CONFIRMED: Thor 2 will be first Marvel movie directed by a woman

It's been speculated for weeks, and now it's official: Thor 2 will be the first Marvel movie directed by a woman.

Marvel Studios announced today that Patty Jenkins will take over for Thor director Kenneth Branagh as the filmmaker of record on Thor 2. Jenkins is best known for making the beautiful Charlize Theron into an ugly (and Oscar-winning) serial killer in Monster, as well as for directing the pilot of AMC's series The Killing, for which Jenkins landed an Emmy nomination.

Jenkins joins an elite Marvel boys' club that has so far included Jon Favreau (the first two Iron Man movies), Branagh, Joe Johnston (Captain America), Louis Leterrier (The Incredible Hulk), Joss Whedon (The Avengers) and Shane Black (the upcoming Iron Man 3). In fact, every superhero movie to date—including Marvel movies made by other studios and DC Comics films—has had a man behind the camera until now.

Thor 2 will also represent another first for the studio: It will be the first Marvel movie to open outside of the traditional summer blockbuster season. The studio has moved the picture's release date from July 26, 2013, to Nov. 15, 2013. Why? Marvel's press release does not give an official reason, but as The Playlist speculates, it could be to get out of an already crowded July schedule that includes potential sci-fi epics like Steven Spielberg's Robopocalypse, Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim and Joseph Kosinski's Horizons (formerly known as Oblivion).

Chris Hemsworth will return as the God of Thunder, of course, while Natalie Portman will be back as Jane Foster. And Loki (Tom Hiddleston) will make an encore appearance as well, although producer Kevin Feige hinted at new menaces to threaten the Nine Realms (the Enchantress, anyone?).

So there you have it: Marvel goes outside the box and makes a surprising, unconventional choice to direct one of its most anticipated sequels. Based on the studio's track record, do you think this is the right way to go?

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