Kenneth Branagh ‘wasn’t ready’ to direct Thor: The Dark World

Kenneth Branagh declined the offer to direct the sequel Thor: The Dark World because he “wasn’t ready”.The British actor/director helmed the hugely successful Marvel blockbuster Thor, which marked the debut of Chris Hemsworth as the Norse god, back in …

Kenneth Branagh declined the offer to direct the sequel Thor: The Dark World because he “wasn’t ready”.

The British actor/director helmed the hugely successful Marvel blockbuster Thor, which marked the debut of Chris Hemsworth as the Norse god, back in 2011.

Even though the film was well-received by critics and grossed more than $449 million (£355 million) at the worldwide box office, Branagh decided to pass on directing duties for the sequel in 2013.

The 59-year-old told Collider that he had worked on Thor for more than three years and needed to “recharge” with a less strenuous project.

“When the first one was finished, essentially it had been three fantastic years of my life, but I needed to recharge on something else. I was too close to the glass on that one, so I would definitely never say never again because it changed my life and changed my career and I’m profoundly grateful for it,” he explained. “I wasn’t ready to go straight into another one, but I like the idea of… I’d love to be planning something that was a three-parter in movie terms. That hasn’t come along yet but maybe it will.”

He also suggested that he had originally planned to work on a Thor trilogy, but that wasn’t possible as the first movie had to perform well at the box office before any sequel was greenlit by Marvel.

“Sometimes with these stories I like to plan them as trilogies, but it’s much harder in this world for that to work out because the stakes are so high you’ve gotta really see how the first one does,” Branagh stated.

Directing duties on the Thor sequel were originally given to Patty Jenkins, now famous for directing Wonder Woman, but she left the project because she didn’t think she could make a good film from the script being used. It was eventually helmed by Alan Taylor.

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Kenneth Branagh will ‘never forget’ casting Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston in Thor

Kenneth Branagh will never forget the moment he cast Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston in Thor.The British actor and director helmed the 2011 movie, which introduced the Norse god to Marvel fans and raked in more than $449 million (£355 million) at t…

Kenneth Branagh will never forget the moment he cast Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston in Thor.

The British actor and director helmed the 2011 movie, which introduced the Norse god to Marvel fans and raked in more than $449 million (£355 million) at the worldwide box office.

The relationship between Hemsworth’s Thor and his brother Loki, played by Hiddleston, needed to be a success on-screen, as Marvel boss Kevin Feige planned to focus the ensemble superhero movie The Avengers on the siblings’ strained relationship.

And in a new interview with Collider, Branagh recalled the moment that he and Feige decided to offer the roles to the duo back in 2009.

“I’ll never forget the moment that we cast those two boys… It was like a sort of meditation or a sort of incantation. Kevin Feige must’ve walked around this long oval table a hundred times on that Saturday morning as I kept sort of saying, ‘I think we should call them.’ ‘Are you sure?’ ‘Yeah, I think we should call them.’… and I knew how profoundly serious that decision was,” the 59-year-old explained.

“Kevin said, ‘We’ll never make a more important decision in this company than what’s happening in this room, Saturday morning at 10.30, when you pick up the phone to Chris Hemsworth and then Tom Hiddleston. It’s either going to work or it’s not. Good luck,'” the Dunkirk star added.

Thor, which also starred Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Idris Elba, and Rene Russo, has gone on to spawn three sequels – Thor: The Dark World in 2013, Thor: Ragnarok in 2017, and Thor: Love and Thunder, which is scheduled to be released in 2022.

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Scarlett Johansson worried Marvel fans wouldn’t like her as Black Widow

Scarlett Johansson was worried Marvel fans wouldn’t like her interpretation of fictional superhero Black Widow.The 35-year-old actress made her debut as former Russian super spy Natasha Romanoff in Iron Man 2 back in 2010, but she was concerned that sh…

Scarlett Johansson was worried Marvel fans wouldn’t like her interpretation of fictional superhero Black Widow.

The 35-year-old actress made her debut as former Russian super spy Natasha Romanoff in Iron Man 2 back in 2010, but she was concerned that she didn’t fit the bill.

“When we did (Iron Man 2), I didn’t know if the audience would like my interpretation of the character,” she told Parade magazine, before noting that she wasn’t even the first choice to play the superhero.

