"Thor" hasn't hit theaters yet, but star Chris Hemsworth and director Kenneth Branagh hit the El Capitan Theatre with gusto Monday night for the Hollywood premiere of the big-budget studio tentpole film that many are predicting will spawn a new franchise.
Paramount, the studio releasing the movie based on a Marvel comic book, pulled out all the stops, shutting down a portion of Hollywood Boulevard to accomodate the glut of stars -- among them Kat Dennings, who plays the goofy sidekick to Natalie Portman's character in the film -- who walked the "Thor" red carpet. A faux-gold throne was erected in front of the theater.
Most of the "Thor" cast members said they were so swept up in the evening's festivities that they hadn't even paid mind to the possibility of a sequel.
"The moment you start thinking, 'What should I do with "Thor 2" or "[Thor] 3"?' I think it's over," Branagh said.
"Sometimes people talk about saving stuff for movies. I wouldn't do that. Put it all in the first one," he joked.
"And then I think it's during that time that I guess one would figure out whether Marvel is prepared to write the check and whether we're ready to write the stories."
Hemsworth, who stars as the Norse god in the movie, said that when he signed on to "Thor" he wasn't bothered by the possibility of being locked into a popular franchise for a number of years.
"For me, I was happy to get a job. I fell in amongst Anthony Hopkins and Kenneth Branagh and Natalie Portman and a film like this, it was a dream," he said. "It wasn't much hesitation. It was, 'Sign me up.' "
Dennings echoed that sentiment. "The thing is, it’s kind of the dream project, so if I'm needed in any sequels, I’d be more than happy to sign my life away."
-- Amy Kaufman
Photos, from top: Chris Hemsworth signs autographs at the premiere of "Thor" at the El Capitan Theatre; Rapper M.C. Hammer arrives at the premiere. Credits: Mario Anzuoni / Reuters; Gabriel Buoys / AFP/Getty Images