Marvel may have finally found Thor 5 director; it's not Taika Waititi

Rumor has it that Marvel is interested in a particular director for Thor 5 and it's one that is already familiar with the MCU.
Marvel Studios' AVENGERS: ENDGAME..Thor (Chris Hemsworth)..Photo: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2019
Marvel Studios' AVENGERS: ENDGAME..Thor (Chris Hemsworth)..Photo: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2019 /

The Thor franchise is one of Marvel Studios' most successful, but it's also one of its most inconsistent. For every Thor and Ragnarok (success stories pivotal for shaping the God of Thunder into one of the MCU's heavyweight heroes), there is a Dark World and Love and Thunder (misguided sequels that fans didn't respond well to). And yet, thanks to Chris Hemsworth's committed performance, audiences remain completely invested in the story of Thor Odinson.

The character is expected to return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the near-future, likely appearing in Avengers 5 or Avengers: Secret Wars. However, there is also expected to be another Thor movie, which is rumored to be the final installment in his solo franchise. And now, a new report suggests that Marvel has an eye on a specific director to bring that adventure to life.

Kenneth Branagh reportedly Marvel's choice to direct Thor 5

According to a new report from Marvel insider HolyField News, Kenneth Branagh is Marvel's top choice to direct Thor 5, with the hopes that he can bring the franchise full-circle. The esteemed actor and director stepped behind the camera for the first Thor movie, which took on more of a fantasy epic approach than the subsequent movies did, so if Marvel Studios was interested in recapturing that feel for the fifth film, it would make sense to reach out to Branagh to make it happen.

The report also claims that, if the studio can't get him back for another installment, then their other top choices would be Chloé Zhao or Gareth Edwards; both of whom are familiar with fantasy epics as well. Zhao recently worked with Marvel on Eternals, which was definitely one of the franchise's larger than life films in terms of ambition and style, while Edwards brought 2014's critically-acclaimed Godzilla to life and now turns his attention to Universal's new Jurassic World movie.

Tom Hiddleston, Kenneth Branagh, Chris Hemsworth
Premiere Of Paramount Pictures' And Marvel's "Thor" - Red Carpet / Kevin Winter/GettyImages

As well as those director names, the scooper also adds that the film is indeed planned to be the final installment of the Thor franchise (at least for the Multiverse Saga) and that it could tackle elements from the comics such as the Thor Corps - warriors from across Battleworld who serve as God Emperor Doom's police force.

Needless to say this rumor feeds into the other ones that suggest a chance of direction is indeed on the horizon for the Thor franchise as it ponders over what could be its final chapter.

A return to form for the Thor franchise?

All of the rumors surrounding the Thor franchise's fifth film do suggest that it's attempting to stage a bit of a comeback. By "comeback" I mean that it sounds like Marvel would prefer a movie in the vein of the earlier Thor movies, positioning it as more of a fantasy epic than the silly, fun space comedies that the third and fourth films were. It was Taika Waititi that brought those films to life, with his unique, outlandish, and humorous approach taking the Thor franchise to its greatest heights in Thor: Ragnarok. However, when he upped the ante in 2022's Thor: Love and Thunder, it was not well-received.

Fans felt that the Thor franchise had lost its way, relying on silly humor that hurt the characters in the movie more than it helped them. In retrospect, Hemsworth himself agreed with this, feeling that his Thor had become "a parody" and that he felt fans deserved another film so that they could all make up for it.

Ever since the film's release, there have been a number of rumors and reports about Thor 5. Though very little is known about the movie at this stage (Marvel has yet to officially confirm its existence), all of those reports claim that the studio wants to take the franchise back to its roots, producing an epic conclusion to the saga that could send Thor out on a high. And honestly, that's a fantastic idea.

Chris Hemsworth and Anthony Hopkins in Thor (2011), Thor 5
Chris Hemsworth and Anthony Hopkins in Thor (2011) © 2011 - Paramount Pictures /

2011's Thor wasn't a perfect movie but it did feel more in line with what a Thor movie should be. There was much more focus on the fact that he, Odin, and Loki were gods and that Asgard was an unearthly god-like realm - something that can be owed to Kenneth Branagh's exquisite direction. It was a full-time visual epic (and a part-time romcom) that did everything it set out to do, introducing us to the gods and monsters of Asgard while also saving some time to be a bit funny too. And that's where Thor functions best, settling somewhere between dramatic war epic and light-hearted romcom; it's fun without ever descending into parody.

Branagh, Zhao, and Edwards are all known for their larger-than-life directing styles, so the fact that they are rumored to be Marvel's choices for Thor 5 does indeed suggest that the rumors about the studio hoping to pivot the Thor franchise back to its roots are true. And that's a good thing, because those rumors also suggest that it will be a jaw-dropping war epic that will feel worthy of the God of Thunder.

All three of those directors would be amazing choices for a Thor movie, but it would be the icing on the cake if Branagh returned to the epic franchise, bringing the God of Thunder's story to a close on the same kind of high that it began on.

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