Thor 2 will definitely get made–but WITHOUT Kenneth Branagh

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Jan 25, 2016, 2:13 PM EST (Updated)

Thor 2 is officially a go and has been set for release on July 26th, 2013. Now all the movie needs is a director.

According to Deadline, Thor director Kenneth Branagh will not return behind the camera for the sequel. No reason was given for him not coming back to direct, although the parting with Marvel Studios was said to be "mutual and amicable." He'll probably still get a producing credit on the new movie, which is the usual consolation prize when a director is not asked to shoot the next film in a successful franchise.

Chris Hemsworth—who's currently working on the set of The Avengers—is locked to come back for a third time as the God of Thunder, although it is not known whether any of the other cast members from the first film will be back. The biggest question is whether Natalie Portman will reprise her role as Jane Foster, now that she's won an Oscar and is enjoying motherhood and all that.

The other question is which villain Thor will face. With Loki the main antagonist in The Avengers, it seems unlikely that Marvel would bring the God of Mischief back for a third straight face-off with his adopted brother.

Meanwhile, the jockeying for the director's chair starts now. With $437 million worldwide already in the bank for Thor, a lot of filmmakers will want to bring Thor 2 to the screen and get a piece of that action.

The movie will come out just two and a half months after Iron Man 3 hits screens on May 3rd, 2010, so it looks like Marvel will keep doubling down two summers from now, just like it's doing this year with Thor and Captain America.

Who do you think should direct Thor 2? Are you disappointed that Kenneth Branagh is not coming back?