Shakespearean actor Kenneth Branagh has stepped down as director of upcoming West End play HAMLET to take on the big-screen adaptation of Marvel comic Thor.
The English star, who helmed and starred in the 1996 version of Shakespeare's Hamlet, was due to direct Jude Law in a Donmar Warehouse production of the tragedy at London's Wyndham's Theatre.
But he's had to withdraw from the project after reaching the final stages of negotiations with Marvel bosses over the Thor movie, due for release in 2010.
Branagh will be replaced by Michael Grandage, the artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse, which is currently in the middle of its year-long residency at the Wyndham's Theatre.
Grandage says, "We have arrived at this arrangement very amicably."
And Law is also in support of the production change.
He adds, "I feel privileged to be part of the Donmar West End season and to be directed by the company's artistic director Michael Grandage.
"It was Ken who brought me to this project. With his support and guidance, as one of the greatest Hamlets of all time, and with Michael directing, I can't imagine a better scenario for me, as an actor, to undertake the role."
Hamlet is due to begin previews at the end of May (09).