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Kenneth Branagh Trying On Italian Shoes For His Next Directorial Effort

Kenneth Branagh publicly expressed interest in following up his massive Thor with something smaller, quieter, and more personal. At one point, he was circling a WWII romance The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. But now Variety says instead, Branagh’s moving forward with Italian Shoes, an adaptation of a novel by Swedish author Henning Mankell.

The trade says the project is being backed by Sweden’s Yellow Bird, which financially supported the adaptations of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy. Shoes isn’t that type of thriller. Instead, it tells the story of a dying woman who requests that her old flame fulfill a promise and bring her back to a special pool where he spent a special day with his father back when he was a boy. On an emotional level, it sounds much closer to Potato Peel Pie than Thor, so you can see why, at this point, Branagh is attracted to the material. And the actor-director has some history with both Yellow Bird and Mankell, having acted in an American adaptation of their Wallander, a crime series that ran on the BBC.

Either way, Branagh’s delivering on the promise of going in the opposite direction of Thor (the sequel recently went to Monster director Patty Jenkins). He regularly shows diversity and range when choosing directorial efforts. And for those who are interested in seeing Branagh in front of the camera, his turn in Simon Curtis’s My Week With Marilyn opposite Michelle Williams, where he plays a disgruntled Sir Laurence Olivier alongside her flighty Marilyn Monroe, will be reaching theaters at the end of November.

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.