Two comic book movie sequels arriving this year – Thor: The Dark World and Kick-Ass 2 – feature new blood, with different filmmakers assuming the helm. Expectations are high for director Alan Taylor’s Game of Thrones-inspired vision of the Nine Realms in the Thor sequel, which is our second most-anticipated release of 2013; meanwhile, everyone’s waiting to see how well writer-director Jeff Wadlow mixes deranged violence, humor and satire in the Kick-Ass followup.

Today, however, we shift our attention to the fan-favorite actors and artists who are making special ‘guest appearances’ in these sequels (and no, we’re not talking about the inevitable Stan Lee cameo in Thor: The Dark World). If you would rather save the surprises for until you’re sitting down and watching these movies in the theater, STOP READING NOW.

Thor: The Dark World

After helping The Avengers to protect Earth from his disillusioned half-brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), the Son of Odin (Chris Hemsworth) returns home to Asgard to face an even greater threat: Malekith the Accursed (Christopher Eccelston), the leader of an ancient race, whose quest for vengeance sets in motion a larger power struggle that threatens the entire cosmos.

Meanwhile, Thor has competition for the affections of human scientist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman)… in the shape of a guy who looks like Roy Trenneman from The IT Crowd (Chris O’Dowd).

O’Dowd spilled the beans about his Thor: The Dark World cameo during a recent interview with Indiewire, before Collider subsequently connected the dots to a Tweet the actor released last year (“So today I’m filming a date scene with Natalie Portman. #UpTheRossies”).

It should amount to a simple, but amusing, comedy moment, especially for anyone who recognizes the actor from his memorable socially-inept nerd characters on TV series like The IT Crowd and Girls; not to mention, funny supporting performances in the films Bridesmaids, Friends with Kids and This Is 40. O’Dowd says he’s only in one scene, though, so no need to worry about him overstaying his welcome.

Kick-Ass 2

The Kick-Ass sequel deals with an escalating street war between Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), Hit-Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) and vengeful Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), who now operates under the moniker of ‘The Motherf***er.”

However, Jim Carrey as Colonel Stars and Stripes is the scene-stealer in the Kick-Ass 2 red band trailer; in fact, I suspect he and the sequel’s other new additions – like John Leguizamo (The Lincoln Lawyer) and Donald Faison (Scrubs) – playing deluded pedestrians-turned costumed heroes, could prove to be the best elements of the film.

It turns out Kick-Ass comic book creators Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. will be among the capable (and hapless) ordinary people who fight for justice, as you can see from the photos below (click for full-sized version):

Here is what Romita Jr. told IFC, about his and Millar’s appearance:

“[Mark] and I were supposed to… have some close-ups of us in the [final] battle scenes. So even though we weren’t going to say anything, we weren’t going to utter any words, we were going to be in the big fight scene, so they had both of us costumed. It ended up Mark couldn’t stick around for the close-ups because he had meetings with Fox, believe it or not. That day he had like five meetings with five different studio heads and was too busy, so our close-ups were gone.

… Here’s the problem: They put us in the fight scene and I was supposed to beat the snot out of Mark in the battle scene, and then they were going to do close-ups of us fighting, and Mark couldn’t make it. So we’re in the fight scene, but it’s really difficult to see us. The director said when we do [‘Kick-Ass 3′], he said, “I’ll get you all the close-up.”


Kick-Ass 2 open in U.S. theaters on August 16th, 2013.

Thor: The Dark World arrives in theaters on November 8th, 2013.

Source: Indiewire, IFC