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Kenneth Branagh Hammers on 'Thor'

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Sep 29, 2008 | 4:07pm EDT

Kenneth Branagh, mostly known for re-envisioning Shakespearian plays for the big screen, apparently wants to break out a little.

According to Variety, he is in negotiations to direct Thor, the next Marvel Comics property that will be turned into a live-action film by Marvel Studios.

Branagh is in good company if he gets the gig, joining the latest string of directors--such as Jon Favreau (Iron Man), Christopher Nolan (the Batman franchise) and Gavin Hood (X-Men Origins: Wolverine)--with arthouse roots taking on big-budget comic-book fare.

The Thor comic-book adaptation, penned by Mark Protosevich, follows disabled medical student Donald Blake, who has an alter ego as the hammer-wielding Norse god Thor.

Having been out of the spotlight for a bit, Branagh, who is currently drawing raves on the London stage in the title role of Ivanov, is having a good year. He'll next be seen acting in the Richard Curtis-directed The Boat That Rocked and the Bryan Singer-helmed Valkyrie.

Now, who could play Thor? It'd have to be a big blonde-headed fellow--in fact, Branagh himself could have played him back in the day. They'll probably go with some unknown.

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