Natalie Portman Furious at the Dismissal of Patty Jenkins from Thor 2
Seems we’re not the only ones upset at the firing of Patty Jenkins from the set of Thor 2. According to the reliable Hollywood Reporter, star Natalie Portman is giving Marvel a piece of her mind. So much so that even though she’s contractually obligated to the movie, Marvel is making concessions “Marvel is now said to be working overtime to smooth over the situation by including her in discussions about whom to hire as a replacement.”
Why so serious, Natalie? Well, it turns out Portman pushed for Jenkins’ hiring in the first place as a feature that would keep her enthusiastically in the production.
According to sources, Portman had begun to question whether she wanted to continue acting at all right now — possibly for several years — because she wants to spend time with her baby boy, who was born in June. Portman was said to be re-engaged in Thor 2 because of Jenkins’ involvement and especially proud that she would have played a role in opening the door for a woman to direct such a film.
Marvel is already reportedly considering two different Game of Thrones alumns, both men, to take over the (in movie time) imminent film shoot. Alyssa Rosenberg, one of our favorite media bloggers, hopes that Portman’s involvement in directoral casting might show more feminine fruit:
I hope she uses that influence to push Marvel to hire a woman as Jenkins’ replacement. Kathryn Bigelow is probably too busy with her bin Laden project and other commitments, but if she could be tempted, it would be amazing. Maybe the entertainment universe could make it up to Mary Harron for the American Psycho remake by giving her a job? Failing that, Mimi Leder, who directed the final episode of HBO’s Luck?
Marvel has previously shown that it’s got no problem leaving its talent by the wayside. Creatives who rock the boat, like Edward Norton and Terrence Howard have notably not been invited back to play. The only actor whose tenure has survived pay negotiations rigorous enough to make the news is Samuel L. Jackson, the direct and acknowledged inspiration for the Ultimate Marvel universe’s Nick Fury. According to THR, there’s more to the story of Jenkins’ firing than just the statements she and Marvel have made on it, that of “we parted on very good terms” “look forward too working with her again.”
Insiders are telling widely divergent stories about why Marvel dropped Jenkins. A source with firsthand knowledge of the production says Marvel became concerned that Jenkins was not moving decisively enough and feared the film might miss its November 2013 release date. Exactly how Jenkins should have acted more decisively is unclear since no script was in place. Marvel had commissioned one from Don Payne before Jenkins came onto the project in October, but the studio now wants a rewrite.
Still, the source says the company felt she showed “a lack of overall clarity in her choices,” which led to concern that the process would be “difficult.”
But an insider in Jenkins’ camp says the lack of clarity might be on Marvel’s part. This person says Jenkins was so explicit about her vision for the film that she didn’t expect to be hired in the first place. The source speculates that Marvel executives might have been won over initially by Portman’s enthusiasm for Jenkins but then, “when they started to interview writers for the rewrite . . . may have decided they really weren’t comfortable.”
Even without a script, Jenkins had already talking with actors, leaving them enthusiastic to work on her interpretations of their Thor characters. Here’s what Tom Hiddleston (Loki) had to say about her in October:
She clearly has an incredible grasp of story and character and a very powerful emotional engine behind her, which I think is what we need … The thing about Patty is she has an innate courage and complete understanding of the muscularity of a character like Thor, but also a sensitivity and a nobility and things like ‘Monster’ and ‘The Killing’ which she directed, don’t shy away from darkness, they don’t shy away from murkier aspects of human nature and I think her fearlessness about all that will make ‘Thor 2′ quite interesting.
Doesn’t sound like “lack of overall clarity” to me.
(via The Hollywood Reporter.)
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