Thor 2 Slated For Summer 2013

According to Deadline, Chris Hemsworth will return to play the god of thunder in Thor 2, set for a July 26, 2013 release. Marvel Studios and Disney have committed fully to making the sequel to this summer’s popular comic book adaptation Thor. Kenneth Branagh directed Thor, but Deadline reports that he won’t be coming back for Thor 2, though he’ll probably be involved in some producing capacity.

After Thor hammered to success this summer, earning over $437 million worldwide, it’s no surprise that the studios behind it are already planning the sequel. Hemsworth is onboard to reprise his role, and by all accounts he nailed the role of Thor in the first installment. No word yet if Natalie Portman will return, or what new characters might join the project.

Branagh’s departure from the sequel is surprising, given its reception, though Deadline reports it was “mutual and amicable.” That leaves an extremely high-profile director’s seat up for grabs, and no doubt the vetting process has already begun.

The summer of 2013 is shaping up to be a big one for comic book hero pics, as Disney has already slated the Robert Downey Jr.-starrer Iron Man 3 to open May 3 of that year. Marvel is also currently busy with the production of Joss Whedon-helmed The Avengers, set for a May 4, 2012 release.