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Thor Month

Producing & Directing Thor

Director Kenneth Branagh and producer Kevin Feige talk about the making of 'Thor'!

By Odin’s beard! We’re celebrating the May 6 release of “Thor” with a bevy of daily new content, from interviews with the cast and crew of the film to looks back at key stories from the comics and even more surprises! Visit Marvel.com every day for new Thor Month coverage, and mark your calendars for May 6 as the Odinson flies onto the bigscreen!

By Zack Zeigler (Additional reporting by Marc Strom)

In May 2009 moviegoers were packed into theaters for "Iron Man 2." When credits rolled after the final scene, most theaters remained filled. Marvel fans knew if they continued to watch the screen they’d see something, but they weren’t sure what.

Chris Hemsworth stars in "Thor"

The answer: Mjolnir.

The scene was less than a minute long, but the buzz from seeing Thor's hammer jutting out of the New Mexico sand has lasted nearly a year. Now, with less than a month to go before the nationwide premiere on May 6, "Thor" fever has spread from our world to Asgard and back. While that type of hype can mean great success at the box office, it can also add an Odin-sized challenge to those who put the film together: Will fans of the comic embrace it? Will the story’s mythological roots lose the audience in translation?

"I'm there…to guide the tone," director Kenneth Branagh told Marvel.com. "And I was passionate that we should have a contemporary earth sequence to the movie; I believe--as they do in the comics--that people can live in both places, and people travel to both places, and we can find the tone."

If anyone can make an intricate concept universal, it's Branagh. He's directed and acted in numerous adaptations of William Shakespeare films, including "Hamlet," "Othello," and "Much Ado About Nothing." Making those notoriously conflicted characters believable demonstrates his understanding of the emotional depths an actor must tap into in order to portray the key players in "Thor."

Tom Hiddleston stars as Loki in "Thor"

"Look for information anywhere," Branagh said. "It can be a picture, you can be in an art gallery, whatever, let’s make it special, let’s make it our own. Natalie Portman read a book about Rosalind Franklin...she was a brilliant, mid-century, British physicist. Now you may see none of that in Jane Foster [Portman's character]...but it smacks like a peg into the ground of a different kind of reality."

Marvel Studios' President and "Thor" producer, Kevin Feige, is also confident in the direction and execution of Branagh’s vision. Feige's message that "each movie has to stand by itself"--which has been his mantra from the moment Marvel began making movies in-house--hasn’t changed, and he’s not willing to tweak it now.

"If you need to watch all of them to understand any of them, you fail," Feige said. "We had similar notions about what ["Thor"] can and should deliver, and I think that's going to show…[but] it wouldn’t work if we didn’t have filmmakers like Ken…who understand that their toes aren’t being stepped on and they’re telling the story they want to tell."

For more Thor, visit the film's official site and our "Thor" movie page!

Directed by Kenneth Branagh, the epic adventure "Thor" spans the Marvel Universe from present day Earth to the realm of Asgard. At the center of the story is The Mighty Thor, a powerful but arrogant warrior whose reckless actions reignite an ancient war. Thor is cast down to Earth and forced to live among humans as punishment. Once here, Thor learns what it takes to be a true hero when the most dangerous villain of his world sends the darkest forces of Asgard to invade Earth.

"Thor" is from a screenplay by Ashley Edward Miller & Zack Stentz and Don Payne and a story by J. Michael Straczynski and Mark Protosevich. Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige will produce the film. Alan Fine, Stan Lee, David Maisel and Marvel Studio’s Co-President, Louis D'Esposito, will executive produce.

In addition to "Thor,"
Marvel Studios will release a slate of films based on the Marvel characters including "Captain America: The First Avenger" on July 22, 2011; "Marvel Studios' The Avengers" on May 4, 2012; and "Iron Man 3" on May 3, 2013.
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