If you ever wondered (and I did) how the heck Branagh got involved with Thor, your question is answered. He's a fan from way back. "Growing up, my single comic book passion was Thor. From my time in Belfast as a kid, that's the first time I came across that comic, really, exclusively, I don't know why, but it struck a chord. I was drawn to it. I liked all the dynastic drama."
The clash of the gods is still what appeals to him, and his biggest goal is to draw big, colorful parallels between our world and theirs. "Inspired by the comic book world both pictorially and compositionally at once, we've tried to find a way to make a virtue and a celebration of the distinction between the worlds that exist in the film but absolutely make them live in the same world. It's about finding the framing style, the color palette, finding the texture and the amount of camera movement that helps celebrate and express the differences and the distinctions in those worlds ... The combination of the primitive and the sophisticated, the ancient and the modern, I think that potentially is the exciting fusion, the exciting tension in the film."
This difference between the worlds was also illustrated, perhaps unconsciously, in its diverse cast. "What's surprising and delighting me is the way the cast, the ensemble, has fused together. It's kind of an interesting combination of very young and very experienced people and the double-up of that, it seems to me, is there is a lot of fire in the movie. It doesn't take itself too seriously, it doesn't try to be too solemn."
But don't think that "fire" means the cast is bickering among themselves, as was reported by less savory sites. These rumors were knocked down by Gossip Cop, a Marvel rep, and Anthony Hopkins himself, who angrily denied all reports of set friction. "I am having the time of my life making Thor with Ken and Chris [Hemsworth]. They have made every day immensely fun and collaborative, and we're all puzzled that someone would fabricate a story suggesting otherwise. I'm proud to say that Thor has been one of the great experiences of my career." (Lest you think he's just being PR friendly, that echos what I've heard from some sources of my own. It's all good on Asgard.)
As cryptic as Branagh's directorial speak is, finding out that he's a fan of the character really gives me confidence that he knows what to do. If they're 2/3 of the way through filming, can we hope to see Chris Hemsworth and Mjolnir soon? Do you think we can hope for a glimpse around Iron Man 2?