News Archive: July 2010 - December 2010

Hi Ken-keeners, as usual I am waaaay behind (me, too, had birthday, earlier than Ken, but it keeps going on in terms of celebrations [that's what happens when you are 39, hahahaha] and so I am waaay behind in all the things I should do) - anyway, only one quick thing, but an important one: the official Thor trailer is out. Enjoy!!

I promise to be back soon!
(13 December, thanks Meg, Isabel)

Today's update: HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY KENNETH! (That's five decades of wonderfulness - and 30 years of brilliant work - thank you!)

More soon! Got to go and pop the cork of the champagne bottle!
(10 December - thanks Ken and the Ken-Friends!)

Greetings 2Bers! New news:


What: presents Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, narrated by 4-time Academy Award nominee Kenneth Branagh. Conrad’s classic is a work that cries out not just to be read, but performed. In what may be the year’s most powerful audiobook performance, Branagh reads Heart of Darkness with the tone of a campfire ghost story, steeped in dark atmosphere. His narration captures the book’s sense of claustrophobia and the storyteller’s own creeping madness.

Heart of Darkness, the inspiration for Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, follows a ferryboat captain into the colonial Congo, where he searches for a mysterious ivory trader and discovers an evil that will haunt him forever. With this landmark work, Conrad brought the novel into the twentieth century; Branagh’s performance brings it into the twenty-first.

Listen to the first chapter free and get the complete book now at

When: Now
Where: Online at and in the iTunes Store
Who: serves customers who want to purchase and download digital audiobooks to a computer or mobile device. The exclusive audiobook provider for iTunes, features the largest selection of digital audiobooks, with over 85,000 available titles. also produces content that wouldn’t otherwise be available in audio. is a subsidiary of, Inc.

Oh goody, goody! For a certain generation (cough, cough) who studied 'Heart of Darkness' in an upper year of high school this is gleeful hand-rubbing news. The sample is too short... :-)

Catch-up of bits and bobs:

From an older, longer article on Henning Mankell, this snippet:

During the summer of 2007, British actor Kenneth Branagh came to Farö to meet Bergman. In the event, the director was too unwell to see him. However, shortly afterwards, Branagh began playing Wallander in the English-language TV adaptations of Mankell's crime novels. Mankell is very enthusiastic about Branagh's portrayal. "I like him, I like his approach and I am very, very fond of what he has been doing... it's sort of ancient Greek drama."
And from a longer interview with Anthony Hopkins:
How exciting was putting on the costume on Thor?

AH: It was exciting, but it was hard. It was carrying 15-pounds of ammo. But Kenneth Branagh is a great director. These young actors are top hitters. They work just wonderful. And Branagh, I call him the general. He’s so self-assured and he knows exactly what he wants. I’ve never worked with him before and I wouldn’t say I know him well, but it was such a pleasant revelation working with him. I don’t know what it is about him. He’s very self-assured. Great actor, brings all his experience to the set and I think he’s terrific.

And from a longer interview with Idris Elba:
You took the role of Heimdall in Thor because you wanted to work with director Kenneth Branagh. Is there a moment that epitomizes that experience for you?

Every day. This is a man that’s an amazing actor. Just hearing him giving his take on how to mold me as an actor. This is a man that called me up personally and said, “I know this isn’t a big role, but I would really love to see you play it.” It’s Kenneth Branagh. I was like, “Definitely.”

I loved how you responded to fans questioning whether you should be cast as Heimdall (known as the “White God”): “Thor’s mythical, right? Thor has a hammer that flies to him when he clicks his fingers. That’s OK, but the color of my skin is wrong?” Was that something you and Kenneth Branagh ever discussed?

Never a topic of conversation. I addressed that because there was a mini, mini uproar about the casting of Heimdall. I just had to comment on it because I found it so ridiculous.

That's it for today. There are other things, and photos - I'm working on how to get more hours into the day (good luck with that!), so I'll be back.
(24 November, thanks Jude, Jonelle)

Hi Kenians! I'm trying to tweak things on the site here and there and, if I can manage it, everywhere... it's frightening how much there is to do. But for now, here are a few new things.

