The production of "Thor 2" did not get a smooth start under director Patty Jenkins, but Marvel is hoping things will straighten out under new leadership.
The problem? Star Natalie Portman might not be happy that she is no longer part of the effort to finally put a woman in charge of a major action film.
Alan Taylor -- a television director with an extensive track record with shows like "Game of Thrones," "The Sopranos" and "Carnivale" -- was named the new director of "Thor 2" over the weekend. He will succeed Jenkins, who spent just a short time on the project, who herself succeeded Kenneth Branagh, who didn't return for the sequel.
Taylor's work has been primarily for HBO, most recently with "Game of Thrones," directing two episodes last season, and two in Season 2. He also did episodes for "Boardwalk Empire," "Bored to Death," "Nurse Jackie," "Mad Men," "Rome," "Lost," "The West Wing" and "Oz." Taylor, who won an Emmy in 2007 for "The Sopranos" and was nominated for a second one in 2008 for "Mad Men," also directed the pilot episode of the ill-fated NBC series "The Playboy Club," which lasted just three episodes.
Jenkins had come in with an impressive resume of her own. She was the writer and director of the 2003 film "Monster," and also helmed the pilot of the AMC series "The Killing" among others. She was nominated for an Emmy in 2011 for "The Killing."
However, Marvel was not confident that Jenkins could pull off a major action flick like "Thor 2," according to The Hollywood Reporter. Some of her early pre-production decisions were being questioned by the studio, to the point there were concerns the film would not meet its 2013 projected release date.
The first "Thor" earned $448.5 million worldwide, more than making up its $150 million budget. Chris Hemsworth, who many saw for the first time in the 2009 outing of "Star Trek" as George Kirk, is also appearing in Joss Whedon's ensemble film "The Avengers" as his superhero character.
Marvel has experienced tremendous success at the box office in recent years, and now that it's striking out and doing more and more of its own productions without help from other studios, has been overly cautious about how it moves forward with each project.
Jenkins had a high endorsement from Portman, who plays Jane Foster in the film. Women have not been asked to helm these major superhero tentpoles, so bringing in Jenkins was a major push in trying to balance that gender inequality out. It's expected that Marvel's decision to replace Jenkins with a man could upset Portman, who was first introduced to genre fans in the Star Wars prequel trilogy.
Don Payne is writing the screenplay, but it's not clear if popular writing duo Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz will be joining him once again on the sequel.
"Thor 2" is scheduled to be released in November 2013.
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