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

By Sean O’Connell 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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