25 Cool New Things You’ll See in ‘Thor: The Dark World’

Published 11 months ago by , Updated October 3rd, 2013 at 6:09 pm,

Thor The Dark World Logo New 25 Cool New Things Youll See in Thor: The Dark World

Screen Rant visited the production of Thor: The Dark World last October and while exploring the sets and sound stages, playing with otherworldly weapons and walking past soldiers from other realms, we spent time with the cast and crew who were excited to share details on the universe and story they were crafting.

We’ve compiled a list of the most interesting new elements and info bits from our discussions and tours with the stars of the film, director Alan Taylor, executive producer Craig Kyle, props supervisor Barry Gibbs, production designer Charles Wood, special makeup effects designer David White and visual effects supervisor Jake Morrison.

Most of the images throughout the guide have high-res versions so feel free to click for enhanced details.

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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 2 The Dark World Official Photo Chris Hemsworth High res 570x379 25 Cool New Things Youll See in Thor: The Dark World

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Thor: The Dark World hits theaters November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014The 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.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes for your Marvel movie news!

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Let’s Begin: More Weapon Variety

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More Weapon Variety

Rob Keyes Screen Rant Thor 2 The Dark World Weapons Oct 2012 570x379 25 Cool New Things Youll See in Thor: The Dark World

More than 1,100 weapons were built for Thor: The Dark World, including armaments beyond the typical array of melee weapons (swords, axes, staffs, etc.). Thor and friends will battle opponents wielding ranged weapons, from pistols and bows to bazookas and a blunderbuss, in addition to the large Dark Elf weapons.

The army of Dark Elves all use a similar weapon, a large organic-looking cone-shaped shoulder weapon that can be used up close and personal in hand-to-hand fighting and as a rifle of sorts. The Marauders however, a band of space pirates (more on them here), have a large variety of weapons (as you can see in photo above). Props Master Barry Gibbs on Marauder weapon variety:

“We didn’t want to have everybody with machine guns or laser guns, etc., because otherwise they would just kill our heroes.  So we had to do a mix of weapons they’d picked up. So you’ll see weapons which come from The Avengers – we picked up a couple of Chitauri weapons and alien weapons which came from that movie. And also we’ve just taken medieval Asian, Roman… We’ve picked up on everything that we can possibly find and tried to give it our look.

We took molds of certain weapons and then burned them to other shafts, we made things up to try and give people, you know, somebody could have an ax, a club, an ax and a dagger, a sword and a dagger.  A spear and a morning star.  We just made things up as we could go along really.”

Thor 2 The Dark World Official Set Photo Alan Taylor Dark Elf Soldier Gun 570x379 25 Cool New Things Youll See in Thor: The Dark World

Gibbs, walking us through the weapons room (pictured up top), explained some of the larger and more extreme weapons that will be seen in Thor 2:

“We’ve got the Stone Man’s club, which was used as a piece, which actually just falls the floor.  And then we’ve got the very large – about just under 9 feet – which is supposed to be a cross between a Gatling gun and an Indian Rampart gun.  That was made here, it’s a non-functional prop.  And we had a rocket launcher at the end, which was made to have a rocket put into it and then the visual effects, special effects take over. “

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Next: Thor’s Powers Redefined

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Thor’s Powers Redefined

Thor 2 The Dark World Official Poster Flying 570x847 25 Cool New Things Youll See in Thor: The Dark World

Jake Morrison, visual effects supervisor on Thor: The Dark World, sat down with us to talk about redesigning Thor’s movement, still bending physics but keeping it believable.

“I would say the main thing that we’re trying to do is be a little bit more faithful to the comic book in the sense that in the first picture he flew, he kind of had a straight-line thing that he could do like and if he could get to the final battle, there’s definitely a point where he’s flying up the rainbow bridge and he’s flying basically parallel to the ground.  You know the thinking behind that is that you know, he can control the weather so the wind can keep him aloft to allow him to have that kind of profile but I do think that you know, the classic poses in the comic books really work better when he’s on an arc.  So and again, in Avengers we were trying to make sure that you know, like when he’s heading up to the Chrysler building that that’s actually, you feel like the leap would end there.  Like, he’s just really very, very good at choosing his landing points.  So I think when we’re to try to get more of that in there, when he’s jumping to attack somebody, it should be more of a lift and land rather than necessarily a straight-line drive.”

