Robert Rodat, eh?

He is, of course, best known for his screenplay for "Saving Private Ryan," which was fairly heavily doctored by several other heavy hitters brought on once Spielberg was officially making the film.  That's the way it works, though.  No matter who did what, if you're the guy with the name on the movie, you're the one who gets the bounce.

The thing is, Rodat's a good writer, and that's true of his other work as well.  I quite like "Tall Tale," a fantasy picture that deals with some of the legendary characters of the American west, and I greatly admire "Fly Away Home," a strong family film starring Jeff Daniels and Anna Paquin.  Rodat's done strong drafts of a number of films over the years, and he's a guy who works very well with directors, especially when they're about to start production on something and the clock is ticking.  That is one of the most important skills in modern screenwriting, and one he's going to put to use if he's going to get them ready for Alan Taylor to start production later this year on the sequel to "Thor."

Don Payne wrote the first few drafts of the film, and then left the film about the same time that Marvel hired then un-hired Patty Jenkins, who was originally brought on to direct the film.  Marvel's at an interesting point with these movies, because up till now, everything's been all about that big push to get to "The Avengers."  In some ways, you could argue that "The Avengers" is the sequel to "Thor," since Loki is one of the bad guys in the film and Thor is a major player in the movie.  Now that they've actually made it to "The Avengers," it frees Marvel up to start using the sequels to tell different styles of stories, and to not focus so completely on a multi-movie master plan.

I'm curious to see what their sequels look like once they're out from under that, and "Thor 2," along with "Iron Man 3," are going to be strong indicators of where the company is headed.  It's an exciting time to be a Marvel fan, and I'm rooting for them to start taking some very cool and unusual chances.

"Thor 2" is set for release November 15, 2013.