Kenneth Branagh Talks Thor

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I like the fact that Marvel and Kenneth Branagh have been shooting Thor in relative secrecy. Not so secret, as I know people outside the production have seen the costume designs, been on set, etc. But there aren’t many spy photos floating around, and Marvel has kept almost everything about the look of the film totally quiet. Marvel has maintained some mystery about the film, and I think (I hope, at least) that doing so is helping create interest in one of the more unusual superhero movies in this recent comic book boom. Now the director is starting to talk about the film, but he’s still being careful about letting out too many details.

Branagh has been talking to the LA Times, and for now he’s not saying anything too surprising. (Or, more to the point, the LAT isn’t running anything too surprising; they’re taking a cue from Marvel and slowly doling out the good stuff.) Here’s what the director has to say about where the production is now:

We’re in New Meixco now where we have a contemporary Earth part of our story. I guess we’re two-thirds of the way through the story and at this stage of the game what’s surprising and delighting me is the way the cast, the ensemble, has fused together. It’s kind of an interesting combination of very young and very experienced people and the double-up of that, it seems to me, is there is a lot of fire in the movie. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, it doesn’t try to be too solemn.

What about the look of the film? There’s the combination of Earth and Asgard, with plenty of room for interpretation there.

Inspired by the comic book world both pictorially and compositionally at once, we’ve tried to find a way to make a virtue and a celebration of the distinction between the worlds that exist in the film but absolutely make them live in the same world…If it succeeds, it will mark this film as different…. The combination of the primitive and the sophisticated, the ancient and the modern, I think that potentially is the exciting fusion, the exciting tension in the film.

As part of a dismissal of some rumor that Anthony Hopkins, who plays Odin, has been less than cordial with Chris Hemsworth, playing Thor, Branagh praises Hopkins and goes on to say that his cast is a group “who can embody larger-than-life characters but retain at the center a natural, recognizable, human dynamic … and these people run the universe.” Which is worth noting this weekend in particular, as Clash of the Titans opens and depicts a set of gods that do not have a recognizable dynamic.

Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige also chimes in on how Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America might be linked. There are bonds between Iron Man 2 and Captain America, he says. (Which we’ve known, more or less — think Tony Stark’s father.) And Feige says that a ‘lattice work is being built’ that will bring all the films together, and eventually lead to The Avengers.

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