R.I.P. Don Payne, writer of both Thor movies, The Simpsons and more

Turning Marvel's Thor into a blockbuster hero was never a safe bet. The mix of Norse mythology, the Marvel universe's weirdness and a guy who talked like he was part of a Renaissance festival could easily have turned people off. And yet writer Don Payne managed to capture Thor's essence awhile helping him win over mass audiences, a feat impressive enough that Marvel hired him to pen the sequel, The Dark World. We are sad to report that Payne passed away yesterday.

While his family has not revealed the cause of his death, Payne's work will live on — not only in Thor, but The Simpsons, which he penned several episodes for, as well as Fantastic Four 2: Rise of the Silver Surfer, and more. And besides Thor 2, his screenplay adaptation of James Patterson's best-selling Maximum Overdrive series is yet to come.

By all accounts Payne was a generous man of whom his Hollywood colleagues universally spoke highly. Out condolences to his friends and family.