Thor introduced moviegoers to the otherworldly locales Asgard and Jotunheim, two of the Nine Realms of Yggdrasil (Earth or Midgard as it's also known as is another), home of Thor's people and the Frost giants, respectively. In the Alan Taylor-directed sequel, fans are going to journey further and deeper into the Marvel cosmos.
Where the first film pitted Asgard against Frost Giants, Thor: The Dark World aims to introduce another seemingly villainous faction in the Dark Elves, led by Christopher Eccleston's Malekith the Accursed. Thanks to the production moving into public locations, we have our first look at the Dark Elf costumes and leader.
MTV nabbed a pair of photos from the set, each featuring the Dark Elves geared up in armor and wielding unique weapons. The imagery highlights the intricate elven designs that are rather reminiscent of their traditional aesthetic we're familiar with from other mediums (see: Lord of the Rings), even for space elves. Click to enlarge:
Head to MTV for another image of the Dark Elf soldiers in costume on set and I'm Not Obsessed for many more photos from the same set. Comparing the above live-action adaptation to the traditional Marvel Comics depiction of Malekith, Eccleston's version maintains the two-face design, long white hair, elven ears, gold-highlighted armor, and the chest symbol (see below images for better comparison).
The swords are not present, replaced by wrist blades of some sort, and some of the soldiers are wielding a large blunt black weapon. The soldiers do sport face masks like the books, but embrace more of a softer, emotionless look compared to the Marvel Comics designs which look more like the Immortals from 300.
Gold does seem to be the color of choice thus far from the cosmic side of the Marvel cinematic universe. The Asgardians, the Chitauri, Thanos, and now the Dark Elves all sport golden armor.
Marvel Studios, since they have all the source material and Marvel Comic artists at hand, are well-suited to adapting designs, characters and environments from the books to live-action, even when it comes to adding originality and fleshing out the lore. The costumes look great and so the bigger question we have is the reason behind Malekith and his Dark Elves being on Earth.
Also note, that the Dark Elf designs here are drastically different than the enemies depicted in set photos taken back in September in Bourne Woods, Surrey, where Thor, Sif and Asgardian soldiers battled unknown foes, who we originally believed were the Dark Elves.
By all accounts (much of which is hearsay or rumored), Thor 2 will introduce showcase all of the nine realms of Norse mythology, potentially spending significant time on Svartalfheim (home of the Dark Elves) and Muspelheim (home of Surtur and his fire demons). How much time will be spent on Asgard, Earth and the other realms remains to be seen.
Iron Man 3 releases May 3, 2013, 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 2 on May 1, 2015 and Ant-Man on November 6, 2015.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.