We can also see Thor’s enhanced abilities with his mighty hammer Mjolnir in the trailer where it can make sharp turns while flying through the city streets of London without destroying buildings. That and Thor smashing the ground and smashing the Stone Man from Saturn into pieces…

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Next: Algrim to Kurse Transformation

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Algrim to Kurse Transformation

Thor 2 The Dark World Dark Kurse Still Trailer 25 Cool New Things Youll See in Thor: The Dark World

Algrim the Strong (played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) is the loyal lieutenant for Malekith, king of the Dark Elves. In Marvel Comics, Malekith has Algrim battle Thor, and take the opportunity to open a pit beneath them both to hot lava where Algrim falls and burns alive, transforming in the rage-fueled beast known as Kurse. He survived thanks to his unique enchanted armor and his need for revenge against Thor, who escaped by flying away. While we don’t know how exactly these events will play out in Thor: The Dark World, we will see Algrim transform into Kurse (pictured above).

Jake Morrison, visual effects supervisor for Marvel Studios, tells us that they looked at famous movie transformation scenes including American Werewolf in London and the Hulk transformation in The Avengers:

“A lot of it is choosing what you don’t see as opposed to what you do see to sort of build up to it.  So what I’ve been working with is, there’s two pieces and then you try to work out what will be the coolest way to get from here to there.  The thinking that we have right now is that it’s kind of a Carbonizing type process so there’s, it’s a fusing of materials in the transformation. So what I’m trying to do is work out what are the most beautiful and terrifying looking natural events that we can have that would allow the uniform to fuse from here to here, to get us from A to B using as much real-world reference as we possibly can.”

Disney and Marvel’s official description of Kurse:

Algrim/Kurse is Malekith’s trusted and loyal lieutenant. He fought at Malekith’s side during the initial war with Asgard thousands of years ago, but now their time is running out. Algrim is called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice and is transformed into the monstrous Kurse. With a new and terrifying power, Kurse seeks to destroy Thor and Asgard in preparation for Malekith’s arrival.

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Next: The Power of Cursing Iron

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Cursing Iron

 25 Cool New Things Youll See in Thor: The Dark World

Algrim/Kurse (played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) is able to transform iron into Elven weapons in the film. In the comics, Malekith, Algrim and the dark elves (including notable characters Wormwood and Grendell) have a weakness to iron, along with another character from Marvel’s take on Arthurian legend (see: Stonehenge).

Props Master Barry Gibbs:

“Malekith does pick up other realm weapons and use it, uses it for one realm and then discards it. He doesn’t need to be carrying it around. And whereas Algrim being his captain or second in command, there’s only one element where he picks up some iron weapons and turns them into Elven weapons, so he curses them, so that happens in the movie as well.”

Out of context we’re not quite sure what this means but iron plays an interesting role in Marvel Comics in relation to the Dark Elves, and “magic” seems to play a large role in the film with the “fabric of the universe” falling apart being a big plot point. We know from the trailers Malekith has (or acquires) special abilities – holding Jane Foster in the air with telekinesis and creating a red vortex around himself in London – and in the comics Frigga (Thor’s mom) teaches Odin sorcery.

Disney and Marvel’s official description of Kurse may hint at Kurse gaining a special power (is cursing iron it?) after his transformation:

Algrim/Kurse is Malekith’s trusted and loyal lieutenant. He fought at Malekith’s side during the initial war with Asgard thousands of years ago, but now their time is running out. Algrim is called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice and is transformed into the monstrous Kurse. With a new and terrifying power, Kurse seeks to destroy Thor and Asgard in preparation for Malekith’s arrival.

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Next: Burning of Malekith

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Burning of Malekith

Thor 2 The Dark World Official Photo Malekith Burned Face 570x379 25 Cool New Things Youll See in Thor: The Dark World

Malekith’s unique visual design from the comics features not only the star symbol on his chest, but a Two-Face-esque design. In Thor: The Dark World, we first meet Malekith without any scarring on his face. During the film however, after seemingly attacking Asgard, he has half his face burned, paying homage to the original Marvel Comics design. Special makeup effects designer David White told us about the prosthetics required in making Malekith’s face look appropriate after his … incident:

“The burning on Malekith, I mean, that is actually a sculpt on top of a sculpt.  It’s an added piece which is being sculpted and you pre-paint all the pieces, totally to the last strip so that it saves time and also keeps continuity.  But we had a final finishing to do, and this particular burn is kind of tipping the hat to the original comic in the sense that it’s quite central, and also there’s a little hair, change of hair color as well.  But there’s a lot of that within this.  There’s a lot of paying homage to the original kind of characters that come through.

