‘Thor: The Dark World’ Cast Talk New Story, Darker Villains, More Action & Better Humor

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Thor 2 Dark World Interviews Chris Hemsworth Tom Hiddleston Natalie Portman Thor: The Dark World Cast Talk New Story, Darker Villains, More Action & Better Humor

Marvel Studios is trying its hand at a fall season hit with Thor: The Dark World, the sequel to its most fantastical character and franchise property (that is, until Guardians of the Galaxy arrives on the scene). The sequel is no small order, as the first Thor was not without its fair share of criticisms, despite the Thunder god being the studio’s second highest-grossing character in Phase I.

While at the Thor 2 London junket, we sat down with the cast to talk about the main points fans want to know going into this particular Marvel Phase 2 movie:

  • What’s the new story about? 
  • Who are these “Dark Elf” villains?
  • Is the action better than the first film?
  • Is the humor better than the first film?

Check out what stars Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Christopher Eccleston (New villain, Malekith), Natalie Portman (Jane Foster) and Kat Dennings (Darcy) had to say to us about all of the above.


As we’ve told you in our previews of the film, The Dark World  finds Thor and his Asgardian brethren in the midst of skirmishes all over the nine realms (see video above), as evil seems to be rearing its head in the cosmos like never before. These new threats bring the Dark Elves – old enemies of Asgard – back from dormancy, looking for payback via a mysterious power source known only as “The Aether” – a weapon that has serious implications for future Marvel Movies.

Former Doctor Who and Heroes star Christopher Eccleston is (obviously) no stranger to fanboy films, making him a great choice to play Malekith, leader of the Dark Elves. Eccleston described he and director Alan Taylor’s (Game of Thrones) wishes in creating engaging and interesting villains for the sequel:

Christopher Eccleston: What was important to the director was that these dark elves came with a sense of history that they regarded themselves as the supreme beings of the nine realms so we wanted them to be aristocratic and regal and complex. There is a history with Odin’s father, Thor’s grandfather; there was a battle and the dark elves were humiliated in that battle, and that was why the revenge burns so deeply within Malekith.

His people – whom he would regard as the supreme beings – were defeated, and he’s come back to right that wrong… He’s hell bent on revenge, he’s a monomaniac and that’s what’s terrifying about him. He will destroy everything in his path to get revenge. We all know that’s fruitless – revenge is fruitless – but that’s how he’s put together.

A simple (but effective) backstory for a villain, sure – but as we previously reported, Alan Taylor was working with a constantly evolving script, which meant our central hero, Thor, had a much more winding narrative path to try and follow. Actor Chris Hemsworth talked about finding the character line to guide him through all the scripting madness:

Chris Hemsworth: For me it was about what does he want out of this story? And I thought well what is he trying to achieve? That was the basis of the questions if there wasn’t one I said well we gotta fix that or find one and it became about him understanding the responsibility and burden of his position now and him potentially being king, also the sacrifices that come with that. He wanted to save Asgard save Jane, protect the universe he didn’t want to have to choose one or the other and that was a pretty solid thing that kept him driving through the film.

While Hemsworth may have had clear line of sight – after all, what is Thor but a hero? – actor Tom Hiddleston was used to being the bad boy of the Marvel Movie Universe. However, The Dark World offers Loki a sort of different opportunity:

Tom Hiddleston: The reason for coming back was to try to find something else to do cause I’ve played the antagonist in two films; I was the antagonist in Thor and in the Avengers. I really wanted to find something else, something new, something fresh. A new kind of dynamic specifically with Chris Hemsworth’s Thor, so we all came up with this idea of what it would be like if they were thrown together to fight a common enemy and that offered up different points of tension, comedy and drama, which I hope you could see in the film.

While the Asgardian sons of Odin have their new roles to play, actress Natalie Portman describes what Jane Foster – who has a much more pivotal role in the sequel – has been up to in the two-year span that separates Thor 1 from Thor 2:

Natalie Portman: I wanted to make sure that it seems like there was a lot of progression in her life since we last saw her, so that it didn’t end where the movie ended. In the years in between she’s continued with her science, she’s relocated to London, she’s been angry at Thor but trying to move on with her life, that’s kind of what’s been happening between these two films. Then once I go to Asgard it’s obviously important to have this sort of feeling of being in awe of what she sees, that’s she’s a fish out of water a little bit. Also that she’s going through the normal steps of traveling to Europe and your boyfriend’s hometown for the first time, so that it brings it down to earth a little bit.


NEXT: Better Action, Better Humor


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  1. In keeping with the current trend of under-utilizing villains, I think they nailed it.

    • What else did you want him to do?

    • Ill agree, another underutilized and poor villian. Marvel really needs to spend more time developing and appreciating the villians. Otherwise fun movie.

