Even in the Marvel Universe, when you’re an ageless Norse god of thunder who can ride the lightning like no one’s business and call a living heavy metal album cover home, you can still tick off your girlfriend.
“Thor still has lot of explaining to do, and a lot of making up,” said Chris Hemsworth, the star of Thor: The Dark World, the next movie in Marvel Studios’ Phase Two line-up following next month’s Iron Man 3. “Even demigods end up in the doghouse, mate. So none of us is safe.”
Speaking to Bryan Alexander of USA Today, Hemsworth and Marvel’s president of production Kevin Feige discussed some modest details of the plot of the Alan Taylor-directed sequel – mostly regarding the relationship between the mighty Thor and his earthbound sweetheart Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), whom he was forced to abandon at the end of the first movie.
As you see in the still below, Portman’s character gets to spend a little time with Thor in Asgard when events on her home planet insist.
“So while Thor was a fish out of water on Earth in the first two films (Thor and The Avengers), this time Jane is very much a fish out of water in Asgard,” Feige said. Adaptation does not become a problem for Jane though. “She pulls the look off,” according to Hemsworth, “as you’d expect from Natalie Portman.” But what does not come as easily to Foster is impressing Thor’s Asgardian parental units played by Anthony Hopkins and Rene Russo, a modest plot wrinkle you typically would not find in a blockbuster superhero movie.
“It’s superhero action, but it’s the familiar territory of a love triangle where the parents think your girlfriend is wrong for you,” said Feige. “That’s how the best of these movies work.”
The most interesting aspect of the plot of Thor: The Dark World could be the expected return of Thor’s devious half-brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), the villain of not only the first Thor film, but also of last summer’s box office behemoth The Avengers. When the God of Thunder finds himself pitted against a foe more powerful than he ever anticipated in the form of Dark Elf Malekith (Christopher Eccleston), he is forced to turn to his bitter, imprisoned sibling for assistance. “Needing Loki’s help turns everything on its head,” Hemsworth said. “And it allows us to explore the underlying complexities of their relationship. It really ends up being a kind of chess match.”
However, do not expect Loki to finally see the error of his ways and permanently become one of the good guys. “Tom has built and shaped one of the best movie villains in years with many, many layers,” said Feige. “It will be very difficult for Loki to lose the villain status. He has that firmly in hand.”
We can expect Thor to show off some amazing new moves in battle, showing that he has not lost a step in his downtime since taking on the Chitauri. “I really wanted to ramp up his skill set in battle,” according to Hemsworth. “He’s not just this Viking throwing the hammer. Here he’s more demigod with dynamic moves we haven’t seen before.”
Given that the sequel explores darker thematic territory than its predecessor it was vital for the production to hire a director adept at infusing epic action with grittiness and emotion, hence the presence of Alan Taylor behind the camera. Taylor had cut his teeth on the acclaimed HBO hit series Game of Thrones and had a filmmaking style Marvel desired to bring gravitas and grandeur to a story that could very easily slide into bombastic camp.
“We were worried about coming across as hokey or whatever,” Hemsworth said. “If there is anyone who can pull off a fantastical world like Asgard with a great amount of integrity, it is Alan Taylor, as we’ve seen in Game of Thrones.”
Thor: The Dark World drops the hammer on November 8, 2013.