First of all, the news from January to June 2010 has gone to the News Archive.

New articles on the site:
Wallander reviews, one and two. As well, there are some new Wallander photos here.

A few articles relating to Thor, here, here and here.

An article mentioning My Week With Marilyn is here.

Social activism department: article here.

A few photo galleries have been updated: On Screen IX and On Screen X; At Premieres and Other Events IV

There is lots more to come!
(14 November, thanks Jude)

Cheers 2Bers! Only a bunch of articles today (still trying to catch up)... two related to the second series of Wallander on television in North America: one and two.

And a few relating to Thor: Kenneth Branagh Says 'Thor' Tone Was 'A Key Issue,' Movie Will Bring 'New Twist' To Classic Stories; Kenneth Branagh: ‘Thor’ Required a "Different Kind of Dance" Than ‘Iron Man’; New Thor Image Released; and Kenneth Branagh Thrilled With Thor.

More coming soon!
(17 October)

Hi Branaghians! Back after far more than a couple of weeks - 'twas ever thus...  Venice Film Festival recommendation: Noi Credevamo, full-length (204 minutes) if you can find it. And you have to be at least over 30 as it's not semaphored, lots of words and political content, not something to waste one's youth on, though of course it would probably improve the world if one did, hahahaha!

So, there was good news while I was away: Kenneth will be playing Laurence Olivier in My Week With Marilyn. You can already imagine all the facile commentary (it will be the 1980s all over again), but I am also sure it will be excellent and anything that puts KB on a screen of any size is fine by me. Most of the press has focused on Emma Watson getting a role in this, but there is a more general article here. It's going to be Old Home Week as Judi Dench and Derek Jacobi are in the cast and David Parfitt is producing.

I've added another review of the Hamlet Blu-ray edition here.

If you came in through the splash page you'll have noticed a new photo of KB with his Thor stars. Empire magazine has published some new photos from the film. I have to get my act together and link to the others, but you can see the one with Kenneth here.

There is more but I'll put this up as is (sign of life and all), and try to come back soon!
(7 October, thanks Jude, Emily)

Super-quick before I take off on holiday, a few things added to the Thor page: articles about the Movie Con presentation, one and two. You can watch the panel courtesy of Empire. And an interview with Jaimie Alexander.

And there is a nice article timed with the release of Hamlet in Blu-Ray DVD.

That's it for the moment - head is not entirely screwed on just now as I'm a lucky ducky going to Venice in a few hours (during the film festival! albeit in a year when Himself is not there promoting something :-(  ).

More in a couple of weeks.
(3 September, thanks Jude, Pierpaolo)

Ken-fans - as promised, photos from the PBS Wallander promotion, 4 August. There are bits and bobs of news, but that will be next time!

(17 August, thanks Carole)

Hi Kenians... more stuff from Comic-Con...

Literature (cough): a short article on how Branagh Become The 'Thor' Director; an interview about Thor, and a "fanboy" (he said it, not me) analysis of the Thor trailer shown at Comic-Con.

You can now see all of the panel discussion on Thor, Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; Part 4. There is also a Comic Con Interview: Kenneth Branagh and Kevin Feige talk Thor, a short interview with Kenneth Branagh and a short video of Kenneth Branagh signing autographs at Comic-Con.

There are also a bunch of photos, but I'll have to put them up next time (the salt mine has been taking its toll, though I hope I still seem a wee bit perkier than KB did at the convention, heh heh).

To finish, a couple of articles relating to the PBS 'Wallander' promo: a great interview, and a variation of the same. There are also some photos from this event - coming soon!

(11 August, thanks )

Greetings! So this weekend was/is Comic-Con, a huge convention of people who are really interested in comics (politically correct description). A lot of things have come out of this event...

For starters you can see a bunch of photos here. You can see the video of this panel here. There is also a video of the "signing" event.