      • All characters don’t need development. It doesn’t hurt to have a character who is more complex, but I didn’t see Malekith as being weak at all. He served his purpose.

        • If your villian doesnt need development he needs to be written well and strike fear. Malekeith did none. Its not like ledgers joker which had no developmemt because tje character was ment to be mysterious and compelling. Malekeith eas a stock villian something marvel does far to often. We have seen the sestroy a world motive way to often, man of steels zod was also rather stock.

          • True.

            Even Kurse didn’t seem too threatening.

  2. Most of the humour in IM3 was out of place. The director failed to set the humour. Specially in scenes were you as the audience were supposed to feel the pain of Tony Stark.

    Best example when Pepper is presumed dead you see Tony looking at Killian and you do want to see stark kicking his ***. But then the director chose to have the IM armour arrive and fall apart. Everybody started to laugh. I wasn’t.

    Hope Thor’s humour is different and better used.

  3. I don’t want to post any spoilers but it’s my opinion he wasn’t as good as he could have been. In all honesty Its more to do with the majority of lackluster villains being portrayed and the ease in which they are dealt with. In addition to this these so called villains have great difficulty killing anyone of any importance? If they do succeed said character somehow makes it back to life? I’m sick of seeing Characters die and then survive, the studios need more balls. I have to go back to The Dark Knight when the Joker killed Rachel and even then he needed two shots at it.

    Thor 2 is a good film and I’m not saying otherwise but I just want more from the protagonists.

    • Yep.

      The Joker, Bane, they were examples of genuinely threatening villains that could scare you stupid just by their presence alone.

      Malekith and Kurse came across as stock villains, as did Whiplash, Justin Hammer, Red Skull, Laufey, General Zod and Scarecrow.

      Two-Face was too shouty to be taken seriously and Ra’s al Ghul wasn’t presented as much of a threat.

      The only villain across both Marvel Studios and Warner Bros (of the big movies, ie TDK trilogy, MOS, Avengers-verse) that has been played as the kind of charming, charismatic villain you expect of a typical psychopath is Loki but that’s only because the Shakespearean personality you expect of him was written beautifully and acted sublimely by a noted Shakespearean actor with years of theatre experience.

      That’s what I hope to see if Michael Fassbender is cast as The Riddler and what I hope from Spader as Ultron (which we’re gonna get because honestly, even if Whedon somehow screws the pooch with Ultron’s dialog, Spader’s charm can easily pull it off successfully).

      • Michael Fassbender as the Riddler would be awesome, I remember reading Nolan wanted to do a take on the character but ultimately felt if he was dark and maniacal it would be too close to the Joker.

        I think Spader will probably make Avengers 2 the best Marvel movie for me, as soon as I heard he was cast I could imagine his voice, just amazing casting.

      • Spader is masterful on The Blacklist, I have always liked James Spader but I think he does a great job on that show, I cant wait to see him as Ultron.

        BUT I must say I was looking forward to Del Toro as the collector as well and they most certainly (as Dazz might say) Screwed the Pooch on that one.
        I will see the movie on Thursday and make my final judgment then but Im not hoping for that to be very good anymore… :(

      • General Zod scared my little butt. Just because he was in Premium Rush(which sucked) he scares me. IMO Ultron I know will be top notch scary, if not they mind as well kiss Avengers 2 goo-bye. Loki was a great villian, who never stood out in the comics for me but man do I love him now. Bane i love in the comics but In the movie he just wasn’t there for me. I wish he was a well developed character with a better background story. The voice man,the voices in that trilogy…I say no more.

      • m glad dc is dc and dc is dc and and and i am and ia i am dc stop it dc bot will dc bot will destroy dc dc bot destroy

      • That gif was taken from an illegal video filmed in the cinema during the mid credits scene so yes, that’s what The Collector looks like.

        • OH NOOOOOO…

          del toro signed a multi-picture deal too right?
          because I really cannot see that cheesy looking, Mario bros. character colliding with the Avengers in any way! They could get that goofy agent from the shield TV show to beat this guy down! I just think he looks way too goofy to be in the same world as the characters we have right now. I just found another still from probably the same Vid. and YEP it still looks just as bad as this Gif.

          UGHH, I am completely defeated and disappointed at the look of the collector. Not what I was expecting AT ALL, Am I wrong? am I the only one that had a higher expectation of this movie? Is this J. Gunns goofy “Script” going to kill this movie for anyone that was expecting MORE than Slither in space? OOOOOOOOOOOOOOMG, well, Captain America just jumped over GOTG in terms of can’t wait to see movie of 2014.
          I can’t help but think Marvel wanted more than Goofy, B movie space flick for GOTG, but maybe I’m wrong and they wanted to see what they could make on the cheap! The Comic Con footage looked WAAAY better than this filmed with someones I-phone 20 rows back from the stage!!