For comparison:

 25 Cool New Things Youll See in Thor: The Dark World

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Next: Marauders – Space Pirates

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Marauders – Space Pirates

Thor 2 The Dark World Official Photo Stone Man from Saturn 570x235 25 Cool New Things Youll See in Thor: The Dark World

The Marauders are a group of aliens with different designs and weapons from outside the nine realms. They can be seen in Asgard’s dungeon/prison where Loki is held, and attacking the outer planets Thor and his army police (the many images of the battles in the field where Thor takes on the Stone Golem). Costume armor supervisor Simon Brindle describes them as a “ragtag bunch of space pirates, certainly interesting to look at.” Producer Craig Kyle also explained that Thor and his team have to police the nine realms against the Marauders who are attacking and stealing.

Special makeup effects designer David White, who took us through the prosthetics of the dark elves and Malekith, says there are over a dozen variations of marauders, some very large, some with scars, some with horns, others with extreme teeth, etc., requiring up to three and a half hours of prosthetics, “one extreme to the other right across the galaxy.”

Props Master Barry Gibbs adds that he Marauders are “made up from space cowboys, strike warriors from all of the nine realms.” Are they associated with Malekith in any way?

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Next: The Realm of Vanaheim

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The Realm of Vanaheim

Vanaheim Thor God of Thunder Game 570x282 25 Cool New Things Youll See in Thor: The Dark World

In Thor: The Dark World we’ll see the hall of science which includes information on the big bang that began the universe as we know it, along with a display of how the nine realms fit together. One of those realms, Vanaheim, is where the film begins.

The image above is from the Thor: The God of Thunder game that released alongside the original film. Vanaheim is depicted with ruins in a lush, tropical forest full of swamps. Producer Craig Kyle on Vanaheim’s appearing in Thor 2:

“This is one of the first worlds we actually come to in the film after we see the kids and the Dark Elves. And this is a very peaceful world that has been overrun by the Marauders I was talking about. This is one of the places where we actually get to meet our heroes the first time in the film. “

In Marvel Comics, Vanaheim is the home of the Vanir gods.

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Next: The Vanir

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The Vanir

Thor 2 The Dark World Dark Frigga Still Trailer 570x237 25 Cool New Things Youll See in Thor: The Dark World

In Marvel Comics, the Vanir are a people with the ability to wield magic and sorcery, even being able to see the future. Thor’s mom Frigga is of Vanaheim descent, her parents being Vanir gods, and in the books she teaches Odin how to use magic. Whether or not these elements of the lore are utilized in the Marvel Cinematic Universe remains to be seen.

Executive producer Craig Kyle, while walking us through a slideshow of Thor: The Dark World artwork, reveals that the Vanir are different in the films and need help fending off the Marauders:

“This is the Vanir. They are a warrior race. They’re not quite as advanced as the Asgardians. And they’re not prepared to handle the onslaught of these villains from the various worlds outside of the nine realms. And so, what it is is a ragtag band of space pirates basically that have just come together to basically steal as much as they can.”

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Next: The Stone Man From Saturn

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The Stone Man From Saturn

 25 Cool New Things Youll See in Thor: The Dark World

We’ve heard numerous references in the trailer and on the set to a time 5,000 years ago when the Dark Elves were last seen, and in the second official Thor 2 TV Spot, Thor warns: “Every 5,000 years the worlds align, allowing an ancient darkness to strike.”

Coincidence or not, in Marvel Comics lore it was 5,000 years ago when the Kronans attacked Earth, failed and retreated to one of the moons of Saturn where they set up camp, hence the name the “Stone Men of Saturn.” One of them is included in Thor: The Dark World as a tribute to Thor’s very first comic appearance in Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s Journey into Mystery Volume 1, Issue #83 from August, 1962. This also marked the first appearance of the Kronans.

Said producer Craig Kyle, while showing us artwork of the Stone Golem:

“We have the Stone Man from Saturn in this film [LAUGHS] that does face off with Thor. You’re the only ones who see the picture that actually understand what that is. [LAUGHS] Those of you that don’t these are the first guys that Thor fought in the comics. So, it’s pretty epic that we have to bring ‘em out.”

