During Comic-Con we learned several new things about Alan Taylor’s sequel to Thor, the most telling of which is the film’s new title: Thor: The Dark World. Unlike the the subtitle for Captain America 2 (The Winter Soldier), Marvel Studios’ title for its Asgardian hero’s second feature isn’t as obvious in revealing its story.

We previously learned from a stunt man that Thor 2 may be featuring Dark Elves as a villainous threat, offering an explanation for the film’s title, but with the latest casting calls for film extras, they may only be one new faction of multiple for the sequel.

Of all the “Phase Two” films announced by Marvel Studios, The Dark World may have the most difficult task, having to not only tell a story that takes place on Asgard, Earth and potentially several other worlds from Norse mythology, but it also may serve as a lead-in to Guardians of the Galaxy and The Avengers 2.

The answer to how much further into Norse mythology the next Thor film may take us mighty be found from a little deduction based on the latest casting calls for extras for when Thor: The Dark World begins shooting in the UK next month. The following comes from The Casting Collective and Universal Extras and appears to be casting for Asgardian people (the blondes), soldiers, fire jötunn (men of fire) and elves (hot bodies and tattoos):

Girls with “Hot Bodies” to be extras for major movie

  • This is for a new major action movie shooting in London in September.
  • If you fit the brief please apply on line with a photo that shows your full body. (Bikini or underwear)
  • Must have “Hot Body” by that we mean attractive figure and you are comfortable wearing bikini or skimpy costume on set.
  • Aged between 18 and 35
  • Dress size between 6 and 12
  • Any ethnicity
  • Be generally available in September in London

Women with Military experience aged 18 to 50

  • We are looking for women who match this brief:
  • Have had military experience, either Territorial or regular (You must be able to march in formation)
  • Aged between 18 – 50
  • Any ethnicity
  • Be generally available between September and December in London & the South East of England

Men with Military experience aged 18 to 50

  • We are looking for men who match this brief:
  • Have had military experience, either Territorial or regular (You must be able to march in formation)
  • Aged between 18 – 50
  • Any ethnicity
  • Be generally available between September and December in London & the South East of England

Extreme looking men and women

  • We are also looking for people with an unusual and interesting look/character. For Example Facial scars, Facial Birthmarks, Teeth missing, Facial disfigurement, Heavy facial piercings, Strong characterful faces, Weathered looking, Large Ears, Large Noses, Ugly, Bits missing etc
  • You can be of any Ethnicity
  • Be generally available between August – November and able to work in London & the South East of England

Natural Blonde Men & Women wanted

  • To apply you must match this brief:
  • NATURAL BLONDE Men and women of all ages (over 16)
  • You must have natural un-dyed hair with no highlights
  • Be generally available between August – November

Heavily tattooed men and women

  • You must be HEAVILY tattooed over your body
  • We would love to find people with tattoos on their faces in particular
  • You can be of any Ethnicity
  • You will need to be fit enough to run around
  • Be generally available between August – November and able to work in London & the South East of England

Men of Fire

  • For the a new Marvel Super Hero feature film we are looking for men who are skilled in playing with fire to pretend to be warriors.
  • You must be highly skilled with playing with fire example skills include – Spinning, Fire Sticks, Fire Breathing, Fire eating etc.

Bleeding Cool also discovered that underground shooting locations are being explored in London, which could facilitate sets involving Dark Elves. So, putting speculation about the imminent Thanos threat aside – we know he wants the Infinity Gauntlet hidden away in Asgard’s treasury – and focusing on just this extras casting, we may have our hints that not only will the Malekith the Accursed’s Dark Elves of Svartalfheim potentially be featured in Thor 2, but Surtur’s fire giants of Muspelheim (concept art from Thor: God of Thunder below) may be as well.

Of the nine worlds of Norse Mythology (see diagram below), it’s especially interesting that these two specifically, are the ones we can pull from the casting requirements. Why? If the rumors that Mads Mikkelsen was supposed to play Malekith the Accursed, the leader of the Dark Elves, then there’s a strong connection between he and Surtur from the books, one that also involves earth, the Warrior’s Three and flashbacks with Odin. The best part is that part of this plot was already seeded in the first Thor film.

Much like Odin kept the Casket of Ancient Winters locked away in his vault to prevent the Frost Giants from acquiring its power, we saw in Thor the Eternal Flame in Odin’s Vault as well – something Surtur (the fire giant leader) desperately wants to reclaim in order to enchant his sword and burn the nine worlds. In Marvel Comics, specifically in the ’80s run of issues of Thor #344-350 (which includes the The Casket of Ancient Winters saga), we see several important things happen. Loki, Malekith and Surtur all work together – to a certain extent – and this sees Malekith come to Earth.

Without getting into too much detail, Malekith – in the comics – is a bad dude who wants the Casket of Ancient Winters (the blue glowing box from Thor) to use as a weapon to freeze the nine worlds. He was exiled by Odin but later freed by big bad Surtur who sends Malekith to use the casket on Earth, creating a massive winter snow fall – this ties into previous rumors which had some enemy faction trying to invade Asgard and to get to Thor, they attack Earth (and Jane Foster), knowing its importance to him. Surtur also had Malekith meet with Loki and make an agreement to have him help with the Asgard invasion – this is where Loki’s redemption can come into play as he deceives Malekith knowing Surtur intends to destroy Asgard.

If the film draws from any of these stories and character arcs from Thor comics, there will be some needed changes. The character of Eric Willis for example, a human who protects the Casket of Ancient Winters will likely be traded for Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård) and Balder, an important Asgardian soldier, could be substituted for Fandral the Dashing and the Warriors Three, giving Zachary Levi more screentime (he’s taking over the role from Joshua Dallas). The same can be said for the Asgardian goddess Lorelei who’s used as bait against Thor – she can be traded for Sif (Jaimie Alexander).

There’s plenty of complex Thor history to draw from for the sequel. Don Payne and Robert Rodat have a very challenging task of making sense of all of this for their screenplay, while at the same time working within the confines of the Marvel cinematic universe to work towards other future films. With shooting on Thor 2 beginning as early as next month, expect to learn more concrete details soon to replace all of this speculation.

The Thor sequel is being directed by Alan Taylor and stars Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Idris Elba, Stellan Skarsgård, Zachary Levi, Ray Stevenson, Jaimie Alexander and Tadanobu Asano.

Iron Man 3 releases May 3, 2013, Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014 and Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Sources: Bleeding Cool, Marvel, The Casting Collective, Universal Extras (via CBM)