October 27, 2016
        "The Circle" and "The Lost City of Z": Which potential 2016 contenders got bumped to 2017?                Natalie Portman, Janelle Monáe, Matthew McConaughey, Bryce Dallas Howard, Edgar Ramirez, Stacy Keach at Hollywood Film Awards                Viola Davis will be campaigned in Best Supporting Actress for "Fences"                Mel Gibson to be Honored with the Hollywood Director Award at the 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Michael Moore drops a surprise new film with "Michael Moore in TrumpLand"                Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars        

Chris Hemsworth talks “Thor 2” and Branagh’s departure

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Chris Hemsworth knows that he’ll be back playing Thor, the God of Thunder, in multiple Marvel movies – be it Avengers installments or actual Thor sequels. But shortly after it was announced that Marvel planned a sequel to May’s “Thor” origin story, the up-and-coming star learned his director would not be returning to guide the franchise into the immediate future.

“I’m really disappointed,” Hemsworth told the L.A. Times of Branagh’s decision not to return for “Thor 2,” which is scheduled to be in theaters July 2013.

“Ken built that character, and everything I know about the Thor world I learned while shoulder-to-shoulder with Ken. I learned so much from him.”

Branagh joins “Iron Man” director Jon Favreau as a filmmaker who helped a major superhero take his first cinematic steps, then passed the torch to another storyteller. Shane Black has been tapped to direct “Iron Man 3,” also due in theaters in the summer of 2013, while Joss Whedon (of course) is directing the full “Avengers” film that will open May 2012.

Hemsworth said Marvel should announce the “Thor 2” director soon, but couldn’t stop gushing over the work Branagh did with the first few moves of this mythical franchise.

“I learned so much from Ken while we built [the first film], so at least I had that time with someone like that,” Hemsworth said. “The start of anything creative is the most important period in a way. That’s when the most can go wrong, and Ken made sure we got it right.”

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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