When we reviewed "Thor" back in May, we thought it was a charmingly goofy little movie. Nothing great, but fun. We assumed bigger and better summer movies would come along and make us forget all about that guy with the hammer and the family issues. But it didn't happen: If anything, this summer's depressingly mediocre and overblown crop of tentpoles has actually elevated "Thor" in our mind. It's still not great, but it's better than a lot of what's come out since.
You've probably heard that Kenneth Branagh, who directed the first "Thor," won't be returning for the second installment. This makes us sad. It also makes Thor himself very sad.
Hero Complex talked to Chris Hemsworth, and he seemed pretty genuinely bummed:
"I'm really disappointed. Ken built that character, and everything I know about the Thor world I learned while shoulder-to-shoulder with Ken. I learned so much from him."
"As long as he's happy, that's the thing. I learned so much from Ken while we built [the first film], so at least I had that time with someone like that. The start of anything creative is the most important period in a way. That's when the most can go wrong, and Ken made sure we got it right."
Hemsworth hit the nail on the head. "Thor" was a really weird idea: Take a superhero movie about a guy who lives amidst the gods and put him on Earth where he has to learn how to interact with mere mortals. It was about 45 percent fish-out-of-water comedy, 55 percent comic book flick. (Plus, they were dealing with a leading man who audiences didn't really know.) And Branagh made it all work. That's not nothing. For a guy who a lot of us couldn't imagine helming a superhero movie, he did a pretty decent job.
As Hero Complex and Deadline have reported, Branagh apparently was offered "Thor 2" but decided against it. But, really, the handwriting on the wall was there since before "Thor" came out. In late April while doing "Thor" promotion, he was made aware by a reporter that Marvel was already moving forward with "Thor 2," which caught him off guard:
"Well, I don't know," he told Movieline. "It's is kind of news to me. Here's what I would say to that: It's that I'm thrilled they're that confident. I shall wait for the audience to tell us whether there should be a second one, and then if that's a nice conversation to be had between all of us, that'd be thrilling. But I've got too much Irish superstitious blood in me to assume that 'Thor 2' will happen. But if Marvel says so, then I guess it must be true."
In other words, "Seriously? We're gonna make another of these things already? Dude, I just got done with this one, and it was hard." He probably decided he needed the rest. Walking away from "Thor 2," which is due out in almost two years, was probably the best thing for his sanity. We're less sure about what it'll do to the franchise he helped get off the ground.
'Thor 2′: Chris Hemsworth sad to see Kenneth Branagh go [Hero Complex/Los Angeles Times]