- Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård, Idris Elba, Christopher Eccleston, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kat Dennings, Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi, Tadanobu Asano, Jaimie Alexander, Rene Russo, Anthony Hopkins, Chris O'Dowd, Stan Lee, Andrew Crayford, Clive Russell, Julian Seager, Richard Brake, Jonathan Howard, Richard Whiten , James Michael Rankin, Justin G. Gibson
- Director: Alan Taylor
- Writers: Christopher Yost, Christopher Markus , Stephen McFeely, Don Payne
- Producer: Kevin Feige
- Executive Producers: Victoria Alonso, Louis D'Esposito, Alan Fine, Nigel Gostelow, Craig Kyle, Stan Lee
- Art Direction: Ray Chan
- Casting: Sarah Finn
- Costume Design: Wendy Partridge
- D.O.P.: Kramer Morgenthau
- Editors: Conrad Buff IV, Malcolm Jamieson
- Makeup: David White
- Music: Brian Tyler
- Production Design: Charles Wood
- Set Decorations: Guðni Líndal Benediktsson, John Bush
Marvel's "Thor: The Dark World" continues the big-screen adventures of Thor, the Mighty Avenger, as he battles to save Earth and all the Nine Realms from a shadowy enemy that predates the universe itself. In the aftermath of Marvel's "Thor" and "Marvel's The Avengers," Thor fights to restore order across the cosmos...but an ancient race led by the vengeful Malekith returns to plunge the universe back into darkness. Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all.
- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
- Filming Locations: London, UK; Reykjavík, Iceland; Surrey, UK
- Production Budget: $200 million
- Production Companies: Marvel Studios, Marvel Entertainment
- Production Schedule: 10 September 2012 - 14 December 2012
2013 Guide Analysis: "Joe Johnston's "Captain America: The First Avenger" may have gotten more critical love in 2011, but I found myself warming to Kenneth Branagh's "Thor" far more. Of all the Marvel characters to make the jump to film, this was the one that they had to get right or the whole elaborate "Avengers" plan would have fallen flat on its face. It was hardly seamless, but Branagh delivered a real surprise - a trippy and utterly enjoyable Shakespearian space opera that managed to stay just the right side of camp. Throw in many superb casting choices and stunning design ideas, and we scored a tale with far more fun and re-watch value than the polished but bland first adventure of the overly earnest Steve Rogers.
Now with Marvel into its second phase, "Thor" returns at the end of the year and explores the most intriguing question brought up by the first film - if Asgard, Earth and the Frost Giant's home planet of Jotunheim are three of the Nine Realms, what lives on the other six? We have an answer, one of them contains an ancient enemy, a primeval race of Dark Elves led by Malekith the Accursed (Christopher Eccleston). That race is out for revenge and intends to plunge the universe into darkness. Confronted by an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot overcome, Thor reunites with Jane Foster and sets out on a dangerous journey that will force him to make the ultimate sacrifice.
After the first film opened, scripting began right away on the second film in order to meet what was originally a Summer 2013 release date. The amicable departure of Branagh as director led to a game of musical chairs in regards to who would take the helm. The result ended up being frequent "Game of Thrones" director Alan Taylor, a great choice that is fitting for the sequel's slight change of tone. The science-fiction elements of both the first film and "The Avengers" are being scaled back in favor of something more akin to the grounded fantasy of HBO's 'Thrones', albeit without the intrigue and incest. Photos and video from the London and Iceland sets showcase a lot more practical and less visible green screen this time out, fully embracing the idea of taking this story in a darker and more epic direction.
Hiddleston's Loki character is more on the sidelines this time, his scenes are said to involve some major interaction with his mother (Rene Russo). Russo's role is thankfully expanded this time out after it was chopped down to a mere cameo in the first. Idris Elba's Heimdall and Jaimie Alexander's Sif also get more screen time. Natalie Portman, Stellan Skarsgård and Kat Dennings return, though it sounds like there will be less Earthbound scenes in this chapter. The Thor-Jane relationship, however, will pick up from where it left off in the first one. In fact, the events of the first film are vital here, the destruction of the Bifrost for example precipitates the rise of this Dark Elven army.
Looking like medieval Cybermen, it is not yet certain what the final look of the Dark Elves will be. Only a few have been photographed out of their creepy looking armor and each has varied considerably. They seem to be akin to the Orcs from "The Lord of the Rings," but with mo-cap reference dots which indicates CG enhancement will come into play in the final look. Aside from "The Hunger Games" sequel, the "Thor" sequel pretty much has November to itself and is opening in the weekend in which "Skyfall" launched this past year to over a billion in worldwide box-office. If Marvel gets even half that, I'm sure they will be very happy with the result."