Marvel confirmed this afternoon that Emmy-nominated director Patty Jenkins will helm "Thor 2," the sequel to this year's blockbuster, which has grossed more than $448 million worldwide. She will be the studio's first female director.
The news arrives hours after Disney announced it has changed the film's release date from July 26, 2013, to Nov. 15, 2013, to make room on its schedule for "The Lone Ranger."
Reports surfaced last month that Jenkins, best known as the writer and director of the 2003 drama "Monster," was the frontrunner to succeed Kenneth Branagh, edging out Breck Eisner ("The Crazies"), Drew Goddard ("Cabin in the Woods"), James McTeigue ("Ninja Assassin") and Noam Murro ("300: Battle of Artemesia"). She quickly confirmed she was in talks for the job, praising the studio for considering her despite her lack of experience with big special effects.
"I think Marvel is really ballsy to think outside the box," Jenkins said in late September. "And I think everyone they've talked to and hired has been interesting."
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." Don Payne, who co-wrote the first film and "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer," is penning the script.
Jenkins, who received an Emmy Award nomination for directing the pilot of AMC's "The Killing," has also helmed episodes of "Arrested Development" and "Entourage."