I’m not saying the movie was bad, strictly speaking, but when you take a look at the behind-the-scenes troubles that plagued this movie… Well, let me put it this way. Marvel set a release date before they had a script, a writer, a director, actors, or even any basic idea for what the film would be leading into, unlike their later films with arbitrary release dates.
Marvel knew that there was going to be a Thor 2, come Hell or high water.
|And perhaps that devotion to getting the movie made would be its own undoing…|
"It is kind of news to me. Here's what I would say to that: It's that I'm thrilled they're that confident.”
Confidence had nothing to do with it, of course. Marvel guessed, correctly, that The Avengers would have people clamoring for more. But not Kenneth Branagh….
“But I've got too much Irish superstitious blood in me to assume that Thor 2 will happen. But if Marvel says so, then I guess it must be true."
June of the same year, Marvel officially set the release date for July 26, 2013. The clock was now ticking, as they had yet to write the script, cast new characters that they had yet to develop properly, and find a director.
The initial script was a relatively straightforward process, with Don Payne being hired back from the first film to draft a script. (Sadly, it would be the last script he would write before his tragic death from bone cancer.) But Kenneth Branagh decided to not return after Marvel gave the film such a specific deadline. Instead, he decided to work on Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. I wonder how that worked out for him?
|Poorly, it would seem.|
|I imagine their meetings look something like this.|
I said imagine a less-severe version of what happened to Edgar Wright and the Ant-Man movie.
THE ANT-MAN MOVIE.
Huh. I guess he’s not showing up.
Anyway, Alan Taylor of Game of Thrones fame was quickly hired to direct the film, with Robert Rodat hired to rewrite the script into a full screenplay so filming could begin in September of 2012. Mads Mikkelsen was the first choice for the main villain, Malekith, but he ended up declining the offer.
|Though that's not to say he would never appear in the MCU....|
|There. That should get it out of my system, hopefully.|
Now, usually this is the part where I say that the previous actors all came back with a minimum of fuss. This time, that isn’t the case. Joshua Dallas would not return as Fandral, since he now had commitments to the show Once Upon a Time. So he ended up being replaced by Zachary Levi, who was not only the original choice for the role, but was also no longer busy with Chuck.
Natalie Portman, on the other hand, didn’t want to return at all. She was excited at the prospect of working with Patty Jenkins, and lost a lot of interest in the project once Jenkins was fired. She was so steamed that she tried to leave the project, but she was forced to stay due to contractual obligations. There were other issues with the returning actors, but I’ll get to those during the Review.
Filming went smoothly, though they had to bring in Joss Whedon to rewrite a couple scenes that didn’t quite click. And once they hired Brian Taylor, who also scored Iron Man 3, to replace the original composer hired, Carter Burwell, they were able to complete their movie.
Directors shuffled around like a deck of cards.
Unhappy actors, some of which I haven’t even begun to go over yet.
And when the film was finally released on November 7th, 2013, America gave its verdict:
But it did more-than-decently well, earning $206.4 million in North America and a worldwide total of $644.6 million. It even made more money than the first film within nine days. So while the film was clearly a financial success for Marvel at the time, there are questions to be answered: Does this movie hold up? Should it have been shelved or delayed? Was the final product an example of squandered potential, or did it manage to deliver the goods despite obstacle upon obstacle? Well, let’s begin.
Coming up in Part 1! A tie-in becomes canon, while the canon gets tied-up.
|"Okay, I'm here! I'm not too late, am I?"|