Kenneth Branagh has gone into some detail about the tone and production design of his upcoming foray into comic book movie direction on “Thor,” perhaps dispelling some fan worries over the potential to appear campy while working with Nordic gods in the mythical realm of Asgard.
During a roundtable interview, FilmSchoolRejects spoke to Branagh about the less-than-positive fan reaction to a few Marvel-released stills from the film.
Having earned the reputation of a serious thespian and idiosyncratic director of large-scale Shakespearian drama and comedy, Kenneth Branagh has always struck most as a surprisingly apropos choice for director of the necessarily epic “Thor.” Yet, even Branagh is not exempt from concerned speculation among fans.
Addressing how his film would steer clear of camp territory, Branagh spoke of his objectives regarding its tone.
“Tone was always a key issue,” said BRanagh. “Key people early on… obviously the production designer Bo Welch and Academy Award-winning costume designer Alexandra Byrne was also someone trying to be inspired by the comic book, but also see it as being as imaginative about it [as possible] and [to] present textures and elements. You know, when people travel through space [and] they live in a world with gods.”
Branagh continued to paint a picture of what we might expect from a celluloid Asgard, where according to star Chris Hemsworth, the film may be spending as much time in as Earth. Appropriately, it should be considerably more impressive than Rome.
“We wanted a mammoth quality Asgard with monumental buildings,” said the filmmaker. “If you walk around the city of Rome and you look up at any street corner there’s just an emissivity that would have kept people visiting that place in ancient Rome bored. We wanted to have Asgard (or its inhabitants) by its size, its magnificence, its beauty, its gold-ness and all of that, but that it had a heft and that it wasn’t airy fairy.”
In explaining how he keeps the film’s aura consistently epic but far away from silly, Branagh emphasized that he—along with the rest of the production team—remains grounded in its comic book source material.
“We were always trying to look at it and see what you saw in the comic and try to re-imagine it,” he said. “[It was] going back to the original source, and that got everybody excited. You want to try to be pure and classical with it, but bring a new twist.”