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Marvel Commits to ‘Thor 2’ in 2013 Without Branagh

UPDATE: Marvel and Disney have settled on July 26, 2013 for the release date of Thor 2. Don Payne, who helped write the first film as well as Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, will pen the script.

When it comes to a new Marvel superhero making it to the big screen, once audiences see the finished product, the next question immediately becomes: will there be a sequel? Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige gave us a resounding yes on both Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger sequels back in April, and now that final box-office projections for Thor have come in, Disney and Marvel are ready to pencil Thor 2 into the 2013 summer schedule.

The official date will be set shortly according to Deadline, but with Iron Man 3 scheduled for the coveted first weekend in May, expect something closer to or most likely in July. Whenever it happens, however, Thor director Kenneth Branagh will have nothing to do with it. Branagh and Marvel reportedly parted ways on terms that were "mutual and amicable."

Thor has to date grossed more than $437 million worldwide. Not quite Iron Man numbers like Marvel would have hoped, but coupled with good reviews, certainly worthy of a sequel with the right budget in place. Only one of us at Player Affinity fit Thor into our top five movies of the year so far,  but we collectively graded it a solid 6.9/10

Fans of the God of Thunder will now get to see star Chris Hemsworth and his trusty Mjolnir on screen for three straight summers. Hemsworth is currently filming The Avengers, which will release next May. The actor will be quite busy between filming this sequel next year, filming Snow White and the Huntsman opposite Kristen Stewart later this summer and has just this week attaching himself to Shadow Runner, a film from one of the "Huntsman" writers that centers on "elite commandos." Hopefully he can keep his abs in pristine condition for another 10 months or so.

As for the news about Branagh not directing the film, it's not all that surprising. Branagh never directed a major studio tentpole prior to Thor and he probably has more interest in pursuing works of a smaller scale. And although he did handle the drama very well, some were critical of his ability to film action sequences. In other words, he's the opposite of Michael Bay. Also, with Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) playing roles in The Avengers, who knows how that will impact the story of Thor 2.

For those curious on an official date, tentpoles scheduled for July 2013 include Guillermo Del Toro's upcoming monsters vs. mechas film Pacific Rim (7/12) and Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski's sci-fi film Oblivion (7/19). The popular July 4 holiday will be home to a family film that summer in Despicable Me 2. Chances are, however, that anywhere Thor 2 plops down, the other studios will have to respect it. 

Are you excited to see Thor get another solo gig? Who should direct it?



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