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Next: Other Marvel Comics Aliens

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Other Aliens From The Marvel Cosmos

Thor Comics Surtur Ragnarok 570x878 25 Cool New Things Youll See in Thor: The Dark World

In addition to the Vanir (see: Realm of Vanaheim), the Marauders (see: Space Pirates) and the Kronans (See: Stone Man of Saturn), executive producer Craig Kyle explained that we’re going to see many other new alien races in Thor 2:

“You’re gonna see aliens from all over, uh, specifically, you know, it’ll be a wait and see. [LAUGHS] Like I said we are moving further out into the nine realms of the universe, so, you know, you can’t fly too far before you hit something else in the universe. So [lAUGHS] we’ll see.”

This was in response to me asking if we’d see fire demons introduced in Thor: The Dark World. For more on fire demons, their leader Surtur and what that could mean for Thor 3 – should it ever happen – read here. Don’t be surprised to meet some species that could show up again in Guardians of the Galaxy.

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Next: Asgardian-Viking Longships

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Viking Ships

Thor 2 The Dark World Viking Skiff Still Trailer 570x253 25 Cool New Things Youll See in Thor: The Dark World

In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, vikings based their designs of armor, weapons and vehicles (longships) on what they perceived to be Gods, who we now know are the people of Asgard.

Exec producer Craig Kyle told us, while showing us concept art of the Asgardian vessels, that Thor: The Dark World features an exciting sequence involving one of the skiffs. They operate using a “different type of sail”

“And we’re actually gonna be put in some boats in the seas and the skies in this film, and you’re actually gonna see where the Viking ships came from. In the MCU we’re going with the idea that the Asgardians came to early man at the beginning of the Viking people. They had ships like this, and their technologies that inspired the Vikings them to begin building their long boats and their various structures. So, we’re turning history inside out. Instead of the Vikings praying to the Gods, it’s the Gods pray to the Vikings. So, we get to see what’s the Asgardian take that would’ve inspired what we know on Earth so well.”

“And then when you see one of these skiffs, you know, move through the water and then suddenly take flight and move towards Asgard without using the water at all it just keeps that whole curvy, [Stan] Lee- [Walter Simonson] kind of Asgard alive. “

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Next: Black Holes

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Black Holes

Thor 2 The Dark World London Blackhole Still Trailer 570x253 25 Cool New Things Youll See in Thor: The Dark World

The Dark Elf ships depicted in the Thor TV spots and trailers are powered by a unique form of engine technology. Jake Morrison, visual effects supervisor, explains:

“The idea working with a black hole is, what would it be like if you harnessed the power of a black hole.  And the way I’ve always been thinking about it is if you – a black hole pulls in all directions.  You stick a box around it – but if you poke a hole in one side of the box it would pull in that direction.  So effectively if you strap a craft around that you’ve got yourself a propulsion drive which is kind of an impulsion drive. So that’s kind of the thinking of the technology.”

There were hints that the dark elves may have a weapon that creates a devastating, miniature black hole effect as well. Whether that has anything to do with the massive portal opening over London (see image above) in the trailers and TV spots, we don’t know, but there is a scene in the trailer where Malekith and Thor fall through it while battling.

Executive producer Craig Kyle also touched upon the use of black holes while showing us concept art of the Dark Elf ships:

“The Harrows, they have a very unique black hole kind of engine where they actually kind of pull themselves through space as opposed to propel themselves.  That was an idea that Alan Taylor was really excited about.  So, they’re very unique, the way that they move through space, the way they do damage and hurt people.”

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Next: The Dark Elf Starships

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The Ark & Harrows

Thor 2 The Dark World Ark Harrows Dark Elf Ships 570x379 25 Cool New Things Youll See in Thor: The Dark World

The mothership of the Dark Elves – Malekith’s starship – is called the Ark. The smaller ships that comprise Malekith’s fleet are called the Harrows. They’re showcased in the trailer crashing into Asgard and Earth. The concepts in the art room depicted a vast fleet of them, so we’re curious how Odin, Thor and the rest of Asgard will defeat them all.

They’re powered with unique technology that essentially involves each ship harnessing the power of a small blackhole to pull itself through space. “A kind of an impulsion drive,” as visual effects supervisor Jake Morrison described it. (Learn More: black holes).

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Next: The Singularity

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The Singularity

Thor 2 The Dark World Trailer Still Singularity Floating Truck 570x231 25 Cool New Things Youll See in Thor: The Dark World

From the Thor: The Dark World teaser trailer there’s a scene with kids approaching a truck that’s floating in the air, as if there’s no gravity. This is an anomaly that’s happening across the universe, something that has to do with the “fabric of reality” tearing apart as Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster says.

