Marvel, Disney taps 'Game of Thrones' helmer for superhero sequel
After tackling the fantasy genre with episodes of HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” helmer Brian Kirk is in early talks to direct “Thor 2” for Marvel Studios and Disney.Pic would mark Kirk’s directorial debut on a major Hollywood production, which has already been skedded for a July 26, 2013 release. The project will bring back Chris Hemsworth’s hammer-wielding superhero to the bigscreen for his next adventure after “The Avengers.” Kirk rose to the top of the list of directors vying for the job after he showed his abilities to juggle large ensembles of thesps and complex storylines in his TV projects, while also grounding the fantasy genre via his work on “Thrones.” The “Thor” sequel is expected to feature a large cast of Aasgardians and creatures in the Norse mythology-set world. In addition to “Thrones,” the Irish helmer is best known for directing episodes of HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” as well as Showtime’s “Dexter” and BBC’s “Luther.” He has also helmed episodes of yet-to-bow series “Luck” on HBO and “Great Expectations” on BBC. Disney was eager to put the pic on its schedule after “Thor” collected $447 million at the worldwide box office, and the character proves a central figure in “The Avengers.” Although invited back to direct Hemsworth in another “Thor,” Kenneth Branagh opted not to return. Don Payne, who co-wrote “Thor,” is tackling the sequel. He also scripted Fox’s “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.” Production began last month on “Great Expectations,” BBC’s three-part adaptation of Charles Dickens’ novel. Project, penned by Sarah Phelps, stars Ray Winstone, Gillian Anderson, Douglas Booth, Izzy Meikle-Small and Vanessa Kirby. A number of other helmers had been considered for the “Thor” sequel, including Drew Goddard (“Cabin in the Woods”), James McTeigue (“Ninja Assassin”), Noam Murro (“300: Battle of Artemesia”) and Breck Eisner (“The Crazies”). Other helmers are also being eyed should Kirk’s deal not go through. A Marvel Studios spokesperson declined to comment.