After a “wonderful” meeting with Jon Favreau, who helmed Iron Man 2, the part went to Emily Blunt.

“I was really excited to work with him, so I said, ‘If this doesn’t work out, I’m an actor for hire, so call me anytime,'” Scarlett recalled, and after Emily had to bow out due to scheduling reasons, the role was hers.

“The best call you can receive is after you are rejected for something and then you get it. You appreciate it more. I’ve basically made a career out of being second choice,” she laughed.

And it was while filming one particular scene in The Avengers back in 2012, alongside Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth’s Thor, Mark Ruffalo as Hulk, Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye, and Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, that she realised she was part of something really special.

“It’s the iconic hero shot,” she said of the scene which sees the six original Avengers ready for battle in New York. “We were all thinking, ‘This is crazy!’ because these worlds were coming together. We’re still processing how much of an impact these movies have had.”

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Chris Hemsworth under fire for ‘free trial’ offer on fitness app

Bosses at Chris Hemsworth’s Centr fitness app have defended a free trial offer prompted by the Covid-19 crisis after users complained they were charged when trying to withdraw from a subscription.The Thor actor announced in March that people could have…

Bosses at Chris Hemsworth’s Centr fitness app have defended a free trial offer prompted by the Covid-19 crisis after users complained they were charged when trying to withdraw from a subscription.

The Thor actor announced in March that people could have free access to his health, fitness, and wellbeing programme for a six-week trial, with the terms and conditions stating that users would be charged for a subscription after the period expired.

But in reviews posted on Google Play, Apple’s App Store and social media, users have complained that they were charged $99 (£81) for a discounted yearly plan at the end of their trial, despite deleting the app and trying to cancel their subscription.

A representative of Centr defended the trial offer in a statement, telling WENN that while they “stand by” the conditions of the offer and that an “auto renew” function could be disabled, they would try and resolve the complaints of those who believe they deserve a refund.

“Centr’s extended free trial period was a genuine offer made with the intention of helping people to stay strong, healthy and calm during this challenging time,” they said, before stating that conditions “outlining that if the trial was not cancelled within the six-week period, the customer’s nominated plan would be charged” are “clearly displayed” when users sign up.

Offering to help those who feel ripped off, they added: “We want to be especially mindful of our original intention to help people during this time. Therefore, we are working diligently to resolve any concerns from the one per cent of customers who have reported issues relating to the free-trial offer.”

Users who were charged at the end of the trial complained that they couldn’t afford the fee due to the economic turmoil created by the coronavirus crisis. One raged in a review on Google Play that the policy was “unkind” as their salary had been cut, while others claimed they were unable to cancel, despite contacting customer services.

Hemsworth is yet to comment.

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Chris Hemsworth hopes Marvel blockbusters will bring audiences to reopened cinemas

Chris Hemsworth hopes that the upcoming Marvel blockbusters will bring audiences back to cinemas once the coronavirus pandemic is over.The 36-year-old, who has played the Norse god Thor since 2011, is gearing up to star in the fourth film, Thor: Love a…

Chris Hemsworth hopes that the upcoming Marvel blockbusters will bring audiences back to cinemas once the coronavirus pandemic is over.

The 36-year-old, who has played the Norse god Thor since 2011, is gearing up to star in the fourth film, Thor: Love and Thunder, which was due to being production this summer.

However, production on numerous films has been halted due to the pandemic, which has led to the closure of cinemas and the postponement of film releases, with Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbusters such as Black Widow and Eternals getting pushed back.

Hemsworth believes that these superhero movies are the key to reigniting the industry once the cinemas reopen.

“Films (like Marvel) that you can best appreciate on the big screen, those will draw people out of their homes again,” he told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

He also said he understood the critics of Marvel movies, including Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese, who slammed the big-budget flicks for eradicating the competition.

“I hear those concerns, too. That (the MCU) takes up so much real estate, (and) is there enough room for the other things to exist, the art house films and the smaller films we love and admire equally,” Hemsworth explained.

Right now, the Thor star is enjoying a break from his intense Marvel schedule as he self-isolates in Australia with wife Elsa Pataky and their three children.