Producer Craig Kyle:

“This is the beginning of an element that’s spreading across the universe. We’re calling it right now the singularity. And it’s basically like a flex in the universe. If you think like there’s fault lines across the cosmos. They expand and contract about every 5000 years, and they’re felt on every world. So, this is the first sign of it on earth. And what is initially very fun, and playful, and cool ultimately will build across all the planets and very, very disastrous. “

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Next: Heimdall’s New Observatory

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Heimdall’s New Observatory

Thor Movie Bifrost Rainbow Bridge 570x275 25 Cool New Things Youll See in Thor: The Dark World

Heimdall’s Observatory at the end of the Rainbow Bridge was destroyed by Thor in an attempt to stop Loki from destroying the world of the Frost Giants in the first film. In Thor: The Dark World, a new observatory is under construction.

Production Designer Charles Wood:

“We’re still harking back and respecting the original film. The observatory does play again. In the original film it gets destroyed so what we’ve done is sort of rebooted it, so to speak. In our film it’s, it’s a newer look observatory, which is still under construction, so things like the palace, the observatory, the rainbow bridge, all of those things still exist. “

Producer Craig Kyle:

“You can see that in the design the beams are still being put up. It’s still in the in the middle of being rebuilt. And what that allows for us when we get inside is once the Bifrost is fully operational, worlds… it becomes a viewing window out to the [Jack] Kirby cosmos. You’ll see celestial bodies, and planets, and all kinds of wonders of space that we weren’t allowed to do before, because of the way the structure was built. So, it actually allows us to do some neat visuals. And then it still has all the gears and the various elements that people like from the original design.”

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Next: A New Rainbow Bridge

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A New Rainbow Bridge/Bifrost

Thor Movie Bifrost Rainbow Bridge Destroyed 570x267 25 Cool New Things Youll See in Thor: The Dark World

A New Rainbow Bridge/Bifrost

Poor Heimdall. He lost his place of work (see: Heimdall’s Observatory) and now spends time in the pub (see: Old Asgard). Producer Craig Kyle talked about whether we’ll see the Bifrost/Rainbow Bridge rebuilt after Thor destroyed it at the end of the first film:

“No, we’re not, because that’s shoe leather that we didn’t really want to get into, but you’ll see that it’s not the Bifrost that it was. It’s a brand new structure. It had to be rebuilt. “

From the trailers showcasing Thor teleporting to and from Earth, Asgard clearly has replaced with Bifrost with another method of transportation.

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Next: The Asgardian Dungeons

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The Prisons of Asgard

Thor 2 The Dark World Loki Asgard Prison Cell 570x235 25 Cool New Things Youll See in Thor: The Dark World

We’ve all seen the posters and trailer shots of Loki in a cell, but there’s much more to that prison. We got to walk through it and see several interesting creatures in other cells (See: Easter Eggs) during a sequence when there’s a breakout.

Producer Craig Kyle:

“The prisons of Asgard are different than the prisons of Earth. This is the dark side of Asgard that, if you were to see it you don’t usually get to see anything else after – a fitting home for a character like Loki. And then across the cell, you see this horned character, and Marauders, and various demons, and then in his cell he has a little bit of a – there’s a bed and a couple books that Frigga brought down there just so he could be as comfortable as possible.”

We walked inside a large closed set, the color theme and aesthetic entirely different than any other set or on-location shot in Thor: The Dark World. It’s dark, very dark, with grey paneling on the walls, featuring similar Norse knot-work and Asgardian detailing. It’s a dungeon in the underbelly of Asgard. There’s a corridor down the middle, lighted only by the openings in the large ceiling blocks and a light strip down the center floor.

On each side are bright white, contemporary-looking prison cells which contrast the dungeon surroundings. Across from Loki’s cell stands two unique prisoners and down the corridor, we’re told Marauders and other creatures reside, including a “demon.”

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Next: Einherjar Training Grounds

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Einherjar Training Grounds

Thor 2 The Dark World Asgardian Soldier Einherjar Helmnets 570x379 25 Cool New Things Youll See in Thor: The Dark World

We walked through outdoor sets that were sandy, dirty, aged, but massive – like the Asgardian version of the sets of HBO’s Rome (that director Alan Taylor also worked on). The larger outdoor section was a training ground for Asgard’s elite fighting force: the Einherjar who in the comics and Norse mythology are dead warriors who feast and continually fight in Valhalla (more on that here).

Producer Craig Kyle:

“The Asgardian training grounds where all the Einherjar are training for the battles that are currently happening all across the cosmos. That’s where we get a chance to actually have Thor and his father reconnect after he comes home from a successful journey.”

