Numerous internationally respected filmmakers or auteurs have gone this route — I’m thinking Chris Nolan, Bryan Singer, JJ Abrams. Sam Mendes is directing a James Bond film. Why this migration now?
Well, we know that our world is changing profoundly — that the technological and media revolution of the last 15 years means that viewing habits change. The way people view movies changes. And that big-screen experience… I think the subject matter and the kind of technology that can deliver it in an exciting way are all provided by these kinds of pictures. For me, there are levels of interest both visual and intellectual — and purely visceral — in something like Thor that also allow me, on a scale such as this, to experiment and try and innovate a bit with technical developments, whether it’s the way we use 3-D or whether it’s the world of visual effects. What it offers is the chance for the larger-than-life cinematic experience to an audience that tends to concentrate on visiting the movies in that way. As we know, it’s much tougher for the character pieces and the chamber pieces to exist out there in the mainstream movie world.
Yet it seems to me audiences are ever more sophisticated, ever more intelligent in terms of what they expect from what they view. They expect, in they case of Thor a big, summer, entertaining movie, but they expect it to be layered. They want it to be layered. They want great amounts of creative ambition, and the blistering example of this is Chris Nolan’s Dark Knight. It is, I think, a deep and magnificent work, but also a great big entertaining blockbuster. So that’s at least one conspicuous example of what that kind of tremendous filmmaker can bring to the changed expectations of modern cinema audiences.