woods), James McTeigue (V for Vendetta), the super-popular Noam Murro (upcoming 300: Battle of Artemesia) and Breck Eisner (The Crazies) for the gig, though Variety sources say others are on the radar in case negotiations fall through. The film would be Kirk’s first big Hollywood film.
Thor 2 will be written by Don Payne (Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer). Both the writing and directorial choices seemto indicate that Disney and Marvel hope to keep the cost of Thor low, or at the least, be able to control the vision of the film. Some of the aforementioned directors might want more of a say, whereas Kirk will likely come in and execute using the framework Branagh put in place.
If the deal happens, Kirk will begin the project after he concludes directing a three-part adaptation of Charels Dickens’ Great Expectations for BBC.