“They’ve been going through quite a few troops now trying to rein in the universe. The young Einherjar are coming up in the ranks, Odin’s in full warrior mode. So, we don’t see him in all of his, you know, more of a royal setting. He’s just General who watches over his troops, training his men. “

In the prop room we saw a lot of the weapons they work with, including a bow and arrows (see: Thor 2 weapon variety).

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Next: The Culture & Lifestyle of Asgard

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An Old Asgard

Thor 2 The Dark World Official Photo Heimdall Pub 570x379 25 Cool New Things Youll See in Thor: The Dark World

From our chat with production designer Charles Wood, we got a good sense of how the crew of Thor: The Dark World designed the many interior/exterior sets with a realistic, worn-down finish, to help director Alan Taylor create and flesh out Asgardian culture beyond the shiny CGI palace of the first film (see: Alan Taylor’s criticism of Thor).

Producer Craig Kyle:

“And what’s really important this time around is, you know, this is a world built by Thor’s great-grandfather, grandfather, and father, and we want to be able to show that through the Architecture. Just like the observatory we’re not going to cover “hey, how’s the building going?” We’re just gonna show people, and you’ll see different kinds of materials, and age, and damage building up to the Golden Palace that we’ve already seen in the golden towers that went beyond it. So, all of it’s just, again, showing the age and the time.”

The Asgardian sets around the pub were envisioned to represent “Heart of Asgard,” to let the audience see the realm of Asgard as a community. Thor – in casual mode – wears a blue cloak that covers most of his armor, allowing him to blend in and spend time with friends in town and in the pub. The pub is where Sif and The Warrior’s Three spend their time and where Volstagg tells exaggerated stories of his epic battles and adventures to his kids on his lap and friends in the pub.

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Next: Asgardian Science

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Asgardian Science

Thor 2 The Dark World Official Photo Jane Foster Asgard 570x235 25 Cool New Things Youll See in Thor: The Dark World

In the original Kenneth Branagh film, Thor says to Jane “Your ancestors called it magic but you call it science. I come from a land where they are one and the same,” in reference to Asgard’s technology. In the sequel, we’re going to see more of Asgardian’s discoveries over the years.

Producer Craig Kyle, while showing us art of Asgardian locations:

“This is Hall of Science again, another place you’re going to see today. This is gonna be a pretty neat spot that we actually get to explore, which will go into the various breakthroughs and discoveries of the Asgardians where you’ll see functioning models of the Big Bang and all these wonderful technologies that no human has ever laid eyes on before.

And inside’s gonna be this living tree, which we believe is connected to Yggdrasil, the cosmic tree. And the effects and woes and success of the universe are spoken through this, this living object. So, should the end of all things ever come this would probably be the first thing to fall. And we have a really tremendous scene in here with Thor and Odin. “

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Next: The Tree of Yggdrasil

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The Tree of Yggdrasil

Nine Worlds of Thor 25 Cool New Things Youll See in Thor: The Dark World

In the first film, Thor roughly sketched out how the nine realms fit together to explain to Jane how Earth relates to Asgard. In the sequel, we see how that’s integrated into Asgardian society via another important piece of Norse mythology in the tree of life.

Production Designer Charles Wood:

“That set’s all about the Yggdrasil, the tree of life. So what we’ve done is we’ve actually cast a real tree, so there’s an enormous tree which we’re gonna bring in here. And that’s the centerpiece of the set. And then when you walk in here and Natalie Portman is wandering around looking at the tree. That will all extend [Pointing Upwards] in visual effects. You’ll see all the nine realms floating within its branches.”

For more: ‘Thor 2′ May Showcase All Nine Worlds From Norse Mythology

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Next: Stonehenge

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Stonehenge

Stonehenge 570x356 25 Cool New Things Youll See in Thor: The Dark World

In the sizzle reel of footage producer Craig Kyle played for us in the Thor: The Dark World art room, there was a shot of stonehenge. We asked if it played into the story to which he vaguely replied

“It definitely plays into the storyline, yeah.”

We know they shot on location in Wiltshire, England, and Stonehenge remains a real-life source of mystery and scientific debate as to its origins and whether it was used as an astronomical observatory or as a religious site – both of which could play into the Thor lore.

There are connections from the Thor comics to Arthurian legend which we believe may have ties to the film (see: Cursing Iron).

