Yes, we fully realize how terrifying this photoshop is.
In December, Patty Jenkins, the director of Monster, was let go from the production of Thor 2. She would've been the first female to direct a major superhero movie (really?) and her firing reportedly pissed off Natalie Portman (though, we think it just sounded more like Natalie was kind of bummed out, not "furious.") Since then, Marvel has hired Alan Taylor (most known for directing television -- and we don't mean anything negative by that) to helm Thor 2, which should begin filming this summer (with a November 2013 release date.)
The part that gave us pause was that Marvel didn't consider any other female directors to replace Patty. A lot of speculation around the 'net was that the "only" other viable candidate would be Kathryn Bigelow. Partly because she's Oscar-accredited, partly because she's apparently an "action" director. (Though, if Branagh can direct a superhero movie, why can't any other genre director, but that's just sensible talk.) So here's our list of possible replacements for Alan, should he decide he'd rather direct another episode of Game of Thrones, instead:
- Sharon Maguire. Her most recent film, Incendiary, didn't do so well at the box office and tracks at 23% on Rotten Tomatoes. (Laura thinks it was good, though, and Rotten Tomatoes can take a hike.) Maguire more famously directed Bridget Jones' Diary, so if we're going for a fun-filled romp with a self-conscious Norse God, she'd be our #1 choice. (Oh, like you don't want to see Loki as Bridget Jones? YOU LIE.)
- Mimi Leder. She directed the more serious of the two asteroid movies out in 1998 (Deep Impact), and like Alan Taylor is mostly a television director (most recently working with David Milch on Luck.) But she's busy filming yet another version of All Quiet On The Western Front. Still, we think she could handle the Elizabethan dialogue just as well as Branagh did.
- Kathryn Bigelow. You can't count her out, of course. She is fantastic. But, chances are, she's not interested.
- Catherine Hardwick. After the mess that was Red Riding Hood, it's apparent that Catherine mainly succeeds at putting pretty pictures with asinine writing. Maybe she needs a better script, or maybe she lets her actors off the chain too much (see: Gary Oldman's accent. HOW DO YOU MESS UP A GARY OLDMAN PERFORMANCE, CATHERINE?) Still, might be fun to see what she'd do with a Twilight-sized budget and a script retooled by Robert Rodat (but probably not - Rodat's Falling Skies is laughably bad.)
- Mary Harron. Harron's another one of our top "serious" choices. (For unserious choices, see previous bullet point.) She did a fantastic job with American Psycho, so she can obviously handle unconventional material and explosions. Bonus: She could probably punch up the script.
- Lexi Alexander. Wait a second. Lexi is fresh off of Punisher: War Zone. That wasn't a superhero movie? I guess that's a "comic book movie." In any case, this completely qualifies her for directing a Marvel movie... because she's already directed a Marvel movie.
- Amy Heckerling. Okay, this is obviously my first choice, in that I loves Heckerling and think she can do no wrong. This may or may not be disproven with Vamps, which hasn't come out yet. Just because she's Queen of the Quirky Character Driven Comedies doesn't mean she can't work with the material, right? Teen Thor! Or am I just totally buggin?
- Rebecca Miller. By far our most serious unserious choice. Thor 2 could be a drama about Thor's first period! She could get Daniel Day Lewis to co-star! Think of it: Daniel could portray Ego The Living Planet, with a minimal amount of protestation. IT COULD BE AMAZING.
- Penny Marshall. Hasn't directed a movie in 11 years. Why the fuck not? She could cast her brother Gary as Thor's confused, angry grandfather Borr, and we'd all have a good laugh. Maybe she could even convince Tom Hanks to make a cameo.
- Jodie Foster. At the time, when I pitched Jodie as a candidate, I was under the impression that Foster had directed Panic Room and Inside Man, but apparently not. Let's give her a chance at this, anyway. She deserves a do-over for the way The Beaver got screwed by Mel Gibson being all Mel Gibsonny.
- Nancy Meyers. Nancy made Keanu Reeves as a doctor believable. She's done other stuff, but c'mon. She made him look good, without having to create a character that fits his minimal acting strengths. That's Oscar-caliber direction. There's also the possibility of Nancy directing Iron Man 4, because by the fourth Iron Man movie, Robert Downey, Jr. might actually be 60 years old. Meyers is your go-to gal for a middle aged superhero movie with lots of boozing.
- Barbra Streisand. The only Thor movie that would be entirely about Barbra Streisand. There would be a hit song (that she'd sing) and an all new love interest (Babs.) Or she'd just recast herself in Rene Russo's role and the movie would suddenly be all about Frigga. Either way, you know it'd be fabulous.
(P.S. - The Bill the Butcher face is from David Rojo, who does awesome vector portraits.)
Who would you pick? One of our suggestions, or someone completely different?