It used to be that, at the dawn of the era of "blockbuster" filmmaking, which started in the late 70's with Jaws
, Star Wars, CE4K
, etc and continued into the 80's, that the studios had been going through a transition. They didn't know what people wanted to see, they only figured that demographics were important. It was up to visionary filmmakers to sell an idea to the studio that could be reasonably funded. But it was the filmmakers that fought hard for the integrity of their visions despite working under heavy budget constraints. Now, everything is reversed. The studios are instead selling their ideas to filmmakers, and, as a result, even the well-known names that sign onto such "blockbuster-sized" projects are merely hired guns, doing merely an assignment for the studios, one that fits into the long-term plans that a studio has for a franchise or genre. One need look no further than the string of interconnected Marvel films that have been coming out, or how the new Star Wars films are being managed...
Think about it. Marvel hired Kenneth Brannagh to helm Thor
, because such a name would give the film a bit of added credibility that would go beyond its comic book credentials. That director knew Shakespeare, and he knew his away around that kind of large-themed material and over-wrought acting, so he was a fitting choice for Thor. And while he did his job to make sure something of his own unique stamp could be imprinted on the film (I'm guessing the over-tilted camera angles are all him) you can't escape the fact that Thor was part pa bigger plan that originated from the studio, not the film-maker.
I find this trend to be a bit perplexing to me. It has advantages, and reflects the changing times, but I'm think true originality is going to get lost in the shuffle over the next few years.