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Next: A New Human Character

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A New Human Character

Jonathan Howard Ian Boothby Thor 2 The Dark World Official Photo 570x366 25 Cool New Things Youll See in Thor: The Dark World

In Thor, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) worked for Dr. Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård) and had an assistant in new original character Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings). In the sequel, everyone seemingly moves up a tier and now Darcy has an assistant in new character Ian Boothby, who’s only shown up once in the trailers and marketing materials yet (see above image).

Producer Craig Kyle:

“We did create a new character, a guy named Ian who was Darcy Lewis’s, intern.  So, our intern has an intern [LAUGHS].  And he’s kind of the fresh human eyes in this whole experience like Darcy was somewhat on the first film, but again starts small with these kids.  We show the threat.  We meet our heroes and friends, find out where our folks are from Earth that we love so much, and the story just kind of rolls out in a very comfortable pace.”

Jonathan Howard plays Ian Boothby and his role remains mysterious outside of filling the gap left by Natalie Portman heading up to Asgard.

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Next: Jane Foster’s Apartment

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Jane Foster’s Apartment

Thor 2 The Dark World Official Photo Jane Foster Rain 570x379 25 Cool New Things Youll See in Thor: The Dark World

While on the set of Thor: The Dark World we walked through a large London apartment where Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) now lives. It was loaded with little details related to her science work, from books on astronomy and blackholes, to news clippings of Thor and the Battle of New York from The Avengers. We saw a large telescope in there too and there’s an outdoor patio area where we expect to see Jane out at night looking into the stars.

Jane’s clearly been keeping tabs on Thor since he left small town New Mexico in the original film and didn’t pay a visit during his return to Earth in The Avengers.

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Next: Easter Eggs!

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–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

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Seeds For Future Marvel Movies

Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Production Art 570x370 25 Cool New Things Youll See in Thor: The Dark World

Producer Craig Kyle:

“We have to be very careful how we lay the pieces out, and then the threads that’ll build to the greater threat will always be seeded. I think they always start smaller and then build to the next Avengers film. The thing we need to be careful of, and Kevin says from the very first film, is the bigger picture of these Avengers are these big group sagas can never overwhelm the individual story. If we do that we destroyed our whole thing, because all of a sudden these guys’ individual journeys as characters just don’t matter anymore… there are seeds, but, you know, they become clear as we get closer to Avengers.”

I later followed up about whether or not Malekith could be working for someone else,

“It’s hard to say. [LAUGHS] I know in the comics he did.”

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Read our discussion piece on possible Thor 3 storylines for more!

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Thor: The Dark World will be in theaters on November 8, 2013.

Follow me @Rob_Keyes.

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TAGS: thor, thor 2, thor 3

49 Comments

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  1. Whoa this article is massive!

    • I work out

      • I appreciate your work on here Rob, great stuff!

      • –said the article.

      • +1 haha awesome

      • I’ll comb through it later, but the pic above of Chris Hemsworth was a bit off compared to the first Thor movie and his reprisal in Avengers… He looks A LOT thinner and MUCH less bulky than before, even in his scale armor. What gives?

        • Does the suit define the man or the man define the suit?

        • maybe he ate some of that bad astromy from Janes partment!!!

  2. Great job Rob, that was awesome.

  3. You always wonder where the money goes when you see the insane budgets of these films. This article pretty much explains it. Its crazy how much work and detail go into producing these movies. Also wondering what happens to all the sets and props after production? Do they just sell them off or stack them in some giant warehouse somewhere until they have a reason to reuse them?

  4. Whosoever is worthy of holding the mighty Keyes shall have the power of holding props aloft in victory and writing articles about it after.

    Nice work, Rob.

    The black hole stuff got me thinking….maybe Malekith can’t use telekinesis and actually used that smaller black hole creating thing to hold Jane in mid-air, threatening to open it wider and allow her to fall through unless Thor agrees to do something for him?

    Pure guesswork here.

  5. Wow, Rob practically wrote book! Can’t wait to read it!

  6. I want to see the Warrior Madness Mode

  7. Yup, more pumped than this than before…

    • About this…darn

  8. Wow. This movie sounds like a true Thor tale. I loved the first film, but it was mostly very grounded on Earth (no pun intended.) That being said, I am very grateful that it still embraced the more fantastical side of the original Thor comics rather than the more “realistic(?)” approach of the Ultimate comics. I’m very excited to see Thor in his element rather than a sort of fish out of water like the first film and The Avengers.

  9. Anyone remember that Chris O’Dowd supposedly filmed a cameo for this? Has barely been mentioned or hinted at at all since the news first dropped.

