While “Thor: The Dark World” is easily the biggest project director Alan Taylor has ever worked on, he’s no stranger to creating things on an epic scale. With most of his career thus far in TV, the episodes of “Game of Thrones” he directed were especially useful, when joining the movie.
Zap2it spoke with Taylor about working on “Thor: The Dark World,” the role his TV past played in getting the gig and whether he plans to return to it.
“I could not have done this job without [‘Game of Thrones’],” Alan says. “One of those reasons is Marvel talked to other ‘Game of Thrones’ directors for the movie, they talked with two others before I got the job.”
While pursuing a “Game of Thrones” director for “Thor 2” is an interesting choice, it also makes perfect sense, as Taylor says, “It gave me the visual effects experience needed.” That plus the fact that, as Alan explains, “‘Game of Thrones’ is driven by the script,” left him as the perfect candidate for the job.
While joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe might seem daunting, with the next several years of movies already planned out, including “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” Taylor says, “There was surprisingly little pressure to serve future story lines.”
While he did have a discussion with Joss Whedon about the story and how it fits into the bigger picture, in the end there was only a single casting choice and one plot point that had to be changed, due to a conflict with “Avengers 2.” The upside of that, Taylor reveals, is Whedon actually rewrote a scene in the movie, which wasn’t originally working as well as he would have liked.
As for how the movie stretched him, as a director, Alan says there was there was a lot more green screen work than he’s used to and a focus on making sure there was still humor in the story, no matter how bleak things got.
“I came in looking to darken things up,” he says. “However, I knew that whatever darkening I do, I need to lighten it on the other side. Marvel has a tonal feel to it where things get serious, but there has to be a certain levity.”
To achieve that goal, there are characters that definitely lean toward the comedic side, like Darcy (Kat Dennings) and Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard). However, most of the cast is able to get in on some of the movie’s funnier moments, including Thor (Chris Hemsworth), himself.
Looking back on one particular scene of Thor’s subtle comedy in the movie, Taylor says, “The moment when Thor visits Jane (Natalie Portman) in her apartment and hangs his hammer on the coat hook? That came from Chris.”
Now that he has a Marvel movie under his belt, Alan has some more film work ahead of him, though he would still love a return to TV, specifically “Game of Thrones.” “I always plan to come back to ‘Game of Thrones’, but something gets in the way,” he explains. “I missed Season 3 due to ‘Thor 2’ and I missed four due to post-production. And there’s another movie I’m circling that’s going to mean I miss Season 5, but I always plan to come back.”
Could he see it on the big screen, though? “‘Game of Thrones’ is itching to become a movie,” he says. “The show’s scale is so huge, but scenes where there are 48 warriors going into battle, a movie would have 4800.”
That sort of thinking makes “Thor 2” the perfect sandbox for a director like Taylor to play in.
“Thor: The Dark World” is in theaters November 8.