Right now, zombies are doing a pretty good of shambling through popular culture, with AMC's The Walking Dead cementing its place as the network's biggest show. More than that, zombies have become part of the cultural shorthand to an extent that would've been pretty unthinkable a decade ago, before Shaun of the Dead or Zombieland. Despite the current popularity of the undead, Lionsgate just can't seem to catch a break on Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an adaptation of the novelty mashup novel by Seth Grahame-Smith. After having already had two directors attached, the third, Craig Gillespie has now departed the beleaguered project.
This morning Disney made it known that Thor 2, the sequel to this last summer's big Asgardian adventure and the second post-The Avengers feature from Marvel Studios, would be vacating its original July 26, 2013 release date and would instead drop on November 16, 2013. While the project has long had Chris Hemsworth set to reprise his role as the wielder of Mjolnir, it has not yet had an official director since Kenneth Branagh isn't returning, which is, you know, relatively important. Today, Marvel Studios has officially announced that Patty Jenkins will occupy the director's chair on Thor 2.
Over this last summer, Marvel Studios had its second two-movie summer following the one-two punch of Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk back in 2008. The first of 2011's Marvel movies, Thor, managed to introduce the Asgardian setting and cosmic elements to the cinematic universe without fuss, which should allow the titular Thunder God played by Chris Hemsworth to integrate nicely into Joss Whedon's The Avengers.
For 2013, Marvel was planning another double-decker summer, with Iron Man 3 and Thor 2 both sating our need for seasonal superheroics, but now, it seems Disney and Marvel have pushed Thor 2 back about three and a half months to Thanksgiving.
After combining body horror, turgid hallucinagenic thrills, and ballet to Oscar-nominated effect with last year's Black Swan, the question of Darren Aronofsky's next feature directorial project has been an interesting one. For a spell there it seemed he would actually direct his The Fountain star Hugh Jackman in the stand-alone X-Men story The Wolverine, but he exited that project in March and was subsequently replaced by James Mangold. Rather than helming the exploits of an adamantium-sporting mutant, it looks like the auteur will be directing his passion project of Biblical proportions, as Paramount Pictures have partnered with new Regency to co-finance his long-in-the-works Noah.
So last week, the internet scratched its collective scalp at the unexpected news that Patty Jenkins is apparently a frontrunner to direct Thor 2, the sequel to this summer's cosmic Marvel adventure starring Chris Hemsworth as the titular God of Thunder. If she does, in fact, end up with the job, she'll be the second woman to direct a Marvel Studios film, after Lexi Alexander smashed faces with Punisher: War Zone. But that's neither here nor there; while there's been no official word from Marvel or Disney, Jenkins herself has confirmed that talks are indeed taking place, though her confirmation was necessarily evasive, vague, brief, and loaded with caveats.
Today has seen no shortage of news regarding Marvel Studios and the plan for sequels after next summer's The Avengers. In order of least to most consequential (which also happens to be reverse chronological order), we heard about a potential location for the production of Iron Man 3, Chris Evans sharing his thoughts on when Captain America 2 will hit theaters and his future in-universe cameos, and most notably, that Patty Jenkins is a likely candidate to to direct Thor 2, the sequel to this summer's godly super-romp directed by Kenneth Branagh, who will not return for the follow-up. Now, Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige has revealed some big information regarding the story of Thor 2, including confirmation on a few returning characters.
Over the summer, Thor brought some cosmic stylings to the onscreen Marvel universe, making some good money, establishing Chris Hemsworth as a potential Really Big Deal©, and providing yet more setup for next summer's The Avengers in the process. A Thor sequel, then, is in the not at-all uncommon position of having an announced release date, despite not having a finished script or a director, since Kenneth Branagh has opted not to return for another round of Asgardian action. Despite previous news suggesting that Marvel Studios found their man to direct, it appears that not only is no director set, but Monster helmer Patty Jenkins is now a very likely candidate for the job.
Swedish born actor Stellan Skarsgard may be best known for his roles in dramatic films like The Hunt for Red October, Good Will Hunting and Ronin, but thanks to Marvel Studios’ Thor, the actor will now forever be known as Dr. Eric Selvig to millions of super hero fans.
While the character is original to the Marvel film universe and did not appear in the comics, he will have a major role in next summer’s highly anticipated super hero team-up The Avengers, which will feature characters from all the Marvel movies including Iron Man, Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger fighting the good fight together. In Thor, Skarsgard’s Selvig is a research scientist working with the son of Odin’s love interest Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), but as anyone who stayed through the end credits knows, he also has a very interesting relationship with Thor’s brother Loki.
In order to keep the merchandising juggernaut that is Star Wars lodged directly in the center of the pop cultural consciousness before all six films of the original and prequel trilogies are re-released and re-re-released theatrically in 3D one a year every year starting with The Phantom Menace in 2012, both trilogies are headed for Blu-ray this year. The primary offering is a nine-disc "Complete Saga" package containing all six installments and "over 40 hours of special features and never-before-seen footage." A new UK trailer for Star Wars: The Complete Saga has landed online, and it reminds us that, though the flaws of the prequel trilogy may be cripplingly many, "Duel of the Fates" by John Williams remains a great piece of music.
Since Marvel Studios and Disney's already-announced release date for Thor 2 is less than two years away, it's imperative for both that the project proceeds apace. With Kenneth Branagh declining to return as director, Marvel had to select a new helmer for the continued adventures of the Thunder God played by Chris Hemsworth. It would seem they've found their man, as Variety reports that Brian Kirk is in talks to take over as director Thor 2, which is set to hit theaters July 26, 2013.