Earlier today, Patty Jenkins was confirmed as the director of Thor 2, which is really interesting because, no matter if you prefer DC Comics’ characters, like Superman or Batman, you’ve got to give Marvel credit for making bold choices, particularly when it comes to directors.
Which doesn’t change that the reason for their choice is probably connected to their desire to keep costs down. After all, while Jenkins is a very talented director–if all I hear about “Monster” is any indicator–there’s no way that she’s as expensive as a Michael Bay, or John McTiernan.
Does anyone remember Ang Lee’s “Hulk?” It wasn’t well-received by many in the superhero fan community–though it earned $245 million worldwide, so while it may not have met some expectations–it can hardly be called a failure. The interesting thing is that Lee, prior to “Hulk,” had done films like “The Ice Storm,” “Ride With The Devil,” and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.”
Only the latter film of those films could be considered even remotely similar to “Hulk,” yet on the strength of those films he was given that project, though with a budget of $137 million, which are probably as much as the last four or five of his earlier films combined.
The same thing applies to the director of “Thor,” Kenneth Branagh. Prior to the that film, he was known primarily as an actor, though he had directed various Shakespeare adaptations, “Dead Again,” “Frankenstein, which was box-office failure, despite following on the heels of Francis Ford Coppola‘s smash version of “Bram Stoker’s Dracula.”
This trend will continue with Iron Man 3, to be directed by Shane Black. The only film he directed prior was 2005’s “Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang,” budgeted at $15 million dollars.