Going into Marvel’s first phase of films in the early 2010s, Thor was the character that stood out as the hardest to bring to the big screen. Considering he was the only character not grounded in our normal reality, it would be easy for there to be a tonal disconnect between his world and the world of rest of the Avengers.
2011’s Thor put a lot of worries to rest, creating a world decidedly different from ours and using those differences to play up the comedic aspects of the title character. The film’s seasoned director, Kenneth Branagh, was also able to utilize his experience directing such films as Hamlet, Henry V, and Much Ado About Nothing to bring a fittingly Shakespearean tone to Thor and Loki’s brotherly conflict.
After finishing up Thor, Marvel and Branagh went their separate ways. Alan Taylor took up directing duties for Thor: The Dark World, and Branagh went on to direct Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, and more recently Disney’s Cinderella, which just opened to both financial and critical success. In an interview with Den Of Geek, Branagh opened up about what makes films like Thor and Cinderella so successful (via Screen Rant).
“I think we love the escapism of something like Cinderella and I think we do with Thor. And as long as we can believe that there is a connection between us and a bunch of guys riding on horses across a rainbow bridge in space and somehow connected to the Norse myths, we get the adventure, we get the escape, we get the immersion in another world that’s different from ours so we’re really happy to go to a big darkened room to see that. “
With Thor, there is little doubt that Branagh succeeded in creating a connection that audiences could relate to. It’s a philosophy that carried on into Cinderella, and one that will likely carry on into his next film. But what will his next film be? Thor was undeniably a success in Marvel’s book. Not only did it launch a franchise, but it managed to catapult both Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston into super-stardom. While Thor: The Dark World was also a financial success, its 66 percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes makes it the current lowest critically-rated film in Marvel’s canon, and despite the film’s strengths, there was a lot that fans complained about.
With this in mind, would Marvel consider bringing Kenneth Branagh back into the fold to bring Thor: Ragnarok to life? Branagh embellished this possibility.
“I have seen more of the movies, and as I’ve said before, I had a good time there. It was a really sort of pivotal moment to me doing Thor, and I like them. I like Kevin [Feige] very much. You know, you never say never. I think I couldn’t begin to speak for the complications of their interweaving of this ever-expanding universe, which is totally fascinating to behold. But I think they’re masters of their own destiny. They know what they want, and we all got on terribly well. So I’m sure if they felt there was a spot for me somewhere in there they’d give me a shout. And of course I’d listen, but it’s not something I’m actively seeking or looking for, although I am actively enjoying and seeking out the movies every time they come out. So I’m definitely a fan of the world.”
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