'Killing' director circles first high-profile H'wood project

Patty Jenkins is in early talks to helm Marvel Studios and Disney’s “Thor 2.”

The director has drawn attention this year for directing the pilot for AMC’s “The Killing,” which landed her an Emmy nom.

The “Thor” sequel would mark Jenkins’ most high-profile Hollywood project to date after helming the acclaimed 2003 indie “Monster” and episodes of TV shows like “Entourage” and “Arrested Develoment.”

“Thor 2″ already is skedded for a July 26, 2013 release, and will reunite Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins and Natalie Portman, who sparked to Jenkins after recent meetings.

Disney was eager to put the pic on its schedule after “Thor” collected $447 million at the worldwide box office this summer, and the hammer-wielding character proves a central figure in “The Avengers,” out next summer.

Although invited back to direct Hemsworth in another “Thor,” Kenneth Branagh opted not to return.

Like Branagh, hiring Jenkins would continue Marvel’s unconventional approach to offering its superhero tentpoles to filmmakers not necessarily top of mind when thinking of someone who might land an effects-laden summer actioner.

Don Payne, who co-wrote “Thor,” is tackling the sequel. He also scripted Fox’s “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.”

Brian Kirk, whose credits include HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” had been the front runner for “Thor 2″ but ultimately ended up moving on to other projects.

A number of other helmers have 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”). A Marvel Studios spokeswoman declined to comment.

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