    • Yeap, he plays the person dating Jane Foster I believe – just a one-scene sort of thing I’d guess.

  10. I know I say this a lot, but does it not bother anybody that the burnt half of his face is on the wrong side?

    • Could be the photo was flipped before uploading.

      Otherwise, I dunno but it certainly doesn’t bother me much.

    • I don’t think it’s too big a deal. Look at Aaron Eckhart as Two-face. If they switched the side his face was scarred on, I doubt it would have affected his awesome performance.

      • I understand that, but it’s like giving the Joker red hair. Sure, it doesn’t change the performance of the actor much, but it just isn’t truthful to the character.

        If you ever watch the show Avatar:TLA, in the episode The Ember Island Players, they put Zuko’s scar on the wrong side. A kid later approaches Zuko to appreciate his Zuko “costume”, but tells him that his scar (his actual scar) is on the wrong side. This upsets Zuko, as Malekith’s burn has upset me.

      • Maybe the scarred side jumps back and forth, just to confuse people???

  11. Nice article for sure. Thanks.

  12. JANES APARTMENT….from books on astromy and blackholes,

    Rob, I think the word you were looking for is ASTRONOMY! astromy sounds like a lunch meat! LMAO
    Oh well I just to chuckle at that word! GREAT ARTICLE though, thanks

    • I’m so hungry right now I could do with some astromy sammiches.

      One awesome typo in 5500 words is a double-win!

      • ABSOLUTELY Rob, I hope your not taking it the wrong way! I loved the article, but that typo is Epic! I am an amateur astronomer and THAT is probably the only reason I caught it!

        Only 1 word in 5500 is a very good percentage and I bet most writers would be happy with that.

  13. What no Enchantress or Ulik? I am not too familiar with this character to be honest but I know those two where very important villains through the comic run.

    • “No Enchantress or you lick”? Well, what an insult!

    • I still think they may be saving them for Thor 3, if indeed the film is made. They can easily be included as working for Surtur. Also, not sure where I heard it, but the mention of maybe killing off Jane Foster in this film can lead to the Sif-Enchantress-Thor love triangle.

  14. The first cool thing you’ll see in the movie is me sitting in the front row of the theater, munching popcorn and panting over Sif (the girl, not the disease!~). As for the other 24 cool things, who the heck knows?

    • Goldi, mostly you make me groan. But when you make me laugh, you REALLY make me laugh.
      “The girl, not the disease”… I’m dying over here.

  15. I will see Thor 2 but am not excited for it, I get this feeling that all the realms we haven’t seen will look like generic and unoriginal crap we have all seen before, this is a freakin sci-fi movie for crying out loud with a big budget. No golden apples or thor using his helmet? That is lame, Origin of Kurse? Lame, that origin is a stale one we have all seen before, and those weapons? I am not impressed. It all looks lame too. I like the first thor movie but have a feeling this one will be terrible, I certainly don’t care for the game of thrones influence, making it like game of thrones is a lazy and un-creative direction.

    • Why are you seeing this movie?

    • Golden apples?

    • Making it like GOT is unoriginal?

      So…what would be original considering the Vikings lived, pillaged and invaded in countries traditionally seen as dark, grey, represented as perfectly as we can imagine by the GOT scenes shot in Ireland?

  16. “The Singularity” you say…?
    Because the term “Singularity” is often used to describe the moment when artificial intelligence surpasses human intelligence (this is a very nutshell version, from what I understand).
    Could be a case of Marvel just using a cool word…..but I wonder….

    • I hoped someone else would bring that up.

      Very Ultron, isn’t it?

  17. Wow, this shooter who supplied you with the photos is good >>

    http://www.jaymaidment.com/

  18. the Stone Man from Saturn looks like the unholy offspring of Homer Simpson and The Thing!

    • +1000

    • Stoner Simpson?

  19. What’s cool, is that the Kronans are featured in the Planet Hulk series where one of the Kronan brothers explains his meeting with Thor. Quite cool. I digress.

  20. I’m so pumped for this movie! It looks epic.

  21. The quote from Jake Morrison made my head hurt…no idea what he means.

  22. needs more darkies and mexi-dudes. maybe could use machete and danny glover.

  23. Why Exactly does Darcy have an assistant ? She plays absolutely NO part in the films. No purpose whatsoever.

    • She’s a big part of the comic relief for casual moviegoers.

    • I thought she was pretty funny in Thor. Sure, after watching the movie 6 times, she got a little old; but I did see the movie 6 times (2 in the theater, 4 on DVD/BLU).

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