Marvel has just issued that brand new poster above for Thor: The Dark World. This one features most of the principal players bathed in an ethereal blue light with Natalie Portman’s Jane front and center, in the protective embrace of Chris Hemsworth’s Thor, her hair beautifully lifted by the chilly winds of Asgard. (It also has the UK release date of October 30.) The Dark World is Hemsworth’s other high profile film due out this fall (the first being Rush that I talked about here).
If ever an actor has benefited from a super hero movie, it’s Chris Hemsworth.
Christian Bale and Robert Downey, Jr were already stars when they climbed into the suits and masks of the Dark Knight and Iron Man, respectively. Even Henry Cavill was a known commodity when he donned Superman’s red cape (even if this still came as a surprise). But remember back in the spring of 2011 just before the first Thor movie was released? It wasn’t uncommon for anyone to ask, “Who is this guy?” when the star of Marvel’s flick was named.
Since then, Hemsworth has reprised the role in The Avengers, of course, but he’s also played the titular Huntsman in Rupert Sanders’ Snow White and the Huntsman, beating out other notable names like Johnny Depp, Tom Hardy and Michael Fassbender for the role. (Well, Viggo Mortensen and Hugh Jackman had to pass first, but let’s not quibble). He’ll appear in the sequel to that movie, as well as the sequel to The Avengers: Age of Ultron (which will make his fourth time wielding Thor’s mighty hammer.) Aside from fairy tales and comic books though, there’s not only Rush, but Ron Howard has signed him up for his followup film as well. In the Heart of the Sea, costarring Cillian Murphy, Brendan Gleeson, Ben Whishaw and Benjamin Walker, goes into production next month. In the meantime, we’ll be able to see Michael Mann’s (Manhunter, Heat, Last of the Mohicans, Ali etc etc) latest effort, Cyber, about American and Chinese computer hackers costarring Viola Davis, due out sometime in 2014.
He’s also made modest hits of two movies filmed pre-Thor, Joss Whedon’s Cabin in the Woods and the execrable remake of 80’s cult favorite, Red Dawn, on the strength of his name alone. (Although to be fair, Hemsworth may have been the draw, but CITW is actually pretty clever.)
Not bad. From obscurity to A-list faster than Thor can conk a Frost Giant with Mjolnir.
Seems like this would be a good time to show you the first trailer, just in case you’ve managed to miss it for the past couple of months:
This is a pretty good first look, basically giving us an overview of the finished product, without lighting in any one place very long or providing a lot of detail. Considering that the production was fraught with problems, I guess we’re lucky we have anything to look at at all. Jamie Alexander, who plays Sif, was out for a month after having slipped a disc and chipping 11 vertebrae. Patty Jenkins (Monster) was originally hired to direct, but left due to that old bugaboo, “creative differences”, with Marvel. Whatever those were, they almost cost them Natalie Portman as well. When Jenkins left, she wanted to bail, but her contract forced her to continue. Alan Taylor, best known for having directed six episodes of “Game of Thrones”, was eventually brought on. Composer Carter Burwell had a few of those C.D.s as well and was replaced by Brian Tyler (Law Abiding Citizen, Iron Man 3).
Still and all, this sequel features most of the cast from the original including Portman as Jane, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Anthony Hopkins as Odin, Stellen Skarsgård as Dr. Selvig, Rene Russo as Frigga, Ray Stevenson as Volstagg (he of the Cowardly Lion locks), Kat Dennings as Darcy and Idris Elba as Heimdall. In addition, Zachary “Chuck” Levi comes in to replace Josh Dallas as Fandral, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Algrim/Kurse, and the great Christopher Eccleston plays Malekith. (Eccleston replaced Mads Mikkelsen, who had to drop out because of “Hannibal”. I’m not sure how I feel about this. No matter how good Eccleston’s Malekith is, I won’t be able to stop wondering what Mads would have done with it.)
Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World” continues the big-screen adventures of Thor, the Mighty Avenger, as he battles to save Earth and all the Nine Realms from a shadowy enemy that predates the universe itself. In the aftermath of Marvel’s “Thor” and “Marvel’s The Avengers,” Thor fights to restore order across the cosmos…but an ancient race led by the vengeful Malekith returns to plunge the universe back into darkness. Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all.
Thor: The Dark World opens in the UK on 30th October and November 8 in the US.