Why Kenneth Branagh didn’t return for 'Thor: The Dark World'

Gregory Wakeman
Chris Hemsworth in action in Thor: The Dark World, which Kenneth Branagh didn't direct (Image by Marvel Studios)

When Kenneth Branagh directed Thor back in 2009, it was just the fourth installment to the burgeoning Marvel Cinematic Universe.

But even though it established Chris Hemsworth as the titular Nordic God and Tom Hiddleston as his meddlesome step-brother Loki, director Kenneth Branagh decided not to return for its sequel. 

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Instead, Alan Taylor directed Thor: The Dark World in 2013, which is sadly regarded as the worst film in the MCU. 

But why didn’t Branagh return for The Dark World? Collider recently asked the legendary actor and director that very question, and it turns out that he needed to recharge his batteries after spending three years on Thor. 

Actor Kenneth Branagh attends a Service of Thanksgiving for Sir Peter Hall at Westminster Abbey in London, Britain, September 11, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

“The way things work, there was a version of events where… sometimes with these stories I like to plan them as trilogies, but it’s much harder in this world for that to work out because the stakes are so high you’ve gotta really see how the first one does.” 

“When the first one was finished, essentially it had been three fantastic years of my life, but I needed to recharge on something else. I was too close to the glass on that one, so I would definitely never say never again because it changed my life and changed my career and I’m profoundly grateful for it.”

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“I wasn’t ready to go straight into another one, but I like the idea of… I’d love to be planning something that was a three-parter in movie terms. That hasn’t come along yet but maybe it will.”

Branagh has still been incredibly busy, though, directing Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Cinderella, Murder On The Orient Express, All Is True, and now Artemis Fowl, which has just hit Disney +, while Death On The Nile will be released before the end of the year, too.