Kenneth Branagh talks possible 'Thor' sequel (and the whole 'selling out' thing)


Image Credit: Munawar Hosain/Fotos International/Getty Images

Kenneth Branagh spent much of the ’90s directing adaptations of William Shakespeare plays, a career arc that earned plenty of comparisons to Laurence Olivier, the other iconic Bard-loving Brit multi-hyphenate. So it came as a bit of a surprise to some people when Branagh signed on to direct Thor, a superhero film about a man who carries a big hammer and looks like a muscular, bleached-blond Christ figure. At last night’s Thor premiere at Hollywood’s El Capitan theater, Branagh dismissed the whole “selling out” question. “The idea of you selling out doing one of these things when you are on the inside is a funny old concept,” said the director. “It is so hard to do, and it is such an enormous scope that you are working on everyday. The idea that it would be somehow easier to direct a giant comic book film than a small indie drama is absurd … They say it takes a village to raise a child. It takes the population of a small European country to make a summer superhero film, I assure you.”

Branagh mostly demurred on the topic of Thor sequels. “You hear about people saving things for film two or three. I don’t understand that at all. I put it all in there if I thought it’d help the film be better. You can think of stuff for two or three later, if you get the chance to do them. But you won’t if one isn’t good enough.” (A representative for Marvel confirms that there had been no official talks with Branagh about a Thor sequel, although Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige certainly seems to be in a sequelizing mood.) While noting that his only plans post-Thor were “sitting down for a cup of tea and some dog-walking time,” Branagh admitted, “I am not sure I am done with Thor’s universe, or if it is done with me. I guess it will likely depend on how massive it is and how the reviews are, and then schedules and all that nonsense.”

(Reporting by Carrie Bell)

Read more:
Watch the ‘Thor’ premiere here, hosted Isaiah Mustafa!
Kenneth Branagh on humbling gods, celestial-human love, and impact of Shakespeare and ‘Star Trek’
Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston storm their way through ‘Thor’ videogame

Comments (35 total) Add your comment
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  • anya

    I wish more directors had that attitude. Give it your all and THEN think about the sequel AFTER the first movie is released.

    Stop thinking about 2 and 3 and focus on here and now!

  • Joe

    Hey, even Olivier “sold out” every now and then…”Clash of the Titans” anyone? Actually, Branagh’s involvement makes me want to see this movie more. Can’t wait!

    • Diane

      Me too. I preordered tickets because of Branagh

    • miss k

      Same! I adore that man. He’s such a talented actor and director.

  • Jamaaliver

    Thor…looks terrible.

    Just awful.

    Here’s hoping J Whedon makes it all worthwhile in next year’s Avengers movie.

    • Diane

      It’s gotten great reviews internationally

    • Jennifer

      It does look terrible – maybe that’s just because I’m a fan of the actual Norse mythology and not the comic book character – but Ken’s name attached to it might make me check it out when it hits my (already paid for) cable. Not paying to see it in the theaters, but then there’s very little out there that I’d pay theater prices for.

      • Jacob

        lol. You refer to him as Ken? You guys must be pretty tight.

    • Quirky

      Currently 93% on Rotten Tomatoes after 57 critics. Looks promising.

    • Brett

      Thor actually looks quite good; it’s Whedon’s “The Avengers” about which I’m anxious – he’s probably going to turn it into “Earth’s Mightiest Buffy’s” or turn the Avengers into a bickering dysfunctional group for the sake of “drama” instead of actually trying to tell a good story.

      • ugh

        …I’m guessing you haven’t seen Firefly or Serenity

      • @ ugh

        I’m guessing YOU haven’t see Firefly or Serenity. The very definition of a bickering, dysfunctional group if I’ve ever seen one.

      • Mole

        Aren’t the Avengers WRITTEN as a dysfunctional bickering group? I mean, Tony Stark and the Norse God of Thunder?

      • Baxter Pancake

        Pretty much any superhero team-up comic I’ve ever read featured bickering or all-out fighting between members of the group. That happens with any group of people. It’s human nature.

