Marketing for Thor: The Dark World has picked up in recent weeks, as the next installment in “Phase 2″ of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will test the Thor brand name’s durability away from the comic book blockbuster-friendly summer by releasing in November (where other popcorn movie franchises like James Bond have thrived in years past).

Besides having The Avengers‘ coattails of success to ride on, the Thor sequel will also benefit from the massive surge in popularity of Loki (portrayed in the MCU by Tom Hiddleston) since its predecessor hit theaters – part of the reason why the Dark World reshoots have beefed up the screen time even more for Thor’s (Chris Hemsworth) untrustworthy sibling in the sequel. Indeed, there’s a good reason why the film’s trailers have focused heavily on scenes with Hemworth and Hiddleston, despite there being many other characters and big developments that transpire in the superhero/fantasy adventure.

Speaking of other (read: not Loki) players in The Dark World: the villainous leader of the Dark Elves, Malekith the Accursed – portrayed by former Doctor Who star Christopher Eccelston – got his own poster a week ago, as did Thor with his arms wrapped around his dear (human) lady love Jane Foster (Natalie Portman). Today, though, Yahoo! Movies premiered yet another one-sheet featuring Loki; one which bears a resemblance to the German poster from a couple days ago, with a backdrop that suggests the treacherous god has just escaped from his Asgardian prison cell. In addition, Marvel has unveiled a poster with Odin (Anthony Hopkins), looking as dignified, noble and beard-faced as ever he did.

[Click for Full-Sized Versions]

Meanwhile, Kat Dennings – who played Jane’s comic relief sidekick Darcy Lewis in director Kenneth Branagh’s Thor movie – has spoken to the Press-Telegram about her character in The Dark World, beginning with Darcy’s perspective on the whole (literal) star-crossed romance between the God of Thunder and her science-minded boss lady:

“Darcy’s a political science major who’s interning with Jane for credit. She’s really bad at real science in this first movie. In the second movie, she’s more interested, but she still doesn’t know anything about it. She loves Jane, she really wants Jane and Thor to be together. It’s almost like her own little soap opera that she watches.”

Dennings also hinted that Darcy get to do more than crack wise and serve as the audience’s proxy in the Thor sequel:

“Darcy does many amazing things, the content of which I will probably get snipered if I reveal. But there are a lot of awesome sequences involving Darcy that I think fans of the movie will be excited to see — and that I, as a fan, was spoiled to be doing. You’ll see Darcy as you’ve never seen her before.”

Films like The 40 Year Old Virgin and Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, in addition to the TV series 2 Broke Girls, show that Dennings possesses more screen charisma and personality than her turn in Thor – a mostly one-note source of sitcom-style humor – might suggest. In others words, although learning that Darcy has more to do in The Dark World than before might not be so interesting as hearing about expanded roles for Asgardian warriors like Heimdall (Idris Elba) and Sif (Jaimie Alexander), it’s at least encouraging to hear that Darcy won’t feel so dispensable to the story this second time around.

Alan Taylor is directing Thor: The Dark World from a script written by Christopher Yost, along with Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (Captain America: The First Avenger). The film stars 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 and Anthony Hopkins.

Thor: The Dark World opens in select IMAX 3D theaters on October 30th, 2013, before it begins a general release a week later on November 8th.

Source: Yahoo! Movies, Press-Telegram