The original Thor film introduced moviegoers to three of the nine realms associated with Norse Mythology and in the sequel, Thor: The Dark World, all of them will factor into the story in some way. The one criticism director Alan Taylor held against Thor’s origin story is how it depicted Asgard as a shiny palace surrounded with digital assets, so in the sequel, Taylor made us of real-world shooting locations to bring some of the other worlds to life with more authenticity.
Marvel Studios has released another behind-the-scenes featurette offering brief insights into some of the amazing on-location sequences included in the film, from the vast open lands Iceland to the mysterious architecture of Stonehenge. In addition to the video, a few new must-see Thor 2 character posters have surfaced online as well.
The video (up top) teases some of the vast sets we had the chance to walk upon last October when we visited the production of Thor: The Dark World in London. From the outdoor sets built to represent the streets and buildings within the city of Asgard, away from the palace, where Thor and friends spend their downtime, to the stages where dark dungeons in the underbelly of Asgard were built to house Loki and other otherworldly prisoners.
The on-location shots are just as impressive, with Iceland being used to represent Svartalfheim, the desolate home of the Dark Elves, and the Bourne Woods near Farnham, Surrey, England, used as Varnaheim, the land of the Vanir. The combination of shooting on location, with the increased amount of sets, allows the cast and crew to flesh out the lifestyle and culture of the people of Asgard, giving it the feeling of it being a real place where people live. For more, read our list of 25 cool new things fans will see in Thor: The Dark World.
As for the other side of movie marketing, Heimdall, Jane Foster, Loki, Malekith, Odin, Sif and Thor have each had a turn at the spotlight with their own official posters for Thor: The Dark World, and today Marvel has placed the attention on a pair of Thor’s most trusted allies, two-thirds of the Warriors Three. In the new ones we see Fandral for the first time, battling fencing-style with sword and dagger against Marauders in Asgard as Volstagg takes on Dark Elves in another realm with his battleaxe.
The Fandral poster represents the first official image of Zachary Levi (Chuck) suited up as Fandral the Dashing, taking over the role from Josh Dallas who had scheduling conflicts due to his obligations in ABC’s Once Upon a Time. Oddly enough, it was television obligations with NBC’s Chuck that prevented Levi from playing the part in the original film, but now he has his chance! The other new poster is Ray Stevenson’s jolly but fierce Volstagg the Voluminous, meaning we’re only missing Tadanobu Asano’s Hogun to round out the Warriors Three.
Official Disney-Marvel character descriptions for Fandral, Sif and Volstagg, along with the new posters and a pair you might have missed in recent weeks:
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Fandral (Zachary Levi)
Fandral is Asgard’s finest swordsman, which serves him well as a member of the Warriors Three. Alongside Volstagg and Hogun, Fandral fights to protect Asgard from any and all foes. When not using his sword to smite his enemies, Fandral uses his charm and good looks to woo the ladies.
Sif (Jaimie Alexander)
Sif is one of Asgard’s most formidable warriors. Skilled and fearless, she’s a trusted and faithful ally to Thor. During his banishment, Sif saw Loki’s treachery and risked all to return Thor to Asgard…but on Earth, she saw that she had lost Thor’s heart to another—the human Jane Foster. Now at the end of a long campaign to free the Nine Realms from strife, Sif seeks to rekindle her relationship with Thor.
Volstagg (Ray Stevenson)
Volstagg makes up one third of the Warriors Three, Asgard’s greatest and most loyal warriors. Large and imposing, Volstagg’s skill with an axe is matched only by his appetite. With Fandral and Hogun, Volstagg has fought alongside Thor on many adventures across the cosmos. And while the stories of his exploits are often elaborated, he’s a hero to the Asgardian people.
With the releases of these two character-based one-sheets and Thor: The Dark World just over a month away from release, expect additional posters for Hogun and hopefully, Algrim the Strong/Kurse, played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje in the coming weeks.
Alan Taylor directs Thor 2 off of Christopher Yost, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely’s screenplay. 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 on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014, The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 31, 2015, and unannounced films for May 6 2016, July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.
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Sources: Marvel, Marvel 2, Marvel UK, IGN