Kenneth Branagh Says 'Thor' Could Have Sunk Marvel

Marvel Studios' latest film is entering its second weekend in theaters, but Thor: Ragnarok will be seeing some box office competition from a familiar face.

Director of the first Thor movie Kenneth Branagh released a new movie, Murder on the Orient Express, and with the films going head to head Branagh spoke about his time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

During an interview with Uproxx, Branagh as asked how he set to make a movie about a difficult character like Thor in a shared universe.

"Remember, there were only two pictures in the Marvel Universe. Iron Man, genius, the first one. [The Incredible] Hulk hadn’t worked as they’d hoped," said Branagh.

Branagh added that this era of Marvel Studios filmmaking didn't have a certain future.

"And then [Thor was] number three, it was sink or swim before Captain America and then suddenly, oh, it was fine after that. We make Iron Man 2 and Avengers and everything’s tickety-boo," Branagh said. "But everybody who was there knows that that was an incredibly sweaty time."

Asked if Thor becoming a failure would have derailed plans for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Branagh replied "That’s certainly how they felt."

"No question that Kevin Feige used to say to me, 'This is the single most difficult tonal challenge for us, to make this movie work in itself and fit into this large universe.' In fact, I think Thor, and in Chris Hemsworth’s performance, becomes an absolutely integral part," Branagh said.

Despite not working in the Marvel Cinematic Universe anymore, the director admitted that he's excited for Taika Waititi's take on the franchise.

"I am most certainly going to see Thor [Ragnarok], and I do care about it, and I’m thrilled that they’re making a third one and I love that director."

While speaking about Hemsworth's contribution to the role and how the new film plays off his comedic strengths, Branagh said Hemsworth's humor was already there but intimated it didn't fit in his film.

"[He] was always, always funny. Always funny. But we also would definitely try to anchor some family drama in that first one, and you try to establish the mythology and the fish-out-of-water thing as well when he comes to Earth. So I think we laid out quite a lot of places from which the story could develop. And I’m personally really looking forward to what Taika’s done with it. I’m very pleased that they’re not just making the same movie each time. They’re being ballsy."

Thor: Ragnarok and Murder on the Orient Express are in theaters now.

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