THOR: THE DARK WORLD
One of the key decisions Marvel made
for "Thor: The Dark World" was bringing
in the incredibly talented director Alan
Taylor. His filmography covers acclaimed
and award-winning TV series such as
"Rome," "Boardwalk Empire" and "Mad
Men," as well as hits like "The West
Wing," "Six Feet Under" and "Sex in the
City," and more recently, the ground-
breaking, gritty, fantasy series "Game of
Thrones." With this wealth of
experience, directing some of the most successful, well-written and well-executed
drama and entertainment of recent years, Taylor was the perfect choice to helm "Thor:
The Dark World," Marvel's most ambitious Super Hero movie yet.
Producer Kevin Feige relates, "We landed on Alan Taylor due to his spectacular
television work on everything from 'Mad Men' to 'Boardwalk Empire' to 'Game of
Thrones,' because one of the things we wanted to do on this film was to delve a little
deeper into the other nine worlds and to spend more time on Asgard at street level.
With Alan's direction we got a few more layers of patina, of texture, of reality into our
Taylor was excited by the prospect of helming the film, stating, "I'd come to love having
one foot in reality and one foot in fantasy. All of those things were coming together in
this. Thor is a unique Super Hero because he carries so much weight of history and he
carries a mythology. Those things gave him the kind of stature that I found exciting."
Although Alan Taylor was not a comic book fan growing up, he became acquainted with
the genre's storytelling ethos with a little help from Marvel. "When I first came into
Marvel and was introduced to everybody, they delivered three tomes of the Thor
universe on my desk, and I started thinking 'Oh, God, that's a lot of homework.' I started
reading through them and by the time I got to the point where Loki was a woman and
Thor was a frog, I realized that you can find almost anything in this comic mythology and
it was okay to sort of push it aside and decide what movie we were making."
For many of the actors, Alan Taylor was a major draw to becoming involved in the film;
they were excited by his vision and his approach to the story and their characters. Tom
Hiddleston comments, "Alan is fantastic. Within seconds he revealed his experience and
also his openness in creating a really believable world." He adds, "I think he's had a huge
hand in the complexity of the story. He's
really good at the subtlety of things, and
I've enjoyed his understanding and input
of Loki enormously."
Chris Hemsworth echoes these
sentiments. "Alan's got a great sense of
story and a need to find the truth in this
story and not have it be hokey and
Taylor's ability to bring humanity and realism into a film of epic and otherworldly
proportions, while maintaining the hallmark humorous beats of Marvel films, made him
the ideal director for this ambitious film. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje comments, "Alan
has a natural flare for action, but he is also an actor's director and is very attuned to
actor's sensibilities and also the relationships between each character. I think his special
talent is bringing out the idiosyncrasies of each character and making them pop in an
Christopher Eccleston adds his enthusiasm for bringing Taylor on board. "I think it was a
master stroke bringing Alan Taylor onto this project," he comments. "I think these films
can get buried in externals -- the scale of the sets, the scale of the themes, the costumes,
and Alan can do the visual and the scale but is all about performance too. He is about
finessing in a performance, making it less theatrical, more organic, more throwaway and
introducing humor. I think an audience will buy the stunts and the elaborate costumes
and the elaborate sets if they believe in the performances."
The confidence in Alan Taylor extends to the below-the-line filmmakers as well.
Production designer Charles Wood comments, "As a director Alan brings a lot of weight
to a film like this. He cares deeply about the story and is very sensitive to all of these
things and how to approach a Marvel film. Alan's been very generous and very
engaging. He was very involved in what we were doing, discussing things and also
bringing a lot of his ideas to the table. He was very opinionated in how he wanted things
to look and we had a great relationship through this film."
For Alan Taylor, working on a film with the scale and scope of Marvel's "Thor: The Dark
World" was an entrance into uncharted territory, but working with Marvel proved to be
a very positive experience for the director. "Coming in, I thought the effect would be
daunting and overwhelming, but the Marvel experience was not what I expected," says
Taylor. "Marvel is unique. When you make the decisions, you're making them with
filmmakers who are really excited about the characters and the worlds, so in a way it
feels like a very intimate creative process."
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