Kenneth Branagh brings Thor to life

Director Kenneth Branagh talks action sequences and DVD extras.

Fred Topelby Fred Topel

At the Thor press conference, I only got to ask director Kenneth Branagh two questions. Luckily he’s Kenneth Branagh so he has a long, thoughtful answer.


CraveOnline: I’m glad you didn’t use the shaky handheld style. What was your philosophy on filming action and destruction?

Kenneth Branagh: Action was a thrill to work with Marvel comics had all been involved with films that went down this road. I feel as though I started with an action movie with Henry V because there’s a great big battle of Agincourt in the middle of that and we had to take a view on how to present it. A key collaborator was Vic Armstrong, a brilliant director, the king of second unit brilliance across the work with every master of cinema you care to meet. So I was very honored again to be in his company, but said in discussion with everyone, “How do you want to do it?” One thing was to get in amongst it, to be in the kind of terra of being surrounded, for instance, by frost giants, moving quickly. Quick cuts but feeling just the threat of them behind you, above you, close to you and being maybe sparing with the larger epic shots if you like, trying to economize with those. And just to feel the visceral immersion in it. It was to do with that and also especially to enjoy the wild west shootout at the end which actually was a suggestion of [the writers]. Having gone through various versions of what do we do with Thor on Earth? How should we pit him against the destroyer? At one stage it was amongst a whole series of tracking satellites and we visited a place in New Mexico where we were going to destroy the bejesus out of that. In the end, a film in my little Friday night film that I used to do at the beginning of preproduction, one of the films I ran was High Noon. We talked about how maybe in our western town in terms of a graphic comic book look and for violence that would be potentially very sort of graphic and somehow fit into what was happening elsewhere, we could have that sort of wild west moment. Both were heavily influenced by Vic’s skills. That’s, although maybe a surprise to hear me say, was as much an attraction for me about trying to make the film, trying to make those things original again as anything else. That was my view on that.


CraveOnline: What cool extras are going to be on the DVD?

Kenneth Branagh: [Screenwriter] Don Payne is sensational in a scene that I can absolutely confirm you will have on the DVD. I did the director’s commentary the other day. I gave you a great review, Don. Coming in for an important moment actually. It was coming in for an important moment and it worked very well but it was the pacing, Don. 


Photo Credit: Robert Wallace/