Branagh talks Thor
There's been some talk about how the filming of Thor has been going, a bit of mud slinging and some rumour-mongering, but the superb director and a man whom I personally admire, Kenneth Branagh, has talked about the production to try and put things right.
He's not the only one either, Anthony Hopkins leapt to the defence of the film, rather more angry than defending to be honest, playing out his character to the press. Whatever the press speculation, Thor sounds great, and Branagh agrees.
Speaking about the film, which sees the legendary comic book Norse god, his winged helmet and magical hammer, arrive on Earth and appear for real on film, Kenneth Branagh reveals why he wanted to make the film:
"Growing up, my single comic book passion was Thor...From my time in Belfast as a kid, that's the first time I came across that comic, really, exclusively, I don't know why, but it struck a chord. I was drawn to it. I liked all the dynastic drama."
The Thor film stars Chris Hemsworth as the lead character with Natalie Portman as his mortal love, Jane Foster. Anthony Hopkins as Odin, Thor's father, Tom Hiddleston as Thor's brother, Loki, and other big names Rene Russo, Kat Dennings, Ray Stevenson and Stellan Skarsgård joining the production.
The story is split between the home of the Norse gods, Asgard, and the modern real world. The story sees Thor banished to Earth in human form, forgetting his true past until one point when he picks up his hammer and it all comes back to him, in a flash.
Branagh talks to the L.A. Times about the style of the film, and just read this and soak up the way he's talking about it, far from sounding like a comic book character film, this is sounding as though he's talking about one of his Shakespearean adaptations:
"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...
...It's about finding the framing style, the color palette, finding the texture and the amount of camera movement that helps celebrate and express the differences and the distinctions in those worlds. 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."
However there had been some rumours of problems on the set, either because some people just can't be happy with something going right or they wanted the production to look bad, either way it was Anthony Hopkins who spoke out first:
“I am having the time of my life making Thor with Ken and Chris. They have made every day immensely fun and collaborative, and we're all puzzled that someone would fabricate a story suggesting otherwise. I'm proud to say that Thor has been one of the great experiences of my career.”
Branagh opened up about the production too.
"It's going very, very well...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."
Things are sounding great for the film, and what excites me so much about it is not that it's Thor, it's because of how Branagh is talking about and approaching the film, and he's hitting it, not as a comic book character film, but as any other film, or any other Branagh film.
Now considering what Branagh has filmed so far, that's a hugely interesting list of films he has, and he's bringing all that experience to Thor. I'm so hoping that there's something special to come from this film.