When Kenneth Branagh was announced to be directing the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Thor, it was a bit of an oxymoron, because it was a left-field choice that actually made a huge amount of sense.
The actor and filmmaker is famed for his Shakespearean background on either side of the camera and on the stage, with the God of Thunder’s solo debut relying heavily on those trappings to drive the relationship between Odin and his two children. Branagh had never directed anything close to a studio-backed blockbuster before, though, which is what made it such an obvious surprise.
Throughout his distinguished career the 60 year-old has racked up five nominations apiece at the Academy Awards and Golden Globes, while his trophy cabinet includes five BAFTAs, two Emmys, two Olivier Awards and more. However, his latest directorial effort Belfast could land him a unique Oscars record should it land a couple of nods in the major categories, as per ScreenRant.
Branagh’s Oscars history is already notable because his five nominations to date have all come in different categories, having been shortlisted for Best Director, Best Actor, Best Live-Action Short Film, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor in the past.
Belfast is an early awards season contender based on the reactions coming out of the festival circuit, so if he’s recognized as a Best Original Screenplay and Best Director contender at next year’s ceremony, he’ll become the first person to be individually nominated for seven separate Academy Awards. The current record belongs to A-lister George Clooney, who boasts a total of two wins from eight nominations split across six categories.