          • wow. you really are doing some MAJOR projecting there. havent even seen the film and are already bashing it based on some silly gif. sad. i will wait until i see a film before i call time of death, as it were. good luck to you.

            • IN MY OPINION IT LOOKS LIKE SH*T and if the entire GOTG movie looks like that, it will be Marvels first BOMB. People do not want or expect B movie level anything, not when Marvel has all the tools it needs to make top notch movies with 150 to 200 million dollar budgets!
              and yes to me this GIF. (which was made by the same Director that made Guardians of the Galaxy) in my opinion it looks like some silly B movie, The background, and most importantly the character of The Collector, can you honestly tell me that he looks like he belongs in anything other than a direct to DVD Super Mario Bros. sequel or like someone else said a damn CATS live action movie.

              I certainly hope as much as anyone that GOTG is a super blockbuster, and I hope we get more than 1 GOTG movie, BUT if it looks like this, I GUARANTEE, even with a great story very many people and fans of Marvel will be overly and completely disappointed!
              I just can’t think of any reason that a Dir. would want the very first scene of their first big budget movie and have it look anything other than spectacular and mind blowing in every possible way!
              just the look of the Collector is completely wrong and 1 of the most NON-threatening character and he will give non-GOTG fans NO REASON to think “I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE THAT MOVIE”.
              I would love to hear ANY explanation people may have as to why they think he should look that F-ing STUPID! He should look so damn sweet that people leave that theatre NOT talking about Thor 2 but talking about GOTG, That’s what I would have done if I were in that position.

              I will still give it a chance, but when trailers look this bad (and I pray they do not) you go ahead and blow your money directly out your poopshute, because at that time it will not be worth 2hrs of my time!

        • Thanks, Dazz

          • You’re welcome.

            I got a sense that he was a little goofy but maybe that hid a dark, devious personality that we’ll see more of in Guardians. Who knows.

            • I sure hope so, I hope it was meant to look kind of goofy.
              I have been looking forward to GOTG until I saw that Gif. Now im just hoping Marvel made the right choice in JG

              • Well, he made Super and on the surface, it looked and felt goofy but it was actually pretty dark.

                It’s a shame it got over-looked because Super is far superior to Kick-Ass in my opinion.

                • Alan Taylor said that the tone of mid credit scene is different to Thor 2 & Ive gotta agree.
                  Its feels darker so maybe he’s going to be more devious than goofy.

            • ******SPOILERS BELOW*******

              Dazz, I just saw Thor 2 tonight and the GOTG mid credit scene was much better than expected, the colors were no where near as bad as I thought, The Collector was not quite as goofy as he was in that Gif…. But he is still goofy! LOL

              It was just much better on the big screen than it is recorded on someones I-phone!
              The end credits scene was the one (to me ) that was a bit schwarma-esque and out of place…Not needed, but overall OK!

              Can anyone tell me what the hell happened to Odin? Did Loki Kill him? or did he just Die? or was he just in the pi$$er at the time? I was a bit confused at that scene! I liked it, I liked what they did with Loki’s character and he seemed like he really wanted to redeem himself I didn’t really get the feeling that he would kill Odin, but I could be wrong I guess!!

    • Yes, that is what he looks like: an extra on the set of CATS. I saw a screening last night.

    • *farts*

  4. Pumped.

  5. Well it’s definitely a bigger, better and ultimately superior sequel. More expansive and imaginative and of the first hour at least, it balanced the seriousness and humour quite nicely.

    I agree with the comments on the villain being underutilized. Also that The Dark Knight trilogy is a great example of creating a dominant nemesis who carries a real threat.

    Marvel do need to realise that 15 – 20 minutes longer running time, doesn’t have to make the film less jovial than what they like. It just would have made Dark World even better balanced and elevated it from very good to great.

    • I prefer the first thor because the cocky thor was more interesting than the mature one. I wnjoy both films but to me kenneth branagh added a level of huminazation and heart that thor 2 was lacking.

      • I dunno, I felt Thor had matured enough by the events of this movie to be just as interesting in this one as somebody who knows his place is on the throne but who refuses to take it because he doesn’t feel worthy of it just yet.

        He’s more humble and brave rather than arrogant and foolhardy.

      • He’s still cocky in battle.

        • That’s Thor’s thing, he gets cocky in battle, then doesn’t realize it. It’s the draw back of having mjolnir. He won’t even realize if he attacks friend or foe when in the state of superiority.

        • Yeah, but I just think that is because he is Thor! I would be pretty cocky myself if I was Thor. :o)

  6. Every Marvel movie does not have to be a slapstick comedy. Iron Man 1 had a good mix of action and humor. I dont get why Loki is so compelling. I dont find him threatening at all. Wish they would make him more dark and have him actually use his magic to do some damage.