Thor: The Dark World's Director Recalls How Much The Marvel Movie Changed From His Original Vision

Chris Hemsworth as Thor in Thor: The Dark World

Every Marvel Cinematic Universe fan has their own rankings of the various films – as there is a good bit of diversity in genre and storytelling, appealing to different tastes – but rarely will you find Thor: The Dark World put in an individual's Top 10. Save for its portal-heavy third act set piece, it's a blockbuster that is missing the fun featured in both the first and third films of the Thor series, and features what is arguably the lamest villain in the canon. It's not a movie that most look back on with a lot of positivity in the context of the larger franchise, and evidently director Alan Taylor doesn't have much love for the final product either, who apparently wanted the movie to be infused with a much greater sense of "childlike wonder."

Taylor recently sat down for an interview with The Hollywood Reporter to talk about his latest movie, the Sopranos prequel The Many Saints Of Newark, but during the conversation the topic drifted to the filmmaker's first blockbuster. He was brought on to Thor: The Dark World in the wake of Patty Jenkins stepping away from the project, and the thought was that he could apply his experience from his work on Game Of Thrones in the making of the Marvel feature. Unfortunately, according to Taylor, he lost the reins of the cut during post-production. He said,

The version I had started off with had more childlike wonder; there was this imagery of children, which started the whole thing. There was a slightly more magical quality. There was weird stuff going on back on Earth because of the convergence that allowed for some of these magical realism things. And there were major plot differences that were inverted in the cutting room and with additional photography — people [such as Loki] who had died were not dead, people who had broken up were back together again. I think I would like my version.

Reflecting back on Thor: The Dark World, the first and third act of the movie are both very Earth-heavy, but the story moves away from our planet once Chris Hemsworth's titular God of Thunder reunites with Natalie Portman's Jane Foster. The movie does feature some of the "physics going wonky" material, such as when the group of kids find a truck floating weightless in the air, but there isn't much of that in the film.

Having had the experience that he did working with Marvel Studios, Alan Taylor now says that he has developed an extra kind of respect for filmmakers like James Gunn and Taika Waititi, who have notably been able to make Marvel Cinematic Universe chapters that still sport their respective unique voices. Added Taylor

I really admire the skill set of somebody who can go in with a very personal vision — like Taika Waititi or James Gunn — and manage to combine it with the big corporate demands. I think my skill set may be different.

It seems fair to assume that there was a lot of material from the production of Thor: The Dark World that has never seen the light of day – and you probably shouldn't expect that to change any time soon. While Marvel does release select deleted scenes on home video releases, they also keep a lot of material vaulted, and have certainly never given the green light for any project to get a "Director's Cut."

If it's been a minute since you've last seen Thor: The Dark World and ponder whether it is worth reexamination, the movie is available on Blu-ray and DVD in addition to being available for digital download, and it is also presently streaming on Disney+. As for Alan Taylor, you'll be able to see his latest work when The Many Saints Of Newark arrives in theaters and on HBO Max on October 1.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.