Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: First Trailer For Gillian Flynn's 'Dark Places' Starring Charlize Theron, Chloë Moretz, And Nicholas Hoult Watch: First Trailer For Gillian Flynn's 'Dark Places' Starring Charlize Theron, Chloë Moretz, And Nicholas Hoult Review: Neill Blomkamp's 'Chappie,' Starring Die Antwoord, Dev Patel, Sigourney Weaver And Hugh Jackman Review: Neill Blomkamp's 'Chappie,' Starring Die Antwoord, Dev Patel, Sigourney Weaver And Hugh Jackman 'Chappie' Actor Admits There Was "Tension" On Set With Die Antwoord's Ninja; Check Out Two New Featurettes 'Chappie' Actor Admits There Was "Tension" On Set With Die Antwoord's Ninja; Check Out Two New Featurettes Premature Oscar Predictions: The 2016 Best Actor Contenders Premature Oscar Predictions: The 2016 Best Actor Contenders 2015 Tribeca Film Festival Line-Up Announced: James Franco’s ‘Adderall Diaries,’ Olivia Wilde In ‘Meadowland’ & More 2015 Tribeca Film Festival Line-Up Announced: James Franco’s ‘Adderall Diaries,’ Olivia Wilde In ‘Meadowland’ & More First Look: Joseph Gordon-Levitt As Edward Snowden In Oliver Stone's 'Snowden' First Look: Joseph Gordon-Levitt As Edward Snowden In Oliver Stone's 'Snowden' Drew Goddard To Write And Direct Sony & Marvel's 'The Spectacular Spider-Man'; 'Sinister Six' Scrapped Drew Goddard To Write And Direct Sony & Marvel's 'The Spectacular Spider-Man'; 'Sinister Six' Scrapped Premature Oscar Predictions: The 2016 Best Picture Contenders Premature Oscar Predictions: The 2016 Best Picture Contenders Watch: Original Short Film Version Of 'Whiplash' Starring Oscar Winner J.K. Simmons Watch: Original Short Film Version Of 'Whiplash' Starring Oscar Winner J.K. Simmons Watch: Nifty Video Examines David Fincher’s Subtle Repetition Of Framing And Blocking In 'Gone Girl' Watch: Nifty Video Examines David Fincher’s Subtle Repetition Of Framing And Blocking In 'Gone Girl' Sigourney Weaver Says She'll Be Playing A New Character In The 'Avatar' Sequels Sigourney Weaver Says She'll Be Playing A New Character In The 'Avatar' Sequels Kristen Stewart Joins Kelly Reichardt’s Untitled Montana Drama With Michelle Williams & More Kristen Stewart Joins Kelly Reichardt’s Untitled Montana Drama With Michelle Williams & More 'Prisoners' & 'Enemy' Director Denis Villeneuve To Helm 'Blade Runner' Sequel, Harrison Ford Confirmed To Return 'Prisoners' & 'Enemy' Director Denis Villeneuve To Helm 'Blade Runner' Sequel, Harrison Ford Confirmed To Return The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far "I F*cked It Up": Neill Blomkamp Says He Wants To Go Back To 'Elysium' And "Do It Correctly" "I F*cked It Up": Neill Blomkamp Says He Wants To Go Back To 'Elysium' And "Do It Correctly" The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki

Marvel Continue Low-Rent 'Thor 2' Director Hunt, Consider TV Helmers Alan Taylor & Daniel Minahan

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist December 9, 2011 at 8:54PM

As essentially a self-financing entity, Marvel has, perhaps understandably, been careful to look after the bottom line on their self-produced movies since "Iron Man." The movies have, without exception, cost north of $100 million, but the studio has been careful to keep the money on the screen, signing relative unknowns like Chris Hemsworth, character actors like Mark Ruffalo, or rising stars like Jeremy Renner. People who won't break the bank, exactly. And those actors are kept to restrictive multiple film contracts, to the extent that Chris Evans nearly backed out of "Captain America: The First Avenger."
3
Thor 2 Alan Taylor Daniel Minahan

As essentially a self-financing entity, Marvel has, perhaps understandably, been careful to look after the bottom line on their self-produced movies since "Iron Man." The movies have, without exception, cost north of $100 million, but the studio has been careful to keep the money on the screen, signing relative unknowns like Chris Hemsworth, character actors like Mark Ruffalo, or rising stars like Jeremy Renner. People who won't break the bank, exactly. And those actors are kept to restrictive multiple film contracts, to the extent that Chris Evans nearly backed out of "Captain America: The First Avenger."

But their thrifty practice seems to have reached its zenith with the choice of director for "Thor 2." The original was the most successful of the four superhero movies this year, grossing nearly half-a-billion dollars worldwide, but the studio has courted virtually unknown, presumably super-cheap TV directors for the job once Kenneth Branagh bowed out. "Game of Thrones" helmer Brian Kirk was the first to be approached, while Patty Jenkins, who's worked principally on the small screen since her debut feature "Monster," landed the gig only to drop out earlier this week due to creative differences, although it seems she may work with Marvel again in the future.

The studio hasn't wasted time in looking for successors, but neither have they upped their hiring budget, continuing the pattern of turning to TV helmers with at least one feature under their belt with The Hollywood Reporter's news that Alan Taylor and Daniel Minahan are the current contenders for the director's chair on the sequel. Taylor is perhaps best known for the Vincent Gallo/Frances McDormand indie "Palookaville" (with two other features under his belt, the Ian Holm Napoleon drama "The Emperor's New Clothes" and David Krumholtz starrer "Kill The Poor"), but he's made bigger waves on the small screen, having helmed the pilot for "Mad Men" and worked on virtually every other acclaimed TV drama, including "Homicide: Life on the Street," "Sex and the City," "The Sopranos," "The West Wing," "Deadwood," "Boardwalk Empire" and "Game of Thrones."

Minahan's also a "Game of Thrones" vet (there seems to be a recurring theme here...), along with credits on "Grey's Anatomy," "True Blood" and "The Good Wife" among many others. But he also has big screen form, co-writing Mary Harron's "I Shot Andy Warhol" and directing reality TV satire "Series 7: The Contenders." Clearly, Marvel is after someone who'll bring the sequel in cheap and fast and who won't rock the boat, and we imagine the decision could be made by flipping a coin at this point. 

More interesting are the writers being considered to rework Don Payne's original draft for the follow-up. While "Up in the Air" co-scribe Sheldon Turner was being considered, the shortlist seems to have come down to three: John Collee ("Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World"), Robert Rodat ("Saving Private Ryan"), and Roger Avary, co-writer of "Pulp Fiction" as well as the writer of video-game adaptation "Silent Hill" and Robert Zemeckis' "Beowulf." Again, it's hard to surmise anything from the choices, other than that Marvel is clearly after someone who can bring an epic feel without breaking the bank. 

It might seem a little panicked, but in reality, Marvel has plenty of time; the film isn't due in theaters for slightly under two years, so even if a new writer takes six months to get the script right, they'll have more time than your average blockbuster. Having said that, Marvel, if you're listening, we'll do it over the weekend for a crate of beer and $800 cash-in-hand. We'll see if they're able to prove as mildly and surprisingly entertaining as the original when "Thor 2" hits theaters on November 15, 2013.

This article is related to: Thor: The Dark World, Roger Avary, Alan Taylor, Daniel Minahan, Robert Rodat, John Collee, Marvel


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome

E-Mail Updates