EXCLUSIVE: Kenneth Branagh Addresses The Stories & People Inspiring The ‘Thor’ Movie

MTV.com, 3 June 2009
By Rick Marshall

While the world still waits for official confirmation that Chris Hemsworth will play the lead role in “Thor,” one other aspect of the project that remains uncertain is, well… exactly what sort of “Thor” story the movie will tell.

Back in January, a rumor made the rounds that the character of Thor’s human alter ego, Donald Blake, had been added to the “Thor” script, causing many sites (including this one) to surmise that the story would be grounded on Earth a bit rather than primarily taking place in Asgard. In an exclusive interview with “Thor” director Kenneth Branagh, we asked the celebrated filmmaker what Thor stories are inspiring his approach to the movie — and the comic book creators who are counseling him on all things Thunder God.

“I think that ['Thor' stories] go through golden patches and purple patches and everyone has personal favorites,” Branagh told MTV News. “The recent runs have been marvelous. The J. Michael Straczynski run has been a tremendous achievement.”

“But I’ve also been reading way back, reading classic, vintage runs as well,” added Branagh. “There are many Thors and many accounts of the stories across nearly 50 years of the comics. We look to raid from the best.”

And since we previously spoke to Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada, as well as one of the publisher’s primary architects of its comics universe, Brian Michael Bendis, about meeting with Branagh earlier in the process, we had a similar batch of questions for the director about his meeting with the Marvel crew. Was he receiving an intensive course of Thor 101? Were they bouncing ideas off of one another regularly?

“A lot of the job up to this point has been listening to people who know more and better than I,” answered Branagh. “I have a very strong view of how to approach it myself, but I’m still listening and learning happily.”

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