“I’ve wanted to just stop being controlled by a schedule,” he said. “So to be home now with the kids full time, and to be able to go ‘Wow, this is truly what’s important.’ It would be a real miss if I didn’t use this opportunity to soak up that time.”

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Extraction sequel in the works

Joe Russo has been tapped to write a sequel to Chris Hemsworth’s Netflix movie Extraction. The Avengers: Endgame co-director wrote the screenplay for the adrenaline-fuelled flick, which stars Hemsworth as a mercenary named Tyler Rake.And as the movie …

Joe Russo has been tapped to write a sequel to Chris Hemsworth’s Netflix movie Extraction.

The Avengers: Endgame co-director wrote the screenplay for the adrenaline-fuelled flick, which stars Hemsworth as a mercenary named Tyler Rake.

And as the movie has already been such a success, Russo has been hired to write a follow-up, which may be a sequel or a prequel.

“The deal is closed for me to write Extraction 2, and we are in the formative stages of what the story can be,” he told Deadline. “We’re not committing yet to whether that story goes forward, or backward in time. We left a big loose ending that leaves question marks for the audience.”

Extraction was released on the streaming service on 24 April and proved to be a big hit, with it achieving Netflix’s biggest opening day audience for an original film. It is projected to be watched by 90 million households over the next four weeks.

Russo hopes Sam Hargrave, the Avengers stunt coordinator who made his directorial debut with Extraction, will be back to helm the next instalment.

“There was always a simple drive to the story, a balletic execution of action where you take a damaged character who made an egregious mistake in the past and has a shot at redemption which might be fatal,” the moviemaker explained. “What was key is that we needed a muscular action director like Sam to be the main creative force in the execution of the action.”

There is currently no deal for Hemsworth to return. Russo added that he will work on the story and write the script before taking it to the Thor star to see if he’s onboard for a sequel, although the Australian actor has already told fans on Instagram he’d be “pretty stoked to jump back into” the role.

Over the weekend, Hemsworth thanked fans for supporting Extraction and said, “You’ve made it the number one film on the planet right now, and it looks like it’s going to be Netflix’s biggest feature film of all time, which is absolutely mind-blowing.”

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Elsa Pataky: ‘I could not imagine my life without exercise’

Elsa Pataky couldn’t imagine her life without exercise because it acts as the “glue” that holds everything together.The 43-year-old actress opened up about her approach to wellbeing and fitness in an interview with InStyle and confessed that her daily …

Elsa Pataky couldn’t imagine her life without exercise because it acts as the “glue” that holds everything together.

The 43-year-old actress opened up about her approach to wellbeing and fitness in an interview with InStyle and confessed that her daily workouts are something she couldn’t ever sacrifice.

“I could not imagine my life without exercise. For me it is the glue that holds everything together: my health, my happiness, my relationship,” she said, adding that she’s been interested in exercise since her teens.

“It was then that I started to learn everything I could about training and nutrition,” she explained. “Since then, I have trained consistently, though there have been times when I was less active – such as when I had my children. So I also know how hard it can be to start exercising again after you’ve had a break.”

The Fast and Furious star shares three children with husband Chris Hemsworth – seven-year-old daughter India and six-year-old twin boys Sasha and Tristan – and she said working out with the Thor hunk keeps their marriage alive.

“The best way to stick to training is to do something you love and, if you can, do it with someone you love. My husband Chris and I are always looking for opportunities to keep active together doing things we enjoy,” she shared. “Having three kids makes it a bit more complicated, but we always find a way. It enriches all of our lives.”

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Chris Hemsworth thanks fans for ‘mind-blowing’ reaction to Extraction

Chris Hemsworth has thanked fans around the world for the “mind-blowing” reaction to his new movie Extraction.The action thriller, directed by Sam Hargrave, was released on Netflix on 24 April and follows mercenary Tyler Rake, who is hired to rescue a …

Chris Hemsworth has thanked fans around the world for the “mind-blowing” reaction to his new movie Extraction.

The action thriller, directed by Sam Hargrave, was released on Netflix on 24 April and follows mercenary Tyler Rake, who is hired to rescue a crime lord’s kidnapped son.

Extraction also saw the Thor star reunite with his Avengers: Endgame director Joe Russo, who co-produced and co-wrote the flick, and in a new Instagram post, Hemsworth shared his excitement over the news that more than 90 million households had streamed the movie since its debut.

