Marvel Narrows Its Search for <i>Thor 2</i> Director and Writer

Following the departure of Patty Jenkins from Thor 2 last week, Marvel is reportedly turning again to HBO's Game of Thrones in its search for a director.

According to Heat Vision, the studio is eyeing two prime candidates to helm the sequel: Daniel Minahan, known for his work on Deadwood, True Blood and, most recently, Game of Thrones (the episodes "A Golden Crown," "You Win or You Die" and "The Pointy End"); and Palookaville director Alan Taylor, a veteran of Homicide: Life on the Street, The Sopranos and, again, Game of Thrones (the acclaimed "Baelor" and the Season 1 finale "Fire and Blood").

There's apparently something about the HBO fantasy epic that Marvel likes -- is it the aesthetic or the big bang on a small budget? -- as before Jenkins, the studio courted Brian Kirk, who helmed the episodes “The Wolf and the Lion,” “Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things” and “Lord Snow.” However, he reportedly withdrew from negotiations over creative and financial issues.

The director isn't the only change in store for the Thor sequel: Heat Vision contends Marvel was already looking for another writer to take a pass on Don Payne's script when Jenkins left. 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).

Stars 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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