Thor director Kenneth Branagh reveals why he did not return for the sequel

By Stephen Ippolito | June 15th, 2020

Thor: The Dark World (2013) is considered to be one of the worst films in the MCU. One of the reasons that hurt the film was that Kenneth Branagh decided not to return as director. After getting the film off to a good start with fans and critics in 2011 with Thor, he opted not to return, and Alan Taylor was chosen as his replacement.

Recently, Branagh has been doing a bunch of interviews to promote his new movie Artemis Fowl. During one with Collider, he was asked about why he did not return for The Dark World.

“When the first one was finished, essentially it had been three fantastic years of my life, but I needed to recharge on something else,” Branagh said. “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.”

It makes sense that Branagh wanted a break. Directing a film for Marvel Studios is a lot of time and work. I’m sure that when Branagh was doing Thor, it was more work because this was the early days of Marvel Studios. To that point, only three films in the MCU had been released. So the studio had less experience in making them.

I imagine if he had stayed, the follow up would have been a lot better than it turned out. Plagued with issues from the beginning, the studio initially turned to future Wonder Women director Patty Jenkins. She left before filming could begin (creative differences) and Taylor was then hired. During post-production, the studio was not happy with the film so massive edits were made, which upset Taylor.

Branagh not returning will always be one of the what ifs in the MCU.

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