“Hey, what’s up, guys? Hope you’re doing well. I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone who checked out Extraction,” he began the video, which was filmed in his home gym. “You’ve made it the number one film on the planet right now, and it looks like it’s going to be Netflix’s biggest feature film of all time, which is absolutely mind-blowing.

“We are blown away by the response and the support. On behalf of myself, the Russo Brothers, Netflix, our director Sam Hargrave, thank you so, so much. We love you guys.”

Hemsworth ended the clip by teasing a possible sequel to Extraction, as he confessed he would be “stoked” to revisit his character.

“There’s been a lot of talk and questions about sequels and prequels and all sorts of things, and all I can say is who knows. But with this amount of support, it’s something I will be pretty stoked to jump back into,” the 36-year-old added.

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Taika Waititi impressed by Mark Ruffalo’s commitment to Hulk role

Taika Waititi was impressed by Mark Ruffalo’s commitment to fully immersing himself in the role of the Hulk.The three-time Oscar nominee reprised his role as Dr. Bruce Banner and his powerful green alter ego for the 2017 Marvel movie Thor: Ragnarok, in…

Taika Waititi was impressed by Mark Ruffalo’s commitment to fully immersing himself in the role of the Hulk.

The three-time Oscar nominee reprised his role as Dr. Bruce Banner and his powerful green alter ego for the 2017 Marvel movie Thor: Ragnarok, in which he starred alongside Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, and Tessa Thompson.

And the New Zealand native filmmaker was wowed by Ruffalo’s decision to perform all the motion capture work himself, rather than relying on a stand-in.

“He has very strong opinions about what Hulk would say and how he would say it,” Waititi told Variety. “People assume, ‘Oh, well it’s a CGI character. Why would an actor do the movements?’ But he insisted on doing all the work in motion capture…. All of that stuff is him, dressed in those ridiculous pyjamas that you have to wear with ping-pong balls on his head.”

While the third instalment of the Thor franchise saw Hemsworth reveal a more comic side to the Norse god, Waititi was also excited for Ruffalo to explore how Hulk had finally gained control and overtaken nerdy scientist Banner.

“He wanted to show that Hulk was driving the vehicle and Banner was left in the trunk,” he explained.

Ruffalo recently teased the idea of reprising his role as the Hulk, after it was revealed in Avengers: Endgame that Hulk and Banner had learnt to co-exist as a half-man, half huge green superhero.

“There’s nothing completely at a place where it’s a done deal,” he teased. “If we come up with something good, that would be really interesting.”

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Taika Waititi using lockdown to work on Thor: Love and Thunder script

Taika Waititi is using the Covid-19 lockdown to work on the script for Thor: Love and Thunder.The fourth instalment in the Marvel franchise has been delayed due to the global pandemic, which has forced Hollywood to shut down production on movies includ…

Taika Waititi is using the Covid-19 lockdown to work on the script for Thor: Love and Thunder.

The fourth instalment in the Marvel franchise has been delayed due to the global pandemic, which has forced Hollywood to shut down production on movies including The Batman, Jurassic World: Dominion, and Cinderella.

However, as countries around the world impose strict restrictions on people’s movement to stop the spread of the virus, Waititi is using his time in self-isolation to tweak the script for his follow-up to 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok.

“There are a few positive things I can take away (from the crisis). One of them is that a lot of these films, and films in general, are rushed, or you don’t have as much time as you’d want to have on the script and things like that,” the 44-year-old told Total Film magazine.

Waititi added that he was confident his script, which he has co-written with Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, will be better than ever as he has more time to tinker with it.

“We’re still writing Love and Thunder, and I think it’s good to just keep writing, and then you know, we’ll have a really, really good script. And with writing, especially, you should use as much of that time as possible to get your story right, because you never really get it later on,” the Jojo Rabbit filmmaker shared. “Film is an industry where you’re always complaining about not having enough time. I think, right now, we’ve given ourselves a huge amount of time to work on all sort of things, so we may as well use it.”

Chris Hemsworth will reprise his role as the Norse god, alongside Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, and Marvel Cinematic Universe newcomer Christian Bale, in Thor: Love and Thunder, which has been moved from its original release date of November 2021 to 18 February 2022.

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