At Comic-Con 2012, Marvel President Kevin Feige unveiled the next phase of Marvel movies - which begins next summer with Iron Man 3, and continues in November with Thor: The Dark World. While Iron Man 3 is already in the midst of production with Shane Black at the helm, Thor is still trying to get all of its proverbial ducks in a row.
We've already learned that - in addition to stars Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman - Idris Elba, Rene Russo, and Jaimie Alexander have signed on for the sequel, and now we have word of another returning cast member: Kat Dennings. Dennings will be reprising her role as Darcy, close friend to Natalie Portman's character Jane Foster, in what is said to be a "more extended role."
Dennings' star has been consistently on the rise since her lead role in Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, and has reached a substantial peak due to the success of CBS' sitcom, 2 Broke Girls. So it makes sense that Marvel has brought Dennings back on for Thor: The Dark World and even given her a larger role to play.
For some, however, it will be with gritted teeth that they welcome back Dennings, who provided much of the first film's "comic relief." Her relative aloofness and penchant for commenting on Chris Hemsworth/Thor's body - while occasionally entertaining - wasn't necessarily what comic book fans were looking for.
Still, there's no denying the actress has a fan base now, and will help bring a different crowd to the theater. Of the Marvel movies released, Thor had one of the stronger debuts - but after the tremendous success of The Avengers, Marvel clearly wants to generate an even higher tier of box office returns.
Dennings' casting isn't all that bad for fans of Thor, though, since it gives us a better clue as to the type of story the sequel might tell. With the film being subtitled The Dark World, and given the nature of Asgard's relationship with Earth after the events of Thor, some were expecting a film set completely in the fantastical realm created by Kenneth Branagh - or maybe even several different cosmic realms. There were even some questions - after Patty Jenkins lost the directorial job - whether Natalie Portman's character would return, but now it's almost a given.
There's definitely some loyalty being shown by Marvel - yes, the same studio that pulled a bait-and-switch with Terrence Howard and Don Cheadle - and fans should admire them for that, at least. Hopefully the production paid attention to fan comments in regards to Thor, and will incorporate them in an effort to make a better sequel.
How do you feel about the return of Kat Dennings for Thor: The Dark World? Did her character bother you all that much?
Thor: The Dark World releases November 8, 2013.