Then you can see a nice interview with KB here (with a girl who is very pleased that she learned that Branagh is pronounced branner, rather than brawnaw, tee hee). There is another interview here.

In theory you can see Kenneth being interviewed by here, but except for catching part of the interview with Tom Hiddleston (nice!) it just wants to buffer rather than play at my house (though creepily - it knows where I live! - it offered up an advert video in French before buffering) (you can try and see if it knows where you live, hahahaha).

In older Thor news, there was a nice article in the Los Angeles Times. It came with a photoshoot-type photo. Then there was an article about Kenneth and Chris Hemsworth "bracing" for Comic-Con, read it here. I have to say that I think KB looks a bit tired, like he spent 48 hours straight editing the trailer which was finally shown. But what do I know...

But à propos of that trailer, Elizabeth Snead, at Zap2It, 25 July 2010 posted this:

The geeks went wild at Comic-Con on Saturday (July 24) when the footage from Kenneth Branagh's "Thor" was shown. The "Thor" footage was shown as part of the Marvel weekend triple header: "Captain America: The First Avenger," "Thor" and "The Avengers." By all reports, Marvel owned the 2010 Comic-Con.
With "Captain America," fans saw a glance at Chris Evans and a flying shield and Hugo Weaving before his transformation into Red Skull.
Marvel's Kevin Feige then introduced "Thor." Directed by Brit Branagh, the reaction to the dramatic trailer about the God of Thunder was so great it was shown twice due to the insanely loud ovation. It was replayed at the end of the panel. Can you blame the fan boys who were already drooling over the posters? They got to see Thor get it on with Natalie Portman, for the gods' sake!
There is a link to the trailer (theoretically on Youtube) but it is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Marvel. :-)

Meanwhile, Rama, at Rama's Screen, posted this, 25 July 2010:

The Comic-Con ’10 Panel for THOR was a success. Director Kenneth Branagh brought all the key cast, Chris Hemsworth as the norse god of thunder, THOR, the lovely Natalie Portman as Jane Foster, Kat Dennings as Darcy, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, and Clark Gregg as SHIELD agent Phil. But other than the stunning and ever beautiful Natalie, the highlight of the event was the teaser trailer…

I didn’t grow up a fan of THOR so I’m still learning as I go but I bet once the teaser trailer that was shown at Comic-Con ’10 hit the web, it would ballistic over the web, in an instant because the trailer was well-cut and it showed some of the most mindblowing scenes from the movie. It opened up with THOR interrogated by Agent Phil and we saw flashes and shots of him fighting a group of people, fighting with a strength that Agent Phil had never heard of, which is why he asked THOR, tied to a chair who he was cause he certainly wasn’t part of any armed services of gov. black ops, or any special forces that Phil knew. THOR looked up and immediately we were taken to Asgard, a scene at Odin’s majestic throne, a court is in session and Odin decided to curse and banish THOR. The key characters were there, Sif, Fandrall, Loki.. and THOR woke up on earth, discovered by Jane Foster. Her assistant, Darcy saw THOR without his shirt on, THOR told Jane that what humans called magic, what she called science, both things were one and the same where he came from.
Back to Asgard.. Odin is in his final bed, Frigga said a few lines suggesting the throne now belongs to Loki. Of course, things won’t be going good from then on under his authority, but THOR said for the first time in his life he wasn’t sure what he was supposed to do. THOR with all his freakishly huge biceps, tried to pull the mighty hammer from its place but he wasn’t worthy enough and he yelled out in anger and frustration.
But the last part of the trailer was explosive.. literally.. DESTROYER landed on earth and attacked Agent Phil’s men.
Overall, it was a very enticing trailer, definitely one that’d make you stand up and root and cheer for it

I am sure there is a lot more but that's it for this time. In other news - yup, there is some - you can read about a possible new role for Kenneth, if anyone can drag him from the clutches of Marvel.

Next time, the covers from the new tie-in Wallander books, and more...
(25 July, thanks Ina, Eva, Jude, Carole, Pierpaolo)