"Game of Thrones'" Alan Taylor to Direct "Thor 2"

Television veteran Alan Taylor, best known for directing episodes of the HBO fantasy "Game of Thrones," has been selected to replace Patty Jenkins on Marvel's "Thor" sequel, Deadline reports.

An unlikely choice to helm a special effects-heavy superhero movie, Jenkins ("Monster," AMC's "The Killing") was hired for the sequel in mid-October after the studio's first choice, "Game of Thrones" director Brian Kirk, withdrew from negotiations over creative and financial issues. However, early this month Jenkins abruptly left the film in what was originally characterized as an amicable parting over creative differences but has since been described as a firing triggered by concerns that the Emmy-nominated director showed "a lack of overall clarity in her choices" that would make the script rewrite process "difficult."

Taylor, who helmed the 1995 comedy "Palookaville," quickly emerged with fellow "Game of Thrones" director Daniel Minahan as a favorite to replace Jenkins. There's clearly something about HBO's fantasy epic, whether it's the aesthetic or the budgetary constraints, that appeals to Marvel. Taylor directed the acclaimed episode "Baelor" as well as the Season 1 finale "Fire and Blood"; his resume also includes "Homicide: Life on the Street" and "The Sopranos."

With a new director in place, the studio is expected to move quickly to find a writer to take another pass at the script by Don Payne ("Thor," "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer"). The shortlist is believed to include John Collee ("Happy Feet," "Master and Commander: Far Side of the World"), Robert Rodat ("Falling Skies," "Saving Private Ryan") and Roger Avary ("Pulp Fiction," "Beowulf").

Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman and Tom Hiddleston are confirmed to return for the sequel, which Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has promised will "take Thor literally to other worlds." "Thor 2" opens Nov. 15, 2013.

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