It may not be the first film of Marvel's Phase Two Initiative to be released, but Thor: The Dark World seems like it may be the most ambitious sequel of the current crop of post-Avengers flicks. And as much fun as it may be watching Thor (Chris Hemsworth) swing his mighty hammer against foes of every race and realm, there's one thing that he has which his fellow Avengers lack: super-friends.
The Warriors Three may have played a secondary role in Thor, but the Asgardian trio - and Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander) in particular - seem to be getting a larger part in The Dark World. According to Alexander herself, the film won't just be upping the action quotient, but giving some insight into the relationship between Thor and Sif, and the (possibly unresolved) history they share.
In an interview with IAR, Alexander gave fans a sense of the darker tale in store for Thor and his compatriots. We know that things will be getting grimmer for Asgard and its surrounding realms, and that Dr. Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) will end up as a princess of Asgard (at least for a little while). This time around, it seems the good doctor may have a bit of competition:
"It's going to be a bit of a darker feel, and obviously a lot more action. We get to explore the different Realms a lot more and you see a lot more Asgard, and you get to know the people of Asgard. We sort of explore the Thor-Sif relationship a little bit. It's more like getting a feel of who these people are, and the way they are with each other. It was fun for me and fun for Chris. Again, he and I are almost like brother/sister types too, so I was like 'maybe that translates into ooh they love each other on camera.' [laughs] We had a good time making that movie.”
It's good to hear that the bond between Thor and the only female warrior among his close friends will be explored further in The Dark World, given the seeds that were previously planted. The first film gave strong indications that there was at least some sort of romantic interest on Sif's part, but the love story between Thor and Jane Foster allowed for little development; still, that question was left unanswered. And given Alexander's indication that Thor and Sif's past will be the focus, not a formulaic love triangle, we're optimistic.
A stronger sense of romance or unrequited love won't be the only addition for Thor 2, as Alan Taylor has also replaced Kenneth Branagh in the director's chair. The Game of Thrones veteran already seems to be proving himself in the film's massive battle scenes, but star Chris Hemsworth also had plenty of praise for the increased emphasis on Norse mythology and Viking culture.
While Alexander found the shift from one director to the next to be a difficult one at first, fans don't need to worry that the finished result will suffer from the torch being passed:
"It's always great working with new people, and Alan Taylor has brought a whole new vision to Thor. We've remained our own characters obviously, so there's still that similarity between the first and second one. But there's a darker feel to this one. A little more Gladiator-ish, a bit more viking-ish. So I'm really excited to see how it turns out.”
Previous set photos have shown Sif and Thor dispatching Dark Elves side-by-side, so there may even be a chance for a romantic subplot to take place amidst gruesome battle. If Marvel can pull that one off, then they'll take the romantic comedy plot line seen in the first film to potentially richer territory.
As for the addition of Marvel up-and-comer Zachary Levi (replacing Josh Dallas as Fandral)? Alexander repeated her colleagues' reassurances that they're happy to have him on board:
"It was slightly different, because he's not Josh Dallas, but he's fantastic. I've been friends with Zach for years...so it's great to have him on board. And I know he is that guy. There are many Fandrals in the world, he is definitely Fandral, and he's such a lovely guy, team player and really sweet. Everybody welcomed him with open arms and he's definitely a part of the family."
There is still plenty about Thor: The Dark World that we have yet to fully uncover. Whether Loki truly redeems himself, for one. The opportunity to see more talented actresses flex their muscles in a superhero genre is something we're always in favor of. Add in some swords and war axes - pass us the popcorn.
Thor: The Dark World releases November 8, 2013
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