Just yesterday it was announced that while Marvel would be fast-tracking a sequel to Thor for the summer of 2013, the project will not be moving forward with director Kenneth Branagh. Since the news dropped fans everywhere have been wondering what other director could do a great job with the material, but there's one problem with that: there's no material yet. That's where Don Payne comes in.

Deadline has learned that Payne has been hired by Marvel to script the comic book sequel. Far from a novice when it comes to superhero movies, Payne was one of the credited writers on Thor, one of three who wrote Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer, and a solo artist on My Super Ex-Girlfriend. One can presume that the story will follow the events of The Avengers and we previously learned that The Enchantress and The Executioner may be the film's main baddies. Chris Hemsworth is already attached to star, but it's unknown what other actors will be returning as well. While the search for a director continues, Thor 2 it set to be released on July 26, 2013. The film will be the second Marvel movie of that summer, with the Shane Black-directed Iron Man 3 owning the first weekend of May.

I must admit that this move somewhat baffles me. In addition to the fact that Payne has a remarkably weak resume in the superhero department, Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz were two of the other writers holding the pen behind Thor and they were the two that wrote this year's best comic book entry, X-Men: First Class. The move is reminiscent of the studio hiring Zak Penn - of X-Men: The Last Stand and Elektra infamy - to script The Avengers, but fortunately Joss Whedon took over those duties when he was hired as the director. With any luck Marvel has hired Payne just as a stopgap and will then bring in someone as talented as Whedon or Black to take creative control.

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