      • Javier

        I will admit though, my total cofusnion as to the cast and crew. These are genuine talents doing a comic book movie that on the surface sounds like as good a film premise as Aquaman. Sure, Hopkins will slum for food. And NatPor (kill me) wanders into low brow once in a while, but Kenneth Thor? Well, he wsa in Wild Wild West so, OK, not as wierd as I thought.

  • Karen

    I had no interest in seeing this movie until I read just now that he directed it. Maybe it will be better than I thought!

  • rebecca

    Thor was such an amazing movie!! Going to see it again when it comes out to theaters!! I would love to see a sequel!!

  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge

    I hope in this film series, they will include:
    Balder, Beta Ray Bill, Frey, Hermod, Hercules, Hoder, Hrimhari, Idunn, Kelda, Thor Girl, Thunderstrike, Tyr, Valkyrie, Vidar, Volla, Zeus.

    I look forward to seeing the following villains in future sequels:
    Absorbing Man, Atum, Bloodaxe, Cobra, Desak, Ego the Living Planet, Enchantress, Executioner, Fafnir, Fenris Wolf, Grey Gargoyle, Hela, Karnilla, Kurse, Lorelei, Malekith the Accursed, Man-Beast, Mangog, Midgard Serpent, Mr. Hyde, Mongoose, Perrikus, Quicksand, Radioactive Man, Ragnarok, Seth, Surtur, Ulik, Wrecking Crew (Wrecker, Bulldozer, Piledriver, Thunderball), Ymir, Zarrko.

    • Brett

      Dream on, your ladyship. I think we’ll be lucky to see perhaps two of the characters you’ve mentioned.

    • Monty

      When did this kind of post become a thing? I’m seeing it in every comic book movie post these days…

  • Bobby

    I hope that Squirrel Girl is in one of the movies.

  • Tom S.

    I’ve enjoyed Kenneth Branagh for a long time. But is it even possible to “sell out” when one hasn’t had a commercial or critical success since the late 80’s?

  • Ward

    The movie came out last Wednesday in Belgium. Very good movie! Go see this one!

  • Brett

    If Branagh wants to be concerned about “selling out,” he might not have appeared in that “Harry Potter” movie. Ah, the “Potter” movies – the full employment act for British actors.

    • Mark

      You say that like it’s a bad thing. British actors can run circles around American actors; and yes, I’m an American.

  • Ian

    First became introduced to Kenneth Branagh when he was in Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, and he’s one of my favorite characters from that series. I went and watched what he’s previously directed, and they’ve all been great. I’d be surprised if Thor doesn’t turn out good.

    • Nedson

      Ouep bon pourquoi pas Faut les voir en habit de lumie8re pour juger . Visiblement ils ont de9je0 une cenatire carrure e0 la base Mais bon e7a au pire on s’en arrange facilement si il en manque

  • JLC

    I was about to say, isn’t a “Branagh sells out” story a little late? Besides Harry Potter, he also directed and starred in a big studio remake of Frankenstein in 1994.
    Anyway, I think the whole selling out thing is kind of dumb. If he wants to do Thor, good for him. Life is too short to live your life according to others’ plans.

  • Casey

    Thor was released a few weeks ago here in Australia and I saw it over Easter and loved it. Can’t wait for The Avengers.

  • jorge

    just saw it this past sunday here in portugal and i thing it is a good movie saw on 2d movies on 3d is a waste of time and money

  • Superfreak

    Thor is a good movie. One of the better ones from the comic book genre. You won’t miss anything by watching it in 2D, but 3D makes it better (the background scenes, especially Asgard and rainbow bridge looks amazing in 3D). BBut if you want the full experience, watch it on IMAX 3D…it’s the best.

    • Retchie

      Je pense que The Avenger est un projet mriavent casse gueule personnellement, je suis meame plutf4t contre ce projet, car pour moi il faudrait un bon re9alisateur par personnage, sinon e7a risque de ne plus coller avec les autres films, mais ensuite comment re9unir autant de re9alisateur et surtout comment re9ussir a raconter une histoire avec autant de super-he9ros meame le dessin anime9 est be2cle alors un film j’imagine le pire.

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