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Kenneth Branagh Slipped A Thor Easter Egg Into Belfast

Kenneth Branagh is a man of many talents, both in real life and on the screen. His latest foray into the world of black and white filmmaking sees the Northern Irish writer and director chronicling parts of his very own life in the upcoming dramedy "Belfast" — which happens to have some "Thor" fan service slipped in, courtesy of Branagh. 

"Belfast" has been getting hailed by critics as an Oscar frontrunner (per Variety) after debuting at the 48th Telluride Film Festival in September 2021. It's described as a semi-autobiographical, coming-of-age story about a young boy named Buddy (Jude Hill) who is growing up during The Troubles conflict in Belfast, Northern Ireland in the late 1960s. Branagh is both the writer and director. 

His connection to Marvel stems from one of his biggest productions over the years — the very first "Thor" movie. Eagle-eyed viewers of "Belfast," which is due out November 12, can find the Thor Easter egg during a certain scene with Buddy, which foreshadows Branagh's involvement and affinity for the comic book character.

Belfast's Buddy reads Thor comics

There's a moment in "Belfast" where main star Jude Hill is shown very briefly reading a Thor comic book, which director Kenneth Branagh says was specifically put in as a nod to his childhood fascination with the Asgardian superhero. "Those original Jack Kirby illustrations for Thor were eye-popping," he told Variety of the influence comic books had on him as a kid, which led to him including one in the movie as an Easter egg.

In fact, he almost took the scene even further. "I did think about shooting young Jude, sitting on the pavement reading it while the comic book color leaps out, but we decided it was too much."

Branagh has previously said in interviews that "Thor" (2011) was "pivotal moment" for him in his career (via Den of Geek). The filmmaker and longtime actor will be going head-to-head with the studio when "Belfast" releases in early November along with "Eternals," but his studio isn't worried. "People respond to this film on a human level, and I think the movie is going to become a conversation point," said Peter Kujawski, chairman of Focus Features, the company behind "Belfast" and other arthouse hits like "Lost In Translation," "The Motorcycle Diaries," and "BlacKkKlansman." 

"I've seen it with audiences, and it works," Kujawski told Variety. "If people see it and talk about it, it will play for a long time." Branagh said he was able to write "Belfast" during the downtime he had throughout the COVID pandemic. "It's a very entertaining movie with a lot of people's work wrapped up in it," he explained. "A lot of Agatha Christie fans want to see it. A lot of Hercule Poirot fans want to see it. I'm hoping it gets its day in the sun."