Kenneth Branagh
Credit: Munawar Hosain/Fotos International/Getty Images

Kenneth Branagh spent much of the ’90s directing adaptations of William Shakespeare plays, a career arc that earned plenty of comparisons to Laurence Olivier, the other iconic Bard-loving Brit multi-hyphenate. So it came as a bit of a surprise to some people when Branagh signed on to direct Thor, a superhero film about a man who carries a big hammer and looks like a muscular, bleached-blond Christ figure. At last night’s Thor premiere at Hollywood’s El Capitan theater, Branagh dismissed the whole “selling out” question. “The idea of you selling out doing one of these things when you are on the inside is a funny old concept,” said the director. “It is so hard to do, and it is such an enormous scope that you are working on everyday. The idea that it would be somehow easier to direct a giant comic book film than a small indie drama is absurd … They say it takes a village to raise a child. It takes the population of a small European country to make a summer superhero film, I assure you.”

Branagh mostly demurred on the topic of Thor sequels. “You hear about people saving things for film two or three. I don’t understand that at all. I put it all in there if I thought it’d help the film be better. You can think of stuff for two or three later, if you get the chance to do them. But you won’t if one isn’t good enough.” (A representative for Marvel confirms that there had been no official talks with Branagh about a Thor sequel, although Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige certainly seems to be in a sequelizing mood.) While noting that his only plans post-Thor were “sitting down for a cup of tea and some dog-walking time,” Branagh admitted, “I am not sure I am done with Thor’s universe, or if it is done with me. I guess it will likely depend on how massive it is and how the reviews are, and then schedules and all that nonsense.”

(Reporting by Carrie Bell)

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